Following a plant-based diet and reducing food waste are climate-friendly behaviors that kids can understand
The Hechinger Report
Most of the behaviors we associate with preventing climate change are totally inaccessible to younger children. They can’t buy electric cars or redirect their retirement accounts away from fossil fuels. Limiting our kids by only offering them these types of solutions can leave them with a sense of powerlessness and futility. But there is a solution within their power, and that’s taking control of how and what they eat.
1. Food and Climate Change:
– Encouraging children to eat more plant-based and less-processed foods can have a significant impact on addressing climate change.
– Food waste is a major concern, with the energy used to produce wasted food equivalent to 3.3 billion tons of CO2 per year.
– Combining plant-based eating and reducing food waste could reduce greenhouse gas emissions 22 times more than switching to electric cars.
2. Children’s Role in Climate Action:
– Involving children in discussions on food and climate change is crucial for building a sustainable future.
– Food education can be more tangible and relatable to children compared to other climate change topics.
– Younger people are more open to plant-forward eating, with a majority finding it appealing and willing to go meatless.
3. Teaching Climate Change in Schools:
– Integrating climate change education into school curricula can empower children to take action.
– Interactive and hands-on teaching methods, such as food waste audits and video games, can engage students in learning.
– Lesson plans should meet national and multistate standards for easy integration into science curriculum.
4. The Hope for Change:
– Engaging children in discussions about sustainable food choices can give them hope for a better future.
– Students are actively seeking solutions to food waste, such as starting share tables in cafeterias.
– Working together with teachers, open-source lesson plans can be developed and shared nationwide.