Growing Schools

Introduction

Investigate renewables in the past, present and future by playing the Renewable World game. This has two phases. In Past v Present you can compare materials used 100 years ago with those used today. Then, using your understanding of how materials differ, you can play Build the Future. This challenges you to furnish a kitchen for 100 years in the future where sustainability will be crucial.

How to play Past v Present

1908 card front

Start in the kitchen of 100 years ago. If necessary, use the Time Machine to navigate there from other parts of the game. Click on items in the kitchen and you’ll get a scorecard like that on the right. Click on the cards to get explanations of the ratings, or to turn the cards over for more information. When you’ve finished exploring the kitchen of 100 years ago, use the Time Machine to navigate to the present day, and investigate how materials have changed. Play now

How to play Build the Future

Start in the kitchen of 100 years ahead. If necessary, use the Time Machine to navigate here from other parts of the game. Your challenge is to furnish a kitchen for the future. Choose options for your kitchen, trying to keep your overall scores as low as possible. There’s no single right answer, but some options are definitely better than others. When you have made your choices, click on Confirm to see how well you rate. Play now

How to use the Time Machine

When you want to switch between past, present and future, click on the Time Machine at the top of the page, and select the year you want.

What the ratings mean

Financial cost What the item costs to purchase. Low ratings indicate cheap items where cost is not a significant factor in choosing what to buy. High ratings indicate luxury materials, or essentials that use up a large part of the household budget. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best (least expensive).

Chemicals used in production This gives an indication of the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the cost in financial and environmental terms. Low chemical use indicates a simple process, with little or no additional materials needed. High scores indicate complex processes, or ones that use a lot of expensive or polluting chemicals. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best (using fewest chemicals).

Waste Not all waste causes pollution and some waste can become the raw material for other products and processes. Here, a low score indicates a product that either creates little waste in its production, or produces waste that is not a problem. A high score indicates waste that is either very polluting, or produced in large quantities. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best (creating fewest waste problems).

Energy used in production Almost all energy use costs money, uses up finite resources and creates carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. So the lower the energy use the better. Products with a low rating have been produced by hand, or using simple processes. Those with a high rating may demand very high temperatures or complex manufacture. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best (least energy).

Land use This indicates the amount of land needed to produce the raw materials for the product. Mining, for example, requires relatively small areas of land. Raising plants, especially slow-growing ones, requires a lot of land. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best (least land).

Convenience and style Each product has a star rating to reflect how easy it is to use and how good it looks. Low ratings indicate products that are difficult to use, not very effective, or look unattractive. High ratings indicate products that are easy to use, work well and look good. Measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best (most convenient and stylish).

More activities

Use these links to download short activities related to the game.

  1. How sustainable are we now?

    Asks about materials we use today, why we choose them, and how sustainable they are. Calls for deduction and argument based on the facts and figures on the cards. Find out more

  2. The great materials challenge

    Provides a grid to enable quick comparisons between now and 100 years ago, and asks students to suggest explanations for the differences. Find out more

  3. The hundred-year-old quiz

    20 questions to encourage exploration of the kitchen of 100 years ago. All the answers are on the cards. Find out more

 

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