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  • Writer's pictureYouth Energy Squad

Worms and Composting: Reducing Food Waste


Every year, nearly 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted worldwide. That’s about one third of all the food produced globally. Much of that ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and releases large amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Food waste is a daunting problem, but one way communities and individuals are making a difference is composting. Composting helps reduce the amount of food waste going into landfills, improves soil health, and can help produce more nutritious foods.


Goals: Age Group: 7th - 12th grade

  • Think critically about global food waste

  • Understand the benefits of vermicomposting

Supplies: Time: 30 minutes

  • Internet access

  • Phone / computer



Read the article on composting in Detroit, then watch a short composting video. When finished, answer the reflection questions.

Article -

Video -


Reflection Questions

  • Think about your home. How are you when it comes to food waste? What are some things you could do to be better?

  • What are some ways vermicomposting can help make our food system more sustainable?

  • How does using worm castings and compost affect how nutritious our foods are?

  • Worm castings, the nutrient-rich product of vermicomposting, can be sold as an expensive soil additive. How could you see this being beneficial?

  • What about soil in Detroit, makes composting even more beneficial?

  • Besides composting, can you think of any other ways to help reduce food waste?


Resources (a guide to composting) (a guide to worm composting) (Compost/food scrap pickup service in Detroit)

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