How Can We Reduce Emissions Associated with Food Waste in Our School?

In this activity students utilize the data that is collected and propose solutions to mitigate food waste in their school.

Context for Use

This is the fourth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit. These design challenges are meant to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units and to have students come up with real world solutions.

A group of students using laptops at desks all pushed together to form one collaborative workspace.

Photo Source: Emily Culp

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • analyze that data and present it to the class in the form of a gallery walk.  
  • have a discussion to identify areas we think we could make some improvements to and we work in small groups to develop solutions to the food waste in our school. 
  • review the proposals for each group and offer revisions or suggestions to improve the plans.  
  • have a consensus discussion to determine which plan is the best and thus will be presented to administration. 


Teaching Materials


  1. (5 minutes) Reorient students to the storyline.
  2. (30 minutes) Share results from their investigations in previous lesson (through a gallery walk, presentations, etc.).
  3. (10 minutes) Discussion: Summarize where in the food system  would be good places to minimize food waste. Record students’ ideas on a poster or the board, grouping them by problem/solution.
  4. (1 class period) Plan: Groups design a plan to tackle one of the proposed solutions.
  5. (15 minutes) Share and gather feedback: Share plans with the other groups (through a jigsaw, gallery walk, presentation, etc). Allow other students to ask questions, provide critiques or complements and, time permitting, allow time for students to revise their plans before voting as a class.
  6. (5 minutes) Consensus Building Discussion: Determine which plan or plans to present to administration.
  7. (5 minutes) Brainstorm: Generate ideas for next steps.
Illustration of two people high-fiving in a work environment

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