Post D – Literature Review: OZ Harvest.

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‘Oz Harvest’, founded in 2004, collects excess food from various outlets that would otherwise become waste. Operating in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Queensland and Melbourne (along with regional programs) – They have a far reaching network, eliminating the creation of organic waste Australia wide.

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The collected produce is distributed to over 900 charities, supporting those without basic access to regular fresh food. Oz Harvest have collected over 20,000 tonnes of food, transformed to 60 million meals that would have usually been dumped in landfill.

Several systems are in place, ranging from waste collection and redistribution to educational programs. ‘NEST’, by Oz Harvest, provides education surrounding nutrition and food intake. Targeting disadvantaged areas of the community, they are providing information to those who need it. Along with ‘NEST’, Oz Harvest has ‘Nourish’. Focused on the hospitality industry, the program targets youth working with food. They train their audience in proper food practices, focused on eliminating waste. Perhaps most interesting, OzHarvest Market (another initiative) engages the community as Australia’s rescued food supermarket.

“For every dollar invested in OzHarvest, (their) food rescue operations return $6.75 to the community through reduced food expenditure for charitable agencies”. Their organisation makes sense on an economic, social, and environmental level.

Analysing their annual report for operations during 2016, OZ Harvest boasts some impressive statistics. The impact of their origination is clear, the effectiveness of such a strategy will hopefully influence future waste management programs.

The information presented is easily accessible, well presented and clear. Particularly in the case of their annual reporting. They report no only outlines their achievement, it also displays general information on food waste in Australia. The organisation is both managing waste and educating communities on the extent of waste problems.

Although mostly operating on a local level, Oz Harvest have worked internationally. Across Asian Pacific, they have engaged one time events. Partnering with local chefs,  they served over 2,000 meals that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. This has sparked global interests. Moving forward, OZ Harvest aims to take their operations overseas.

In the context of food/organic waste management, I feel OZ Harvest are championing a sustainable, innovative model. The benefits extend beyond simply reducing landfill. Through educational programs and charitable services, OZ Harvest is working to shift society attitudes and values around waste. The ethical nature of their organisation is refreshing, with results looking positive. I feel programs o such as those mentioned above will help shape the future of waste management.

References

OzHarvest.org. 2004. OzHarvest. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ozharvest.org/. [Accessed 16 June 2017].

OzHarvest.org. 2016. The OzHarvest Effect 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ozharvest.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/04/OZHF0034F_OzHarvest_AnnualReport_Book2_FA3_LR41.pdf. [Accessed 17 June 2017].

Post C – Data Method Reflection

Data collection is an extremely important part of any design process. 

Reflecting on our research, I believe we overextended ourselves. This negatively affected our final presentation, as we struggled to communicate both our research and final proposal. Despite this, our research is highly relevant and the final outcome would not have been reached without it.

Stakeholder Analysis:

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Stakeholders surrounding our proposal were carefully mapped out alongside our boundaries. The information has been presented in order to highlight hierarchy.

Mind-mapping / Identifying Boundaries:

Working through our scheduled classes, we engaged in a variety of brainstorming exercises. the exercises resulted in a range of mind-maps exploring the various factors of waste management at UTS. As we collectively defined a focus for our project, the exercises helped to constrain our brief.

Literature Reviews:

In order to better support our education focused intervention, multiple literary reviews were conducted.

Empowering Education: critical teaching for social change – I. Shot (1992). This text was vital, justifying our emphasis on education. The text looks at the of role critical teaching. Ultimately, the text highlighted the responsibility of educational institutions to embed good social practices into eduction, guiding social change.   

Waste Education and Awareness Strategy: towards solid waste management (SWM) program at UKM – A. Desa (2012). A research paper surveying university students in the context of waste management. Surveying over 500 students, it was revealed that almost half had negative attitudes towards waste management. It proposed that education and awareness strategies are needed to shift attitudes.

STEEP Analysis:

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Surveys:

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Interviews:

Seb Crawford (Sustainability Coordinator, UTS Green) – Mr Crawford was interviewed in regards to the current food waste management strategies at UTS. We learn that ‘UTS Cleans Up’ (launched 2015) currently carries this weight. The strategy revolves around the segregation of waste (Building 10 Only), in preparation for future composting strategies on campus. It became clear that our proposal had merit, running our campaign parallel to present systems would increase awareness and help expand on current efforts.

Simone Sorters (Batyr UTS) – Ms Sorters uses on campus events to educate/support students in issues surrounding mental health. Due to Sorters input, we engaged in the ‘Impact Report 2016” This revealed the overwhelmingly positive results of Sorters’ efforts. Again, this contact spread confidence in our brief, it was important to see this campaign working across other issues.

Ultimately, our research extended beyond our initial goals, this led to great insight but disturbed the balance of our project.

References

Desa, A, 2012. Waste Education and Awareness Strategy: towards solid waste management (SWM) program at UKM. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, [Online]. 59, 47-50. Available at: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042812036853/1-s2.0-S1877042812036853-main.pdf?_tid=aa536d8a-4aa4-11e7-b233-00000aacb360&acdnat=1496745855_bb98a80e33f295550c46a1e8ea5a5f12 [Accessed 31 May 2017].

Shor, I, 1992. Empowering Education: critical teaching for social change. 1st ed. Chicago 60637: The University of Chicago Press.

Post B – Liner Design Reflection

Reflecting on the completion of our project, I feel we successfully communicated the objectives outlined below. With a focus on simplicity and clarity, we aimed to present an easily digestible / concise design.

I have included our groups main objectives below:

 

Clarity | Simplicity | Affordability | Practicality

We aim to simplify the existing caddy liner, whilst still maintaining durability. The practicality of our design must reinforce and encourage continued use.

The accompanying instructions will align with the above objective. They too must be clear, concise, and easily read.

We aim to present an effective liner solution, accompanied with instruction assessable to all.

We want out liner method to be visible and viable.

 

Reflecting on the collaborative nature of interdisciplinary lab, working with peers across disciplines allowed for unique perspectives. Collectively working together highlighted each individuals strengths, allowing for equal (and varied) input.

As a student of Visual Communication, I found working with members of Integrated Product Design enlightening. Approaching the initial task their input surrounding the physical aspects of the caddy were invaluable. Prior to the project, I had little understanding of IPD and the practices involved. Working alongside students in this field (nearing the end of their study) revealed their practical hands on approach. Their focus on the tactile experience, functionality, and user experience have had influence over my own studies.

Students of Fashion Design proved that they (as with IPD) have strong hand skills, integral in the origami-like process of designing our newspaper liner. Their skills aligned well with the task at hand. Particularly present in our group, students of Fashion Design had strong organisational skills. 

Students of Visual Communication concerned themselves with the clarity of our printed documentation. Their focus on aesthetics allowed for the successful communication of our groups’ shared vision. The input by our team of ‘Vis Com’ students was particularly important towards the completion of our project. Strengths surrounding, hierarchy of information, typography, and clarity of communication can be seen in our final instructions. 

It is important to include designers when intervening in organic waste systems/management. The social nature of this problem calls for engaging communication. The issue relies on both the integration of successful/practical systems, alongside engaging, educating, and conveying the problems those involved.  As designers we provide important input surrounding the user experience, aesthetics, and clarity of the product/system.

Instructions Bingo

Ultimately, I enjoyed the project. It’s real world application enhanced my interest and engagement. Our group, I feel, had strong collaborative chemistry. Collectively we worked well together, this allowed for a free and energetic process. Although our solution to the caddy liner may never be applied outside of this project, I feel we successfully refined the design into a simpler solution.   

Post A – Organic Waste Audit (24 hours)

My 24 Hour Audit

I conducted my audit surrounding a normal days food consumption. It is not uncommon for me to start the day with a light breakfast, store bought lunch, and home cooked dinner (dinner usually generating the most organic and general waste).

With Australians expelling $5.2 Billion in food wastage every year (Closed Loop, 2017), it is clear there is a major problem in our systems surrounding the management of organic food waste. After conducting my audit, I believe I am part of this problem. This exercise has encouraged me to better manage my waste output.

Despite my efforts to increase focus surrounding organic waste – Turner, B. (2014) “estimates that between 10 and 40 per cent of the world’s total food production is lost at some stage in the food system from production to consumption”. I can certainly see as to how I am personally responsible, aiding the above figures through my own neglect surrounding organic waste.   

Breakfast:

Starting the day, I really eat a large meal – sometimes skipping breakfast entirely.

Coffee – I make a coffee at home, using Nespresso coffee pods. There is little organic waste in this process. However we collect, freeze, and store the left over pods to be returned to the Nespresso store. The coffee and pods are repurposed and disposed off according to their company’s recycling policy. Although this process is invisible to the consumer, you must have faith that the waste is disposed of correctly.

Mandarin – Most mornings I will have fruit. In this case the mandarin’s peel is left over as organic waste. As I am travelling in the morning, I disposed of the peel into general waste. I feel if I had the option to dispose of my waste properly, I would do so. However, under the circumstances I had to use a general waste bin.

Lunch:

On the day of my audit I was travelling and did not preparer my lunch at home – I had take away sushi, this is a common lunch option for me.

Pre-packaged sushi – The resulting food waste after completing my meal was minimal, I consumed all components of the meal. However, as the meal was purchased from a store, their waste management systems were not seen. Although the store would want to minimise waste to increase profit, I feel that there would be a large amount of both organic and general waste.

Dinner:

Dinner (unsurprisingly) generates the most organic waste of all my daily meals. I live with three adults. Our meals are usually home cooked, adjusted to the needs of our house hold. There is little wastage after the meal. However, I noticed during the cooking process much organic waste is produced.

Pork Chops (x6) – The pork was consumed entirely, aside from the bones. We have no formal composting/food waste systems. However, we do have two family dogs. The bones were passed onto our dogs, I feel this appropriately deals with our organic waste.

Fried Rice with Bok Choy – This dish resulted in the most organic waste. We had leftover food that was kept to be eaten later. Although this did minimise wastage, there was still waste disposed of during the cooking process. We do not have a council issued organic waste system, this saw the waste being mixed into our general rubbish bin. I’m now seeing that we are part of a much larger problem.

Onion (x2) – Another culprit causing organic waste. The onion accompanied our dish. Although a large amount of the product (skin, core and unused vegetable) found its way into the general waste. Taking the time to audit and evaluate our household waste, it has become clear that we need to implement some system to reduce harm.

Snacks:

Muesli BarNo organic waste was produced, only general rubbish. However, trying to deconstruct how the pre-packaged bar was made is difficult. One would assume there is a large wastage factor involved.

Coca-cola Soft Drink – Again, no organic waste. I disposed of the aluminium can in the correct waste bin, hopefully the can will be reused/repurposed. 

Audit Written Notes

UTS Audit

Looking at the style of the food served at UTS’s book launch (and the context in which the food was consumed), I feel minimising wastage and harm were of high priority. The serving methods of the food aimed to have minimal dependence on packaging and serving utensils. The food encouraged guests to use their hands, physically interacting with the dishes.

Although it was hard to get a real glimpse of how the canapés and dips were produced and disposed of, I had a strong sense that UTS would be doing all they could to reduce organic and general waste.

Due to the strong focus on sustainability and eco-friendly waste management (UTS waste compactor) I feel the organic waste was dealt with appropriately.

References

Turner, B, 2014. Food waste, intimacy and compost: The stirrings of a new ecology?. Journal of Media Arts Culture, [Online]. 11, 1. Available at: http://scan.net.au/scn/journal/vol11number1/Bethaney-Turner.html [Accessed 3 April 2017].

Closed Loop. 2017. Waste Audit. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.closedloop.com.au/products-and-services/waste-audit. [Accessed 3 April 2017].