The team identified that whilst there was lots of big data about food waste trends, this was not tangible, and not personal to individuals, and therefore a lack of data about personalised trends.
The team believed that if citizens were aware of the own individual food waste trends, this would be an added value influencer in citizens changing their daily habits and reducing their own levels of food waste
Who got involved?
As part of a six-month leadership programme at Knowle West Media Centre, called The Change Creators , 11 young adults aged 18-25 followed The Bristol Approach to develop a social change campaign, using citizen sensing practices, to identify an issue they cared about and gather relevant data to help them tackle it.
How did they sense the problem?
The group created a campaign called ‘Wastey Food’. They wanted to ensure that people weren’t confused by food labelling and understood the difference between ‘sell by’, ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
They had lots of questions: can we sense if food is going out of date? Could a label change colour if the food omits a gas, or a re-useable container start to react when food is going out of date? How often are food bins being opened and closed and when? How far does food travel to be disposed of?
What was created?
They collaborated with creative technologists Altitude Tech to develop working prototypes (commons tools), which would enable them to collect the data required.
Wastey Food co-created the idea to develop a ‘SMART bin’, later named ‘Food Boy’. Food Boy was designed to collect household data about;
The type of food wasted
The time of day food was wasted
The amount of food wasted
Wastey Food also collaborated with food waste projects via social media, attended local reducing food waste events and met with Bristol City council to take learnings from their food waste campaign and utilise the open data collected on the city’s habits.