Who wants to help solve the Climate Crisis by going Meatless?!
Challenge your school and/or community to eat meatless on Mondays through a social media challenge! Incentivize participants to post one of their meatless meals on their Instagram story and tag your group’s Instagram account. You can even include a weekly giveaway for your participants!
Made in Partnership with Meatless Monday, part of The Monday Campaigns!
This toolkit address the following Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) within the Performance Expectations of NGSS for Grades: 6-8 and 9-12
- Asking Questions and Defining a Problem
- Planning and Carrying out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Obtaining Evaluating, and Communicating Information
- Students will analyze what meals can help reduce their carbon footprint
- Students will analyze meals before and after the campaign to see how much meat is being consumed
- Project Management
- Students will learn how to manage an educational campaign and engage with an audience
- Students will create an agenda to manage a successful campaign
- Students will exercise effective communication and accountability
- Evaluation and Assessment
- Students will track and evaluate the information they have collected
What You Will Accomplish
You will help the earth by eating meatless! Eating less meat benefits the health of the planet in many ways. The production and transportation of livestock produces large amounts of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.
Additionally, meat and dairy products use significantly more water than plant-based products do.
Why Should You Do a Meatless Monday Campaign?
Research shows that livestock production contributes more greenhouse emissions and consumes more resources than most plant-based foods. The resources provided can be shown as a slideshow or printed out as individual worksheets for students to learn.
Producing meat uses a lot of our earth’s limited natural resources that we count on for survival. For instance, it requires large amounts of water to grow the food that is fed to livestock in addition to the water supply needed to raise the livestock. A 1/4 pound burger uses the same amount of water that could be used to supply 1,700 people for a day (425 gallons)! 
Producing meat is very land intensive with millions of acres of forests being cleared every year for cattle production. Seventy-five percent of Earth’s agricultural land is used for livestock production. 
On top of all of this, greenhouse gasses are emitted during every phase of meat production contributing to global warming and the climate crisis. According to UN FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), global livestock production creates 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Eating one less serving of beef each Monday for a year saves the same amount of CO2 emissions released when driving 348 miles in a vehicle. 
Factory Farming is an Environmental Justice Issue
Industrial food production, also known as animal factory farms, creates numerous environmental/health-related issues within the regions they occupy; this includes pollution, land runoff, emissions, etc. More often than not, disenfranchised communities reside in close proximity to these industrial complexes, which can lead to various health issues as a result of production outputs. For instance, factory farms include massive lagoons filled with tons of excrement that can enter the water supply and smell so terribly that neighbors can’t spend time outside. Also, many of the people involved in processing industrially produced meat work in incredibly unsafe conditions and are underpaid. Learn more about the environmental justice issues related to the production of factory-farmed meat.
[Extra Resource] Join the Meatless Monday Global Movement (Video)
Watch these videos to learn how you can “green” your diet!
Think About It!
- How does meat consumption affect the environment?
- What are ways to reduce meat consumption and increase consumption of plant-based food?
- Why is it important to eat a more plant-based diet?
- What effect does livestock production have on global resources? List a few examples.
Take Action: How to LAUNCH a Meatless Monday Campaign
Follow the steps below to set up a successful Campus Food Rescue at your school! Need help? Contact us!
Step 1: Decide Who’s Participating
Who’s on your Campaign team? What roles will each student have? Use our Team Organizer resource to help get organized!
- Social Media Administrators
- Prize Managers (for getting prizes and distributing them)
Step 2: Choose a Target Audience
Who do you want to go meatless on Mondays? Who is doing the activity?
- A Class: 1-10 Students
- Your Grade Level
- Your Whole School
- Your Community (this can include your school/parents/other residents in your community)
Step 3: Get Social!
Create an Instagram or other social media account for your team that all members will be able to access and post on (if the school or team already has an established account, you can use that one). Here are some extra resources from the Monday Campaigns for some inspiration:
- Environmental social media graphics
- Meatless Monday Challenge
- K-12 sample social media posts
- Social media ambassador guide
- Climate Week social media sample posts
If using Instagram, make sure the Instagram account is a business account. This will allow you to see impact statistics on how many people you are able to reach, how many people share your posts, etc!
Step 4: Plan Your Template
Once the Instagram/social media account has been created, decide which platform you will use to create infographics (images that show information or data) for your posts (Google Slides, Canva, etc.).
Create a free account on Canva.com and use their social media templates.
Step 5: Design Your Posts
Create an infographic to announce your Meatless Monday campaign a week prior to the date you plan on launching.
- Create multiple hashtags that will represent your campaign. Hashtags should include the name of your group, your school, or your community, followed by “Meatless Monday” in addition to #MeatlessMonday on its own. Ex: #southbaymeatlessmondays #MeatlessMonday #GradesofGreen. Use this hashtag in all of your posts. For an added bonus, make sure to tag @MeatlessMonday and @GradesofGreen on all your posts as well.
- Leading up to the launch of your first Meatless Monday, create infographics and post them on Instagram containing statistics on plant-based diets, Meatless Monday, etc.
Get creative with your Meatless Campaign by creating videos, reels, stories, and TikToks. This is a great way to keep your audience engaged and its fun!
Step 6: Launch your first Meatless Monday!
- Post on your feed to announce the start of the campaign and encourage people to participate by posting their meatless meal on their story!
- Share participants’ posts on your story!
- Have all members of your team participate and have them encourage friends and family to do so as well. Here are some great recipes to get you started!
Step 7: Stay on Schedule
Create a weekly schedule in which you will post infographics with statistics that will help inform people of the effects of their diets and encourage them to participate in your Meatless Monday!
To incentivize more people to participate in your Meatless Monday, use this template to reach out to local plant-based businesses to donate to your campaign! Once participants post their meal on their story, enter them in a raffle to win the prize that was donated to you! Post the winners the next day on your Instagram story. (While this step is not at all necessary, it will greatly increase participation in your project, and local businesses love to donate to these types of causes!)
Step 8: Switch Off
Choose one person a week to “take over” on the Instagram story. Get organized with this sign-up sheet. Have them post all of their meatless meals. Have fun with it!
Step 9: Repeat
Repeat for however many weeks you wish your campaign to last.
Keep track of how many participants you have and use the statistics below to add up how many resources you saved by the end of your campaign.
- Eating fully plant based food for a day is estimated to save 1 animal life, 1,100 gallons of water, 40 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forest, and 20 lbs CO2.
How’d It Go?
- How many people participated in your Meatless Monday campaign? Use the statistics from your Instagram account to measure participation.
- How many resources (relative) was your campaign able to conserve/how much greenhouse gas were you able to prevent from going into the atmosphere?
- Did participating in this campaign change the way you/your team view food? How?
- How will this campaign change the future habits of your team/its participants?
Report Students’ Impact
Congratulations!! You’ve implemented Meatless Monday! Don’t let all that hard work go unnoticed. Submit your results by clicking the green button below.
Project ongoing? No problem! Let us know what you’ve done so far.
By reporting your impact, Grades of Green can:
- CELEBRATE and elevate your students’ hard work and success.
- Offer our programs FREE for all students across the globe.
- AWARD stipends and certificates to hard-working educators and students.
Please take a few minutes to submit your results. Thank you!
- The Monday Campaigns
- How to create a business Instagram account
- How to create a Canva account
- Canva basic tutorial (Canva also has pre-made templates you can use!)
- Canva Templates
- Social Media Schedule
- Template to Request Donations
- Educational resource links
- Team Organizer and Story Take-Over Sign Up
- Vegan Calculator
- Meatless Monday Slides
Congrats on completing Meatless Monday!
Did you enjoy this toolkit? Find your next project here!