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2nd Graders Stop Food Waste


The 2nd Graders Stop School Food Waste Project aimed to reduce the amount of trash and food waste at their school. Students worked to educate other students, teachers, staff and parents about the issue and how to reduce waste, while also connecting with local farmers who can use food scraps for composts and animals.

"We learned that kids can make a difference."

- Student Reflection


Researching and Interviewing to Learn More

Students started with a brainstorming activity that allowed them to consider the way they feel about specific issues around their community. During this activity, several things surfaced that students did not like. They had discussions about these aspects and decided that they wanted to learn more about food waste. They researched statistics, watched educational videos, invited a grocery rescue group into their classroom to interview. After this research, students stated that they “immediately wanted to stop food waste from happening.”

Focusing on Local Education

The students began the IMAGINE stage by discussing with leaders at their school, researching the underlying factors that contribute to food waste and brainstorming possible solutions. After considering a number of different ideas, students decided to focus locally – in their own cafeteria. They determined it was most important to start by educating their peers and the community about the issue of food waste.

Using Their Talents to Promote Their Cause

Students created educational videos and sent them to the whole school through their morning messages. They created bins for collecting saved food to encourage students not to throw food away but to, instead, save and share with students who might later want the food. They also determined a way to donate the food scraps to local animals. To encourage their peers to engage in saving food and donating scraps, students created and performed a skit at a school-wide assembly. They also wrote songs and created puppet shows to share with a broader audience.

Sharing at an Earth Day Event

Students were sharing through a number of different avenues throughout their project – at assemblies, over morning messages, etc. – and to share further in the community, students decided to set up a booth at the local Earth Day Celebration. They wanted to share their message and their work with their community. They even had the opportunity to advertise this event on the local radio station.


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