Sustainability Merit Badge Helps and Documents

An image with a wind turbine, bicycle, and faucet to show the breadth of topics covered by the Sustainability merit badge requirements.

Scouts working on the Sustainability merit badge learn to conserve energy at home and think about how their food, housing, and consumption choices impact society at large. They make a plan to use the Earth’s resources more wisely. They also learn how the Scout Law and the Scout Oath promote more sustainable communities.

Either Sustainability merit badge or Environmental Science merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle.

Help with Answers for Sustainability Merit Badge Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the Sustainability merit badge requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for youth leaders and merit badge councilors to introduce these concepts while working on the Sustainability merit badge.

Ask Scouter Mom a question or share your ideas with others

Requirement 1: What Is Sustainability?

Explanation of Sustainability

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Read more details.

Video Explanation

Conversation Starters for Family Meeting

Here are a few questions to help get the conversation going for Sustainability merit badge requirement 1:

  • What do you think sustainability is?
  • What can we do as a family to help sustain life on our planet?
  • What is the negative impact of ignoring sustainability issues?

Requirement 2: Water

Some Ways to Reduce Water Usage

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn the water off when brushing your teeth
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  • Check your toilet for leaks
  • Use your dishwasher and washing machine for full loads only
  • Water your lawn only when necessary

Where Does Our Drinking Water Come From?

This article covers water sources, treatment, and pollution concerns. These will help you find the answers for Sustainability merit badge requirement 2.

Drought Resilience and Water Conservation

Learn about droughts and how to conserve water. Check the bottom of this article for a lot of links related to droughts and water issues.

Requirement 2: Food

Some Ways to Reduce Food Waste

  • Buy only what you will use in the next few days
  • Store food properly
  • Eat your leftovers
  • Compost your scraps
  • Donate excess food to a pantry while it is still fresh

Factors That Affect Food Security

Learn about factors which make it difficult to produce enough food for some regions of the world. This also covers the impact of food insecurity.

Understanding Global Food Security and Nutrition

Requirement 2: Community

Requirement 2: Community Helps and Answers

Developing Sustainable Communities

Some key factors:

  • Energy conservation
  • Waste reduction
  • Local food sources
  • Public spaces
  • Pollution control
  • Local businesses
  • Energy efficient buildings

Learn more

What Is Housing Insecurity?

Learn what causes issues in housing availability. This article also covers the negative impact of a lack of appropriate and affordable housing. This is a topic you should learn about for the Sustainability merit badge requirement for community.

Requirement 2: Energy

Energy Sources

Below are some links with good explanations of each type

Fossil Fuels



What Is a Carbon Footprint?

This article gives an easy to understand explanation of carbon footprints. It explains the factors involved and has a quiz to take.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Transportation Related Options

  • Ride a bike or walk when possible
  • Carpool
  • Consolidate your trips in your car by running errands all at once
  • Ride on public transportation

Requirement 2: Stuff

What Are Needs?

Needs are things we need to survive, such as food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care.

What Are Wants?

A want is something you can live without but will improve your quality of life. It is basically anything which is not a need. Also, you may desire something like more clothes, but if you already have enough to get by, that is a want rather than a need.

Does More Stuff Make Us Happy?

Negatives of Too Much Stuff

  • Wasted money and wasted time spent shopping
  • Clutter / can’t find what you are looking for
  • Makes space harder to keep clean
  • Health issues from overeating and unclean living conditions
  • Satisfaction from more is not long lasting

Requirement 3: Planetary Resources

Planetary Life Support Systems

Click on the links below to learn why these components are so important to life on Earth

Earth’s Life Support Systems

Conserving the Earth

Learn how harvesting, production, distribution, and consumption of the Earth’s resources impacts our world. And see some ways we can improve our methods.

Requirement 4: Family Discussion

Requirement 5: Family Meeting

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

Discussion Starter Questions

Discussion Starter Questions

  • What is something new you learned about sustainability?
  • What are the sustainability areas we would like to impact as a family?
  • What are some changes we could make which would be easy?
  • What are some other changes we could make which would require more effort?
  • Can we commit as a family to implementing any of these changes now?

Requirement 6: Careers

Additional Resources

Here are some more ideas and related achievements to help with the Sustainability merit badge.

Nature and Environment Troop Program Feature

This troop program feature will help your youth leaders plan a month of meetings and an outing around an environment theme. Much of this will fit in well with the requirements for the Sustainability merit badge.

Wildlife Management Troop Program Feature

This program feature also has many elements which are related to the Sustainability merit badge

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