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Image by Yu Hosoi

Follow the food

What you can do

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Volunteers Serving Food
Forest Trees

Quick facts - did you know?


  • One third of the world’s food is lost to waste - that is 1.3 billion tons per year, emitting  3.3 giga tons of CO2

  • It is estimated that 50% of food is lost at food production stage

  • 1.6 billion tons of raw food products never turned into consumable food to feed the hungry

  • Saving a fourth of total global food waste volume can feed all the world’s hungry

  • Food production is water intensive - agriculture accounts for 70% of total water consumption, reducing food waste is the first step to reducing water waste

  • 1300 litres of water produce 1kg of wheat, 3,400 litres for 1kg of rice, but 15,500 litres to produce 1kg of beef (if this doubles by 2050 as projected, it will exceed global water supply by 2030)

  • Vegetarians reduce their water footprint by 1/3rd and prevent 1.5 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year

  • By 2050 the world will have to feed a global population of over 9 billion people.

school food

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Our food is our health

Image by Ella Olsson
Forest Trees

What you can do in schools and at home?


  • Buy fresh food sustainably sourced and grown without chemicals

  • Give up convenience, avoid buying processed food

  • Buy only what you will eat

  • Plan meals ahead and shop for only what you will eat

  • Store fresh food properly so it doesn’t go bad

  • Do a Food Waste Audit from the school canteen. How much does what is being wasted weigh?

  • Find out how much food is wasted in your country

  • Buy local, support the local economy this reduces CO2 emissions 

  • Eat seasonal foods

  • Start composting organic waste for school grounds

  • Look at growing chemical free vegetable / herb gardens in school 

  • Visit a farm and find out how things are grown

  • Find out how the food waste is picked up and processed by the waste management company

  • Is the waste being turned to biogas or composting?

What's the solution? 


  • EAT 5 a DAY of fruits and vegetables that make up a balanced diet 

  • RAINBOW COLOURS of fruit and vegetables grown in chemical free soil gives us vitamins, mineral and fibres.

  • REPAIR cells in our body by eating naturally grown plants that absorb the nutrients from the soil

  • AVOID processed food this has little nutrition that our bodies need to keep us healthy.  It produces waste that may end up in landfills

  • GROW your own in the school garden or try at home

  • GROW Local BUY Local -  Eat food that doesn’t cost in transporting long distances and carbon emissions.  Buy food locally grown and grown seasonally

  • WALK or cycle in nature 20 to 30 minutes of exercise surrounded by trees can help the mind relax

  • PLAN meals and don’t over purchase.

Teaching and learning resources for schools

Why grow your own?


  • Chemical and fertilizer intensive commercial farming is destroying habitats and biodiversity

  • This destroys healthy soil structure, creates barren land, and absorbs chemicals into the land

  • Food nutrients in supplements or fortified foods are poorly absorbed by the body

  • Micro plastics and toxic chemicals leached from commercial landfills into rivers and soil are in our food system.  

  • Over 50% of the world’s population is urbanized, innovative food production and urban farming are needed

  • Food delivered internationally adds to carbon footprints.


Schools allotments and gardening


Gardens help keep the planet green and healthy and help to combat climate change. Here are four key areas in which our gardens can make a difference to our changing climate:


  • They help control urban temperatures, mitigating the effects of extreme heat and cold

  • They prevent flooding by absorbing rainwater that would otherwise overload drainage systems

  • They effectively become very good nature reserves, supporting a range of wildlife including birds, mammals and invertebrates

  • They support human health by easing stress and providing physical exercise.


Get more teaching and learning ideas. Adapt the information and ideas for your own community or region of the world



The benefits of encouraging our children to be involved in gardening / setting up allotments can be great – it is educational, encourages physical and mental wellbeing and it can be a way of working alongside the community as well as providing fresh veggies to use or sell.




Fairtrade have put together teaching resources for schools. It supports students to understand issues that face our interdependent world and learn how they have the power to make a difference



Learn about the world’s favorite treat Chocolate made from Cocoa.  Find out how it is grown by small scale farmers around the world



Practical Action story how people without land can grow and earn income from pumpkins



Food Packaging Labels is a US company that have put together information on sustainable food and labels



Sustain.  Schools fact sheets advise how to set up a food co-op or buying group.



RHS have learning activities to follow the food trail.  Where in the World shows where food comes from and learn how our food choices have an effect on the world environment.,7:%26page%3D2



Countryside classroom has a range of learning resources across different age ranges. Primarily looks at UK environment but has more general information relating to food farming and biodiversity

Find more learning resources and videos about food waste here

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