Find out exactly how much food your school is wasting

Run a lunchtime audit to identify how much food waste is generated by your school

30 KS1 KS2 KS3 KS4 KS5 Citizenship Mathematics and Numeracy
If you took ALL the waste produced in a school - that's everything disposed of by the pupils and staff, how much of that would be food waste?

10-20%    30-50%   70-90% ?

If you thought between 30-50% then you're right.   Food waste is a huge problem for schools - and for the climate.  The environmental impact of needlessly wasted food (including the energy needed to produce, process, transport, store and dispose) is 253,000 tonnes every year.  This is the same amount of carbon produced by more than 80,000 cars in a year! 

Tackling food waste in your school is a great way to reduce your school's carbon emissions.

This activity provides everything you need to assess how much food waste is created by your school dinners.   

Before you start your audit, have a look at how your school is currently collecting and disposing of food waste at lunchtime.  The basic activity looks just at lunchtime waste from one dining hall but you could use the detailed activity to look at food waste from packed lunches, in the playground/ at break times or if your canteen/cafeteria is open at different times throughout the day, how much food waste is being produced by the kitchen staff making the food or even the food waste being produced in your Food Technology classes.

Once you've completed the audit, make sure you complete the Analyst activity to calculate the carbon emissions created by your food waste.

Don't forget to conduct this audit before making any food waste changes in your school.  You'll want to audit three times: before you take action, immediately after you take action and several months later, to determine the lasting impact you've had.