Design Your Own Project


The food on your plate tells a story. Before it gets there it’s already been through quite an adventure. Beyond that delectable moment when you sit down to enjoy a meal is a complex web of people and processes that contribute to our food system; not only in helping provide us with lots of delicious things to eat, but disposing of what doesn’t get eaten too. We want you to engage with the broad implications of food waste and the various stages of production, consumption and disposal. Think about where your food comes from, and where it ends up; go out into your community and talk to people about their role in the food system and how it affects them. The idea then is to use the information you gather to inspire a workable method for reducing food waste in your area. 


A spirit of collaboration and consultation should play a part at each stage of your project; in ascertaining where and how food waste is arising, in developing your ideas and finally in deciding on your proposal. We want to see a strong level of participation, not only amongst students but in the broader community too. This could mean involving a school committee, approaching the local council or engaging community groups, local businesses or farmers.


It can also be useful to explore social questions pertaining to food waste. This could include a focus on its political, economic and health implications. With this knowledge it’s possible to develop a strategy or to build on an existing method that’s suitable for your community. Our motto is “Act local, think global!” Small actions can make great changes.




Open: 1st January 2016

Close: 31st May 2016

Winners announced: 20th June 2016

How your entries will be judged


We want to see a real engagement with the issue of food waste and its multiple implications. You should demonstrate a thorough consideration of the potential impact of your proposal, detailing who will be affected.


Collaboration and community involvement
Judges are looking for entries where there has been a genuine consultative process amongst students and across the community in order to develop the idea. You should provide evidence of this in your submission.


We’d like to see evidence that students have thought about the long-term plans for their project. For example; the transferability of the idea to other communities and the sustainability of the idea beyond the period of initial funding.



  • Entries do not have to conform to a specific format and can be presented using any digital platform (pdf, video, powerpoint etc) and sent via email. They could be anything ranging from inventions to awareness raising programmes. Be creative - but realistic too! We want ideas that we could really make happen. As such, we’d also like you to include a financial plan for realising your proposal. 

  • Projects can be targeted at any level of the community (school, home, neighbourhood, town etc.)

  • Proposals must be written in English


Possible areas for consideration


Social Context: A lack of awareness about how much food is being wasted and about the benefits of tackling food waste
Solutions: Educational initiatives 
How we shop: Temptation to buy more; increased choice, ease of purchase, promotions, shorter shelf lives, pressure to buy healthy, stocking up to avoid return trips, lack of planning
Solutions: sticking to a shopping list, buying on offer, meal planning, pre-shop, making a list, cupboard checking


How we eat: Expectations of perfectly formed food, cooking excessive amounts, snacking
Solution: measuring out portions, freezing or making new dishes with any leftovers


Food knowledge: Storage and preservation methods, costs of food waste, overcautious date labels confuse and frighten customers so that they throw out food that is fine
Solution: Education on fridge temperature, the use of packaging and storing each food in the conditions most conducive to its preservation


How we dispose: Throwing edible food away, lack of disposal options, not liking what is made (children)
Solution: Use of leftovers, use of labels, pragmatic adherence to use-by dates, making use of what you’ve got with creative recipes

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