Are we out to lunch? - The carbon footprint of our lunch menus

Venables Valley

  • Entire School
Video Project (1 video)

Community Coach(es): 

Michael Hollihn

Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?: 


Please see the accompanying pdf for complete description.

A brief summary is as follows:

The children of our small rural community, gather each weekday for their education in our one-room-schoolhouse. Each family takes a daily turn preparing the vegetarian school lunch.

This year in class, we discussed the value of local and organic food. This led to learning ecological concepts such as carbon footprints, food security, and climate change. To learn about these in a relevant, practical way, we decided to analyze our school lunch, which consists of 12 rotating menus.

A 5 minute video is much too short to capture this process, which included: researching each of the 154 ingredients used, and determining where they were grown, how they got here, and whether they were organic; determining the distance traveled for each ingredient and menu; researching what is possible to grow locally and what is not, and more.

We have some very enlightening findings. While we are embarrassed about the distances our ingredients have traveled to feed us, we also have the conviction now to make some achievable improvements.

We have resolved to:

1. Grow our staple beans, and also our spices. (This lessons our carbon footprint greatly, and also ensures we are getting organic and local ingredients).

2. Grow at least 70% of the ingredients in our school lunch menus in our own community.

3. Have at least 90% of our school lunch ingredients be organic. 

4. Share our new-found awareness, our convictions, and the hopeful potential with our neighboring communities and beyond. 


Secondary School Winner
Climate Action Prize