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Lower Carbon Lunches

The aim of our Lower Carbon Lunches workshops was to raise awareness about the climate impacts of food and to reduce waste associated with school meals in the city. The project was designed to support schools in reducing the carbon footprints of their school meals, considering four key areas; Energy Use, Food Waste, Packaging Waste and Plant-Based Meals.

Further information

Our Lower Carbon Lunches workshops have been designed to introduce pupils to the climate impacts of their current food choices and behaviours surrounding foods. The workshop focuses on four key areas: 

  • Energy use - 40% of a schools carbon footprint is energy and its estimated and average of 20% is wasted due to inefficient use. Here we will consider some practical steps that schools can take to reduce their energy use or make it more efficient. 
  • Food waste - it is estimated that 30% of the food we produce globally is wasted. If we were to stop food waste it would eliminate 8% of our total global carbon emissions. Therefore, we will look at what foods are being wasted most often in schools and how we could reduce this. 
  • Packaging waste - here we consider the embodied carbon emissions in packaging, recognising the impact of the carbon emissions from packaging rather than focusing on the plastic as is typically done. Again, we will consider practical actions that the students can take to reduce the packaging being used in schools, and where it is still needed, ensuring it is being disposed of in the correct way. 
  • Plant-based meals - it is becoming increasingly well documented that animal agriculture and intensive farming account for significant proportions of greenhouse gas emissions. The national food strategy has highlighted the need to reduce our meat consumption by 30% in the next decade to align with our climate goals, making this an important topic to consider. 

The Lower Carbon Lunches workshops involves providing some background knowledge on climate change, the climate emergency and greenhouse gases. This ensures that pupils have the basic understanding required to build on when considering the four main topics in relation to food. The workshop uses a range of resources and can be adapted to the age and needs of the participants. So far, we have worked with pupils from Year 1 up to KS3. 

As part of the focus on Lower Carbon Lunches we are also working with the City Catering team to complete some 'planet friendly' food tasting sessions. 

Please consider the environment.