The Water Planet Challenge has just released their What’s On Your Fork? lesson plan. This educational resource encourages students to investigate many of the challenges facing our food system and to take action in their homes, school and community. For this service learning program, students work in teams to start their own Meatless Monday campaign.
The Water Planet Challenge is a web-based initiative of EarthEco, a non-profit organization that empowers youth to promote cleaner water and sustainable practices. EarthEco was founded in 2000 by Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau and offers a wide variety of educational tools, workshops and interactive resources. These tools are then distributed by Discovery Education to more than half of all U.S. schools.
The What’s On Your Fork? lesson plan identifies the often neglected link between our dietary choices and water waste and pollution. “Food and water are connected and what and how we eat has a huge impact on our critical water resources,” says Philippe Cousteau “we’ve created new tools and resources that will help students understand how making smart choices at the table can have a big impact on their communities and the planet.” The lesson plan encourages middle and high school students to investigate topics like food deserts, public health, protein consumption, agricultural runoff and water waste. Then, teams take an active role in combating these issues by creating a Meatless Monday initiative. For the service section of the lesson plan, students can start a campaign at school, get local restaurants to join the movement, create tools for families to participate at home, or create their own Meatless Monday cookbook.
To help students along, the What’s On Your Fork? lesson plan offers plenty of informative resources including film suggestions, worksheets, interviews, the health and environmental benefits of Meatless Monday, our school and community action kits, the What is Meatless Monday? video and inspiration from other students who have brought the campaign to their community.
For students who are about to embark on this fun and informative service learning mission, Meatless Monday founder Sid Lerner offers the following advice: “Start out small with patience and perseverance, then grow. Remember the message is rational, logical and extremely doable. Meatless Monday supports honest, truthful change and it works!” The lesson plan is now available for free at WaterPlantChallenge.org.