How many less miles do Americans travel amid the coronavirus pandemic?

Grade level: 4th – 6th grades

Skills: Subtraction and multiplication (decimals) 

Related environmental issues: Others

The majority of the world’s population has been under some type of stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Since those orders were issued, people have changed their habits and traveled less.

The table below shows the average travel distance of residents in Daytona beach, Florida, and Seattle, Washington, on February 28 and March 27, 2020.

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  1. Between February 28 and March 27, how many less miles did the average resident in Daytona Beach travel?
  2. Between February 28 and March 27, how many less feet did the average resident in Seattle travel? (1 mile = 5,280 feet)

 


 

Source: The New York Times, (April 2, 2020). Where America Didn’t Stay Home Even as the Virus Spread. 

 


 

Answer keys

1. 2.5 miles (4.4 – 1.9 = 2.5)
2. 20,003 feet (3.8 x 5,280 – 61 = 20,003)

 

Factful Environmental Math Problems (2020)

Just published and now available from Amazon  (paperback)

About this book

The objective of Factful Environmental Math Problems is to cultivate our young people’s skills to analyze and evaluate fact-based data for understanding our world, while improving their math skills and critical thinking skills.

With the rise of the Internet and new technology, building skills to analyze and evaluate fact-based data becomes increasingly important for our young people to prepare for this rapidly changing world. These skills minimize their chances of being brainwashed by false information and making uninformed decisions and ultimately help develop their critical thinking skills. (Read more)

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Published: March 26, 2020

Price: $6.25

How much CO2 does a global tour flight generate?

Grade level: 3rd-4th grades

Skills: Addition / Number Comparison (3 digit)

Related environmental issues: Climate Change

 

PDF version

 

The British band Coldplay, a performer of the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, has decided not to launch a global tour because going on tour generates more carbon dioxide than they want.  The band thinks having a global tour is not beneficial to the environment.

To have a global tour, band members need to take a flight. The table below shows the amount of CO2 a flight generates per person.

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Suppose a British band A had a global tour and had a concert in London, New York, Los Angels, and Tokyo, and wend back to London.

  1. Which flight generated the largest amount of CO2 per person?
  2. Which flight generated the least amount of CO2 per person?
  3. How much CO2 did the global tour generate per person by flying from London to New York, New York to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Tokyo, and Tokyo to London?
  4. The United States generates 1,333 kg of CO2 per person a month. Which generates more CO2, the average American in a month or a member of the Band A who went on the global tour?

 

PDF version

 

Source) Niko Kommenda, 2019, How your flight emits as much CO2 as many people do in a year, The Guardian.


Answer keys

1. Tokyo to London

2. New York to Los Angeles

3. 2,516kg of CO2 (493 + 349 + 776 + 898 = 2,516)

4. A member of the Band A