Menus to Save the Earth

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will understand the impact that packaging and out of season items have on the environment. Students will create a week long menu using only basic foods and in-season items available in the area.

Grade Level: 9 - 12th

Subject: Environmental, Science

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Objectives & Outcomes

Learners will be able to find appropriate meal options to create an environmental impact and a financial one.

Materials Needed

  • paper
  • pencil
  • computer access
  • list of seasonal foods for the area


Opening to Lesson

Begin by asking students a question: How does buying prepackaged products or food that is out of season affect the environment? Answer: Additional fuel costs for transport as well as environmental impact of that transport, additional packaging and preservatives with an environmental impact, financial impact as it costs more out of season and with packaging, etc.

Body of Lesson

  • Tell students that they are being challenged to help save the environment one meal at a time.
  • Explain that you have a list of seasonal foods that are available at a local market(stand/farmer’s market).
  • Have students create a menu for an entire week (two to three meals daily) that uses only items that are seasonal (this does not include spices or basic ingredients).
  • This can include meats if during the season in which the meat is most readily available.
  • Winter usually means beef prices rise so this is not seasonal.
  • Allow students to use the computer to find simple recipes to share with their menu items.


Challenge students to create their meals for the week and see how their family and friends enjoy the seasonal items.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will be assessed on participation through valid choices and creation of a week-long menu

Modification & Differentiation

Students may need some guidance in getting started or could work in a small group.

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