Små initiativer mod det store madspild
On 17th of August, the Super 17 team left Copenhagen and travelled to Aarhus in a train to visit an organization working to minimise food waste and poverty. We are assigned with different goals each day, and today was the day of Goal number 12, that is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, so we went to visit the places that were working related to those goals.
We were introduced to a food bank team, and came to know how the organisation works with food safety and mobilisation of lots of volunteers to work for a noble cause in the society. People who are retired from their jobs, students and anyone who would like to support this cause, can volunteer and be a part of the organisation.
The food bank do not just supply food, it focuses mainly on supplying nutritious food for those who cannot afford it. For this, they collect all the rejected food from supermarkets, check the expiry dates and do the proper management and supervision of the food - and eventually it will be distributed among people.
For this they have made a contact with different other organisations, that are working for people with certain needs; homeless and elderly people. In order to have the rejected food in their collection, they make an agreement with the companies. They are doing this in order to secure that everyone in Denmark is getting adequate nutritious food to eat and that nobody is deprived from eating, just because she or he cannot afford to buy those fooditems.
One of the companies they are getting food from is Kellog’s. The company calls the food bank to take away damaged packages, in which the food is still in good condition. For them repackaging is more expensive than throwing it away.
We also went to an institution working for homeless people to distribute the food. It was a nice feeling as we were helping them by unloading and passing out the stuff they need.
Soon after, we went to another organization named Reuse Aarhus, located in another part of Aarhus city. This organization also followed the same concept as food bank, but with a different objective. Here people can drop off the unwanted things, that they do not want to use anymore. The items includes kitchen wears, books and furniture, including the gadgets and toys for kids. They also have a space, where people can built something on their own. They were opened in April 2014.
After this we went to one special school, where they take care of people with different disabilities. The place has a peaceful and harmonious environment to live in. Here everyone is treated equally and with special love and care. This school has an unique way of dealing all the wastage foods. They are against wasting food and they highly believe in the concept of reuse and recycling.
They use solar panels to get the electricity and heat from the earth. They produced enough solar energy to distribute to their neighbors as well. The teachers of the schools welcome new ideas from the students, which means they encourage their students to think. Teachers just facilitates to implement those ideas in a broader level. They are also implementing several other ideas to deal with food wastage and garbage management. For food, they are using plates that are as small as possible, clean tables fast so that the food doesn’t get cold and they don’t have to throw it away; foods left in dinner can be used in the morning, left over breads can be reused by making new breads or new ingredients out of it. They also try to use less meat and more vegetables, to use seasonal fruits and vegetables, and the school inspires students to play their role on wasting less food by encouraging them to take less portions onto their plates so that they don’t have to throw it away, shopping locally to encourage and support local markets, sharing food with neighbors etc. And in terms of waste management, they have separate bins for different types of waste, like for papers, cans and bio degradable waste.
At last, talking about everything that we learned today regarding goal 12 was:
- Think of creative solutions, think outside the box, think in a bigger picture. Things that might not be a big thing for us can certainly be a very serious problem on the other side of the world.
- Proper management of food can give an opportunity for everyone to eat, not only eat but to eat nutritious food in an adequate amount
- Collective effort from government, citizen and NGOs can only make this happen. We need to be self-conscious and sensitize.
- All need to contribute equally in order to achieve goal number 12, both developed and developing nations. We need to help and understand each other
- Sustainable change comes from the bottom. Bottom to top approach is needed in order to achieve this goal. Each individual needs to understand by themselves and act upon it rather than government or NGOs forcing them.
- You cannot force anyone to make a change in the society. You can inspire but cannot force.
- Rely on renewable resources like solar and wind so that it can last long and is also less expensive. It equally is very good for environment.
- Think about environment and cook seasonal and organic food.
- Unbalanced Consumption and production patterns can also adversely effect the environment
- Exchange and spread knowledge, inspire and educate people
- Reduce generated wastage by reusing or recycling it
- Use of 3R: Recycle, Reuse and Reduce
- Think of the consequences and impact we make to the poor people by throwing food off our tables: their investment effort, time and energy to produce it.