MAIN TOPIC OF THE VIDEO: Carbon emissions related to food choices
- The car race is between Green Ninja and Carbon Ninja. What is carbon?
- Why is too much carbon in the atmosphere a bad thing?
- What does it mean to have a “carbon footprint”? How is it measured?
- During the race, Green Ninja and Carbon Ninja are given the opportunity to choose the type of food they want to consume in order to fuel their car. Explain how their choices affected their CO2 levels.
- Right after Carbon Ninja consumes meat products, he is able to use power boost. What happened whenever Carbon Ninja uses power boost? Does power boost last for a long time?
- Compare and contrast the immediate and long-term effects of Carbon Ninja’s “ultra boost” versus Green Ninja’s version of it.
- Describe a typical dinnertime meal at your household. Which foods are included in your meal and how do you think they rank in carbon emissions?
- The end of the video states that “veggies, grains, and chicken will take you 10 times further per pound of CO2 emitted compared to meat like beef and pork.” Peruse the information from the following webpages to see why many meat products have high carbon footprints. Explain the reasoning in your own words and list at least three factors that cause them to have high carbon footprints.
- Looking back at your answer to #1, how might you alter a typical dinnertime meal at your household to reduce your carbon footprint?
ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
- Carbon is an element that exists in all living things. It can combine with other elements to create molecules. The most familiar one to us is carbon dioxide, CO2.
- Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Increased levels of greenhouse gases have contributed to global climate change — rising temperatures.
- Carbon footprint is a way to measure the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by our daily activities. Typically it is measured in “metric tons” of CO2. A quick Google search for “carbon footprint calculator” will generate a number of free online calculators that ask you a series of questions about your daily life in order to give you an estimation of your carbon footprint.
- Ham vs. Bowl of Cereal: Ham caused Carbon Ninja to gain three bars of CO2. Green Ninja only gained one bar of CO2 from consuming the bowl of cereal. Turkey Sandwich vs. Hot Dog: The hot dog caused Carbon Ninja to gain four more bars of CO2. Green Ninja only gained another bar of CO2 from consuming the turkey sandwich. Veggie Pizza vs. Cheeseburger: Green Ninja only gained one bar of CO2 from consuming the veggie pizza. The cheeseburger caused Carbon Ninja’s CO2 levels to go off the chart.
- Power boost enables Carbon Ninja’s car speed to increase greatly, although it only lasts for a few seconds before it loses power.
- Carbon Ninja’s ultra boost gives him a super boost of power, allowing him to go very fast. However, his CO2 levels maxes out on the scale and there is a machine overload, causing his car to die completely. Green Ninja’s boost comes from his use of vegetables and grains mainly (his ultra boost machinery are carrots).
- Answers may vary, but in general meat products are associated with a lot more carbon emissions than plant products. See the chart on this webpage as a reference:
- Answers may vary, but should mention less consumption of meat products, especially beef and lamb.
- Answers may vary.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND LEARNING EXPERIENCES:
- Every time Carbon Ninja chose to consume meat products, the level of CO2 increased and he was able to “power/ultra boost” his speed, but quickly lost power. How might this reflect real-world scenarios as you consume food? Discussion may include points such as drawing parallels that consumption of meat products are NOT SUSTAINABLE for our natural resources, just like power boosts dependent on meat products. They may give you an initial surge of energy, but that energy quickly fades. “Veggies, grains, and chicken will take you 10 times further per pound of CO2 emitted.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND RESOURCES:
- “Engaging Students Through Global Issues” from Facing the Future. Lesson 12: Watch Where You Step
Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Hannah Sun.