How healthy is your lunch? activity tips
The How Healthy Is Your Lunch? activity helps students go beyond the more typical discussion about how healthy their lunches are for themselves to consider how healthy they are for the environment! When students see how much trash is generated by their leftover lunches, they will be motivated to use either reusable or recyclable materials instead. The activity also illustrates how the choices students make daily can have a positive effect on the environment.
Materials: Students will need two plastic bags, rubber gloves, two trash bins, one scale, and a list of materials that can be recycled in your area.
Safety First: Students should be supervised by an adult while doing this experiment, and anyone who sorts trash should wear gloves.
Getting It Across
Discuss the steps of this activity with the class before lunch. Make sure they are able to identify the recyclable items in their lunches. Have students write down their predictions about whether they will generate more trash or recyclables from their lunches before lunch. After the lunch items are collected and sorted, have students compare the weight of the trash bag with the recyclables bag. Students should be aware that every pound of trash sent to the landfill generates about .94 pounds of CO2. (For younger students you may wish to round this number up to 1 lb. of CO2.)
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