The us Grand Challenges program and meals rescue organisation OzHarvest joined forces in early September to host a hackathon, the place college students workshopped the query: how can we cut back residential meals waste in high-density city environments? The 2-day occasion introduced collectively Enterprise and Constructed Setting college students and business consultants to brainstorm methods to fight the amount of unused meals that results in landfill.
The occasion was facilitated by UNSW Constructed Setting lecturers Eva Lloyd and Dr Alanya Drummond, with the purpose of elevating consciousness of how a lot meals produced for human consumption globally results in landfill. Analysis exhibits that round 1.three billion tonnes of meals is wasted every year. Half of that waste is generated at residence.
“In Australia, we now have a nationwide goal to halve meals waste by 2030,” Dr Drummond stated.
“To cite OzHarvest’s Struggle Meals Waste marketing campaign — change is required in any respect ranges of society and it begins with altering our behaviour at residence. With comparatively low meals costs, and fixed provide, we now have misplaced our connection to the place it comes from, and its true worth.”
Over the two-day hackathon, 35 college students from six groups heard from greater than 50 audio system and mentors representing fields as various as recycling applied sciences, high-density structure, social entrepreneurship, Indigenous meals administration methods, behaviour change and strata legislation.
Mayor of North Sydney Jilly Gibson and Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and Clarence Slockee impressed college students to strategy the problem from a number of views. Humanitarian response skilled Professor David Sanderson and founding father of the us Centre for Sustainable Supplies Analysis & Expertise (SMaRT) Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla had been different leaders.
“We have to join individuals again to the meals that they eat,” Mayor Gibson informed the group.
“Group gardens are rising at a speedy fee and I really feel if individuals develop their very own scrumptious recent meals, they aren’t going to waste it. In my thoughts, if we are able to make individuals love recent meals, and concentrate on the place that meals has come from, there shall be much less waste.”
The scholars’ options recognized 4 main behaviours to cut back meals waste: look, purchase, retailer, cook dinner.
Dr Drummond and Lloyd had been impressed that the options targeted as a lot on group connection as they did on lowering meals waste.
“The 35 college students throughout the six groups developed options that ranged from a high-tech ‘good’ rubbish chute to kind organics from recyclables, to a cellular neighbourhood kitchen the place you possibly can study recipes from elders,” Lloyd stated.
The successful crew — Group Pantry — took residence the $2000 prize for his or her technique of storing and re-using meals inside high-rise residential towers.
“Group Pantry’s technique concerned a variety of shared storage areas on every flooring to minimise wastage when your dry items sit unused for lengthy durations of time, coupled with rooftop group gardens for rising recent fruit and veg, plus a collection of market day occasions the place neighbours may swap gossip and fridge goodies to create a meal for the block.”
Change on a big scale
The coed proposals will contribute to the following stage of the OzHarvest Struggle Meals Waste marketing campaign.
OzHarvest NSW State Supervisor Richard Watson informed the scholars, “OzHarvest actually values your concepts. I shall be taking them again to the administration crew as a result of combating meals waste within the residence actually is the following port of name for OzHarvest.
“We’ve accomplished quite a lot of work combating meals waste within the business world, however half of the meals wasted is from our houses and we’re actually eager to sort out that problem. I do know we shall be pulling concepts from all the proposals and presenting them ahead to the crew.”
The interdisciplinary nature of the OzHarvest Grand Problem was mirrored within the hackathon’s steering crew that spanned UNSW Constructed Setting, UNSW Enterprise and UNSW Grand Challenges. The crew exemplified collaboration and supplied college students various and progressive interdisciplinary studying experiences.
“Of their groups, college students had been requested to think about their behavioural strengths and weaknesses, quite than simply their disciplinary data,” Lloyd stated. To foster this, “college students adopted ‘hack hats’, together with roles equivalent to ‘the nitty gritty’ who targeted on detailed forecasting or ‘the left area’ who threw surprising concepts into brainstorming periods. This meant their concepts had been multidimensional in technique and extra far-reaching in impression.
“The idea of the hackathon itself in addition to the behavioural ‘hack hats’ and a ‘stay analysis’ discussion board are pedagogical methodologies we’re researching and testing.”
UNSW plans to run one other hackathon subsequent yr targeted on lowering residential meals waste as a part of the Grand Problem on Fast Urbanisation. The Grand Challenges program was established to facilitate vital dialogue on the most important points dealing with humanity.
Picture credit score: ©inventory.adobe.com/au/alisonhancock