From September 2015 to January 2016, a team of 6 students from my school worked in collaboration with a multi-national company based in the US to tackle the problem of global food waste. I co-led this team with a friend.
Co-leaders- Udita Joshi and Shruti Nivas
Team members- Ashwini Bapat, Cydelle Zuzarte, Meenakshi Kamat
Digital designer- Vipul Mane
To further drive the message home, we have illustrated the level of food waste by following a crate of oranges from the farm to our tables. We call this the "Orange Metaphor".
Having deduced that the consumers are the primarily responsible for food waste (especially in the developed nations), we explored the motives behind it.
Putting ourselves in the consumer's shoes, we illustrated causes that can lead to food waste in the consumer cycle (buying, cooking, eating and storing phases)
Our creativity sessions were based on the insight statements.
Our concepts ranged from products in the store to help you buy only what you need, to cooking aids, to food- waste donation drives. Eventually we were asked to focus on better methods of storing and preserving food.
During our creativity phase, we devised three separate food storage units. Some of the highlights are shown below:
During our research, we learned that storing carrots vertically with their tops cut off, made them last longer.
We added a "left-overs" storage unit, made out of terracotta that kept the contents cool (by adding water on top) or warm (internal heating system).
The effects of ethylene gas were used to our benefit, by allowing it to ripen other fruits if required, or stopping it to store produce longer.
Some herbs keep pests away, for example: sage repels weevils.
Hydrated storage for vegetables that could benefit from it.
A monster mock-up of all the elements in our product ecosystem.
A hypothetical website for Nativelement gives consumers a choice to "buy what you want". This ties in well with our goal to reduce overall waste (food or otherwise) and also to seamlessly integrate into already-stocked kitchens today.
To further our green movement, we suggested that all basic assembly instructions would be downloadable as pdfs on the website. The products would be shipped in simple cardboard packaging, to be easily flattened and recycled.