This resource features an interview with a program director of a non-profit that rescues excess food from places that would otherwise throw it away, in turn, reducing food waste, fighting hunger, and addressing climate change.
Students will learn the many reasons why reducing food waste is one of the most impactful climate solutions, and one that all people can participate in.
This video explains the relationship between food waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the enormous amounts of energy and resources that go into making and transporting food.
The discussion questions beneath the video could serve to facilitate group dialogue or could be used as writing prompts.
Provide time for students to process the varying perspectives and emotions surrounding food waste, as students can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the severity of the problem.
This resource provides additional information below the video that might help give additional context to the content or opportunities for extension.
Provide students with a graphic organizer that can help them take notes on all of the positive impacts of this food waste organization.
Consider using the "Take Action" section below the video and have students write about ways they can advocate for change in their own communities.
Ask students to keep a food waste journal to keep track of how much food they throw away during a week, and then brainstorm solutions that would allow for less food waste.
Have students engage in this media literacy activity in order to analyze food waste problems and solutions or have students read this article to also connect agricultural practices with the extinction crisis.
Other resources on this topic include this video describing the huge amount of greenhouse gases emitted by food waste and this worksheet and article about food waste, food loss, and what we can do to combat them.
The video spotlights the role of taking initiatives on food recovery. Food waste is contributing to releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere. Although there is a misconception in about 0:47 minutes of the video about a "ton of wasted emissions," educators should note that there is nothing like that in any scientific literature, rather, CO2 emissions or emissions are spewed into the atmosphere. Above all, the best use for this resource is in the classroom.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.