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.
Sustainability Merit Badge Resources
Answers and Helps for the Sustainability Merit Badge
- Requirement 1: What Is Sustainability?
- Requirement 2: Water
- Requirement 2: Food
- Requirement 2: Community
- Requirement 2: Energy
- Requirement 2: Stuff
- Requirement 3: Planetary Resources
- Requirement 4: Family Discussion
- Requirement 5: Family Meeting
- Requirement 6: Careers
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.
Requirement 1: What Is Sustainability?
Requirement 1 Helps and Answers
“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.
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
Requirement 2: Water Helps and Answers
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
This article covers water sources, treatment, and pollution concerns. These will help you find the answers for Sustainability merit badge requirement 2.
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
Requirement 2: Food Helps and Answers
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
Requirement 2: Community
Requirement 2: Community Helps and Answers
Some key factors:
- Energy conservation
- Waste reduction
- Local food sources
- Public spaces
- Pollution control
- Local businesses
- Energy efficient buildings
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
Requirement 2: Energy Helps and Answers
Below are some links with good explanations of each type
This article gives an easy to understand explanation of carbon footprints. It explains the factors involved and has a quiz to take.
Transportation Related Options
- Ride a bike or walk when possible
- Consolidate your trips in your car by running errands all at once
- Ride on public transportation
Requirement 2: Stuff
Requirement 2: Stuff Helps and Answers
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.
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
Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
Planetary Life Support Systems
Click on the links below to learn why these components are so important to life on Earth
Requirement 4: Family Discussion
Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
Requirement 5: Family Meeting
Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
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
Careers In Sustainability
- Urban Planning
- Landscape Architecture
- Environmental Engineer
- Marine Biology
- Solar Engineer
- Energy Manager
- Conservation Work
- Society of American Foresters
- Ecological Society of America
- USDA Forest Service
- American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- American Forest and Paper Association
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Here are some more ideas and related achievements to help with the Sustainability merit badge.
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.
This program feature also has many elements which are related to the Sustainability merit badge
The Sustainability merit badge can be used to fulfill the requirements for these:
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Eartheasy Composting Guide
- EnviroLink Network
- EPA Water Topics
- Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
- NASA Climate Kids
- The Nature Conservancy
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Design Competition