Thinking Outside the (Lunch) Box – Establishing a Food Carbon Footprint

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Faculty Mentor/s:  Don Morris, Environmental Initiative; Katharine Targett Gross, Sustainability Director

 

Students on the team this summer: 

Keira Englehart – 2022 – UG - Chemistry

Kaya Harper – 2022 – UG - BS Molecular Biology

Christine Mosley – 2022 – UG - Earth and Environmental Science

Zhihao Guo – 2023 – UG - Chemical Engineering

Joe Malisov – 2021 – UG - Computer Science (B.S.)

 

Project Description: Have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of the foods eaten at on Lehigh’s campus?  In this project, students will create a food carbon footprint calculator that suits Lehigh Dining’s needs to determine which menu items are the most and least carbon intensive. This end goal will allow Lehigh Dining to provide a carbon footprint (red - high, yellow - medium, green - low) for key menu items at dining locations across campus.  This will encourage students, faculty, and staff to choose to alter their food choices based on the impact of the menu item.  The students will collect and analyze data from Lehigh Dining, review existing carbon footprint calculators, and examine current practices in the restaurant industry and at colleges/universities.  Students will be working with different kinds of data including recipe ingredients, ingredient quantities, distance of ingredient sourcing, food carbon intensities, etc.

 

Month/Year Project Began:JUNE 2020