How much food is wasted?

rade level: 4th – 5th grades

Skills: Multiplication

Related environmental issues:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Have you ever thrown away food after you felt full and stopped eating? In the United States, 30% of edible food is spoiled and thrown away.  That is as big as each person throwing away $494 every year.

  1. You have 4 people in your family. How much can your family save in a year if food is not wasted at all?
  2. What can you do to prevent food waste?

Foodwaste-Lebensmittelverschwendung-blog-vzug-1

 

Sources: U.S. EPA (2016). Sustainable Materials Management Program Strategic Plan. page 6.

Note) The food waste (and loss) is equivalent to $161 billion annually.

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Answer keys

  1. $1,9764  (94 x 4 = 1,976)
  2. Answer may vary:Don’t over-serve food, Save and eat leftovers,Vacuum-pack unprepared or pre-cooked ingredients, Store food properly, Keep a record of your waste, Plan your meal before shopping

 

How does your plastic use affect marine life?

Grade level: 5 – 6th grades

Skills: Multiplication and Division

Related environmental issues: Plastic Waste 

A whale was found dead on the Murcian coast in southern Spain in late February after swallowing 64 pounds of plastic waste.

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Dead Whale Project of Greenpeace Philippines

 

Most plastic grocery bags are thrown away after being used, and millions of tons of plastic bags end up in the ocean. Those plastic bags have killed marine birds and turtles that confused plastic bags for jellyfish and plankton. The amount of plastic waste found in the ocean in a year is equivalent to five plastic grocery bags for every foot of coastline in the world.

  1. How many grocery bags are found in 1 mile of coastline in a year? (1mile = 5,280 feet)
  2. How many grocery bags are found in 1 mile of coastline in a month?
  3. Every month, 25 volunteers gather at their 1-mile beach to pick up plastic waste.  How many grocery bags does each volunteer need to pick up to clean their beach?
  4. 4.It is reported that the amount of plastic waste will double by 2025. How many grocery bags will be found in 1 mile of coastline in a year of 2025?

 

Source) New York Times, February 12, 2015. Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans

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Answer keys

  1. 26,400 bags (5,280 x 5 = 26,400)
  2. 2,200 bags (26,400 ÷ 12 = 2,200
  3. 88 bags (2,200 ÷ 25 = 88)
  4. 52,800 bags (26,400 x 2 = 52,000)