• fOOd: *Food waste composting project for elementary schools in NYC*

    Environment, Industrial Design



    Food waste composting project for elementary schools in NYC

    NFP This project is done in collaboration with LESEC, whose mission is to increase community awarenes and youth development through environmental education programs

    Problem Food waste is the largest component of waste by weight in NYC and the highest of all American cities, which causes pollution, bad smells, unpleasant scenery, and increases landfill, insects, rats and makes bad living environment. Most New Yorkers are not familiar with ""composting" food waste, an activity which can reduce all these problems.

    Design solution fOOd is an educational activity for youths about how to recycle food waste by transforming it into compost, using a "composter". Students will grow a plant of their choice, using the compost they produced and observing plant growth.

    Benefits It will educate students to understand why and how to recycle food waste. And also, reducing the amount of waste will help schools to save money on waste hauling fee and there won't be any money spent to buy fertilizer for lawns and plants. It will solve all the problems listed above and we will live in cleaner living environment.

    Next step fOOd can extend to middle school and high school. So, as these elementary students graduate and go to middle and high school, they will continue to participate and make habit of recyling food waste. Then, they won't be hesitated to participate at home. If the education of recycling food waste continue, participants will feel natural to recycle food waste and it will help to make better living environment.

  • Tae-yun,

    I've been invited to give feedback to all Parsons students, regarding your thesis projects.

    You've done a great job of laying out the design problem and solution, and you've provided a good amount of detail with respect to how this concept would function in the real world, considering the larger system in which it lives.

    The issues associated with food are very interesting as they involve human nutrition and environmental inputs AND consequences. It's great when you can see the cycle of it all and then find a method of growing fresh food for human consumption, which then goes back to the earth for fuel (via compost magic) to grow more food, etc etc.

    Taking this ecological perspective to school food programs is a wonderful idea, especially when the students can get involved in the composting and growing processes themselves. Being accountable here results in responsibility for something larger than self. As a result, I believe the students would feel a well-earned sense of self-worth, and would voluntarily eat more healthfully too. Bonus!

    Good luck getting this rolling, J.

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