Our group project explored possibilities to close gaps of food waste management within UTS. We focused on the platform of education supported by fun theory. This idea developed from the education that was provided within this subject from the start till the end of the semester; it helped our group to change our own personal practices regarding food waste thus we felt that there was a need for spreading this valuable information.
We gained knowledge on this topic by conducting a series of research processes that included defining a boundary for the research, personal interviews, surveys, literature review, auditing and bodies within UTS that were successful at educating students about serious issues.
In order to address the problem we first started with mapping our our boundary and the factors that contributed to food waste within UTS.
Using the boundaries mapping exercise, we were able to narrow down onto our research question and it helped us focus on the specific platform we wanted to choose to educate the student body. We realised education starts on the first day of university itself at orientation day where students from different cultures and values come together to share experiences. It seemed like a great opportunity to make them aware about food waste practices and Sustainability Goals at UTS as well as set common targets to eliminate food waste.
We further did a STEEP Analysis which stated factors that would influence our campaign. Through the combination of STEEP analysis, mapping and literature reviews we recognised the importance of a collaborative approach that was required within different stakeholders in order to make this campaign successful.
We created a structural chart of the stakeholders and their impact on the process of our campaign. This identified that one stakeholder may have more importance over another. We noticed that UTS:Greens was an existing body that was working towards similar goals as set by our group. So we further interviewed Seb Crawford (UTS Green, Sustainability Coordinator) and learnt about the efforts/strategies that were already implemented to address the issue of food waste management and education. He mentioned that, “most of the education happened only during the rollout of the food waste stream under branding of “UTS Cleans up”, this initiative was introduced in 2015 that focussed on waste segregation in order to pilot the composting machine on campus, Building 10”.
We wanted to know the existing knowledge of these systems and campaigns amongst Students so we conducted Surveys to analyse the percentage that was unaware
After getting the survey results, it was clear that there was a lack of interaction between the existing systems and the stakeholders of food waste at UTS, thus closing the gap through education supported visual communication and campaigns seemed like a good idea.
We conducted another Interview with Simone Sorters (Batyr@UTS); Batyr has been successful at educating students about mental health awareness at UTS through campaigns and events. Through a (Impact Report 2016) report we discovered that 80% of the responders were satisfied with their program and felt that their idea was successfully communicated and understood by the target audience (students).
Overview | University of Technology Sydney. 2017. Overview | University of Technology Sydney.: https://www.uts.edu.au/staff/cleans-up/overview.
UTS Green Policies & Strategies, University of Technology Sydney https://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/uts-green/governance/policies-and-strategies , viewed on June 10 2017
UTS Sustainability Strategy 2020,https://www.uts.edu.au/file/utssustainabilitystrategyfinalwebpdf, viewed on June 10 2017