‘Students for Sustainable Food’ is a project run by a group of students from the University of Bath from a variety of backgrounds, working alongside senior members of staff to improve food sustainability amongst our university population.
The project commenced at the start of the academic year 2020/21, as part of a series of ‘Vertically Integrated Projects’. As part of the project, we are focusing on recognising the impact of food wastage on environment and collaborate on ideas to tackle these issues. This includes spotlighting the university’s food waste policy, on-campus food outlets and student contribution to waste.
From researching the climate effects of the different foods we eat, to gathering data on students’ attitudes towards food waste, we plan to tackle the issue from the source, so both students and staff are contributing to the solution. The overall aim is to change the culture surrounding food waste and to create a more sustainable environment on campus. The project comes amidst Food Waste Action Week, which was launched this year to spark conversations about the link that food waste has on climate change.
Globally, 1/3rd of waste that is grown is thrown away or wasted. In the UK alone this totals £19 billion a year, £13 billion of which is avoidable. Shockingly, this produces 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – equalling 212,227,712 barrels of petrol consumed. To put this into perspective, we would need to plant two forests the size of the UK every year to offset the impact.
In the last few years, charities have sprung up across the UK as well as projects like The Real Junk Food Project who seek to intercept and redistribute food waste to those who need it most.
Students for Sustainable Food have launched a survey for Bath students, to understand food habits and the primary reasons behind waste at the university. Eventually, we aim to work with students and other stakeholders to develop solutions to the problem.