It is not an exaggeration to emphasize that food waste is one of the biggest problems in today‘s world. It is known that approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets lost or wasted every year meanwhile almost a billion people are going hungry. Besides, the reality is that in the ‘developed’ world, more than 50% of food waste takes place in our homes. So, the bad news is we are half the problem. But the good news is we can be half the solution!
Precisely for this reason there was a need to gather young people and implement a project which could help to raise consciousness about wasted food problem. Consequently, the most motivated 36 young people from 6 different countries (Turkey, Lithuania, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic and Poland) gathered to the Erasmus+ funded youth exchange named as 4R‘s -Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover“ to create awareness and share their knowledge about food waste. The mobility took place in the beautiful city of Turkey, Mersinbetween the dates 02.03 – 10.03.2019.
The main aim of the project was to increase awareness of environmental and social issues caused by excessive consumerism and incompetent waste management as well as trying to find creative and sustainable solutions for these problems. Therefore, all seven days of the mobility participants were doing various activities in order to understand more about the topic and later to be able to disseminate it to the wider audience. First, participants got the chance to get to know each others and learn international team-work during the team-building activities. Afterwards, in mixed groups they were collecting information about food waste in local communities and online. Finally, after getting plenty information and statistical facts regarding project‘s topic, participants had a goal to design social initiatives which could help to prevent excessive consumption and reduce food waste globally. All created ideas were meaningful and creative. Nevertheless, one initiative stood out from others. One group developed idea about virtual fridge app. With the help of this app people could always know how much food is left in their fridge and what dishes they could make from these leftovers. Hence, all fulfilled activities were significant and encouraged each participant to spread this new gained knowledge to the wider audience.
Thus, as one active participant from Lithuania said: every big change starts with a small step. Although food waste is a global concern, changes must start from each individual household!