How big is the wilderness land protected by President Trump?

Grade level: 4th – 6th grades

Skills: Division (large numbers)

sRelated environmental issues: Biodiversity

President Trump passed the wilderness preservation law on March 11, 2019. With the legislation, 1.3 million acres of federal land in California, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico will be protected from logging, oil drilling, mining, and road-building.

  1. Death Valley, California

    Death Valley, California  (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK)

  1. Former President Obama passed the law to protect 2 million acres of wilderness across the West in March 2009. With the both laws, how many acres of land is protected from logging, oil drilling, mining, and road-building?
  2. The size of Rhode Island is 750,000 acres. How many times is the area protected by the two presidents larger than the state of Rhode Island?

Sources: East Bay Times, March 15, 2019. 

Note) The actual size of Rhode Island is 775,680 acres.




Answer keys

  1. 3.3 million acres (1.3 + 2 = 3.3)
  2. 4.4 times (3,300,000 / 750,000 = 4.4)


Do we recycle more plastic or less?

Grade level: 5th – 6th grades

Skills: Percentage

Related environmental issues: Recycling

Our county has been at a loss how to treat our plastic waste.  The United States used to ship 70% of our plastic waste to China to reduce plastic waste in our county. However, after China stopped accepting internaitonal plastic waste to protect their environment last year, less plastic is recycled because we generate more plastic waste than we can handle.

Plastic Waste Photo: National Geographic

Plastic Waste   Photo: National Geographic

  1. On average, 150 plastic bottles are consumed by a single person in the United States. Of which, 29% of the plastic bottles were recycled in 2017. How many plastic bottles were recycled per person in 2017 on average? Round to the nearest whole number.
  2. On average, how many plastic bottles were NOT recycled and ended up in landfills per person in 2017?
  3. Ben started using his water bottle and reduce his plastic bottle use to 100 bottles per year. If he recycles 29% of the plastic bottles as the average American does, how many plastic bottles will he send to landfills a year?
  4. Is the number of plastic bottles Ben sends to landfills larger or smaller than the U.S. average?



Answer keys

  1. 44 bottles (150 x 0.29 = 43.5)
  2. 106 bottles (150 – 44 = 106)
  3. 71 bottles (100 – 29 = 71)
  4. Smaller