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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Greenstate Podcast


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Podcasts, 28 minutes, 13 seconds
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 30 seconds

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon

Preventing Holiday Food Waste

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  • This podcast describes why food waste tends to increase around the holidays and proposes ideas for repurposing leftover holiday food into different inventive recipes.
  • The environmental quality professionals discuss ways they quantify and analyze food waste in Oregon and describe the various campaigns they employ to encourage the community to prevent waste.
  • The professionals also describe how food waste relates to greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and land use.
Teaching Tips


  • The topic of food waste relates to most individuals and many people love talking about food, so this podcast could lead to a rich classroom discussion.
  • The presenters discuss multiple reasons that food waste matters, so students can consider this topic from an economic, social, or environmental point of view.
  • It discusses other effective ideas for reducing food waste including freezing and encouraging dinner guests to bring reusable containers to share leftovers.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand how food production impacts the environment.
  • This podcast is available on most podcast apps or can be listened to on the site directly.


  • Before watching the video, ask students, "Why might food waste be negative for the environment?"
  • Consider having students discuss their favorite holiday dishes and anything creative they do with leftovers.
  • Creating a pledge and brainstorming ways to reduce food waste at school lunches could be a fun way for students to take action year round.
  • An art assignment could include students creating a comic or infographic showing how food waste impacts the land, air, and water.
Scientist Notes
This ~28 minute podcast provided from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality discusses the excess food during the holidays. Ways to deal with leftovers are discussed, along with suggestions for reducing food waste. This podcast would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about reducing waste.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • 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.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
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