Food waste: Educate to mitigate

Food waste: Educate to mitigate

School:

UBC

Department:

Land and Food Systems

Course:

LFS 350

Instructors:

  • Will Valley

City of Vancouver:

  • Erin Nichols

Student Team:

  • Damara Featherstone
  • Annie Lin
  • Jiahao Li
  • Vania Koesjadhi
  • Arvin Bains
  • Davis Lau

Strategy:

  • Climate Emergency Plan

City goal area:

  • Zero Waste

Term:

Spring 2020

Summary

Our project identified and recommended noteworthy educational strategies that can be implemented to educate the public about “best before” date labelling. By implementing promising educational strategies to correct misconceptions that exist regarding “best before” date labelling on food products, we can facilitate household food waste prevention. 

The most promising educational strategies we found were Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) and Behavioural Insights. CBSM combines knowledge from psychology and social marketing to identify barriers to behavioural changes and develops strategies to overcome them. 

Behavioural Insights (BI) mixes economic strategies and insights from psychology, cognitive science, and other social sciences to understand how people think, behave, and make decisions under differing conditions, and uses these insights to improve the design and delivery of programs and services. 

This project has laid the groundwork for the creation and implementation of a public education campaign pilot project addressing best before date confusion. The next steps forward would be following the guidelines of CBSM and BI, as outlined in our final report, to implement pilot programs within grocery stores.