September 29th marks the first ever United Nations observed International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, and on this day Green-Schools will celebrate the launch of its tenth and newest Green Flag; Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity.

Food loss and waste is occurring in many of the wealthier countries worldwide, and at an increasingly rapid rate. Now, more so than ever, we need to raise awareness of the seriousness of food waste and collectively implement local actions to resolving the issue. Sustainable food consumption, such as buying local produce or better still growing your own food, contributes both locally and globally towards reducing the often wasteful practices of the global food production system.

On this day, and following a successful two-year pilot with eight dedicated schools, Green-Schools are officially launching their newest theme. The Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity theme is the tenth flag of the Green-Schools programme, with 45 schools nationwide invited to partake in the new theme.

Speaking of the launch, Green-Schools Biodiversity Officer, Dr. Méabh Boylan, said:

“Today marks International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, and the official launch of our latest theme; Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity. We are delighted to be able to offer students a resourceful two-year programme, which will give them the opportunity to take their classroom into the outdoors and to develop life-long skills in growing, preparing and valuing food produce”

Throughout the new theme, schools will be supported through seminars, workshops, lesson plans and a wide range of educational materials. These supports will cover topics including preparing soil, planting seeds, caring for and harvesting crops, and simple recipes for these crops.

Growing our own produce teaches us many lessons about the arduous nature of growing quality food. That practice can be developed within the school grounds, or on a classroom windowsill or even at home. Not only will producing our own food provide us with field-to-fork organic meals but the very practice educates us of the efforts and resources involved with crop farming, and overall it helps to reduce food waste behaviour. Growing our own food, and sourcing local produce actively contributes towards achieving the goals for Sustainable Development Goad 12: Responsible consumption and production, which in turn contributes towards the fight for SDG 2: Zero Hunger and against SDG 13: Climate Change.

Listen back to our Green-Schools Biodiversity Officers, Dr. Méabh Boylan and Clare Patten, speak to regional broadcast radio about the launch of the new theme and hear from Edmonstown N.S., Green-Schools Coordinator Andrea Brocklebank whose students were among the first eight schools to pilot the theme.

Edmondstown N.S. Interview
Tipperary Midwest Community Radio Interview with Dr. Meabh Boylan
Community Radio Castlebar Interview with Dr. Meabh Boylan
Clare Patten Interview with Kilkenny Community Radio

Why not check out some of our newest Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity resources?

Looking at School Lunch Waste
Global Food Issues Quiz