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Database Provider


ASU Global Futures


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 55 minutes
  • Videos, 10 minutes, 15 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


PDF, YouTube Video

Zero Food Waste Challenge

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  • This is an activity where students will watch a video about the sources of food waste, work in groups to complete a brainstorming activity, and come up with realistic solutions to address food waste. 

Teaching Tips


  • The lesson plan is easy to implement and it challenges students to think critically and find realistic solutions to a real-world problem. 

Additional Prerequisites


  • Encourage students to think about beneficial changes that could be made to the entire food system and the impacts of consumer demand for specific products.
  • Civics and government classes could discuss the role of regulations, laws, and government funding to support a more efficient, equitable, and sustainable food system. 
  • Students could explore this table of solutions to climate change, this video about food waste, and this video about dietary choices.
Scientist Notes
The activity demonstrates the impact of food waste on the environment and explores options for net-zero food waste. It will motivate students to brainstorm and develop a zero food-waste strategy in their homes, communities, and society. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • 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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing one’s thinking clearly.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.7.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons, relevant evidence, and literary theory. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. Use accurate, credible sources; b) Write informative text that examines a topic and conveys ideas, concepts, and information through the selection and organization of relevant content by introducing and developing a topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples, organizing ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; c) Write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences that organize an event sequence logically. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator or characters; using techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and characters.
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
      • SS.Econ1.a.m Predict the opportunity costs of various decisions and explain why the opportunity cost might differ from person to person or in different situations. Assess how limited resources (e.g., money, land, natural resources, workers, time) impact the choices of individuals, households, communities, businesses, and countries.
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