The recent EU policies aim to protect the environment and seek to minimize the risks related to climate, human health and biodiversity. The European Green Deal presented in December 2019, aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent, in part by developing cleaner sources of energy and green technologies. However, a problem that is includes and needs to be addressed is food waste.
According to surveys, every year about 1/3 of the food that is intended for human consumption (1,3 billion tones) ends up in landfills along with the energy, water and the chemicals that were used for their production and disposal. Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources.
The best way to prevent food waste is to educate, inspire and encourage the public and especially young generations to take action. Pupils, as the future generation, are the most important people to reach when addressing crucial changes in established behaviors. More specifically, students (new generation) through schools and their teachers could play a significantly important role in reducing food waste.
Addressing this issue, the Erasmus+ KA2 strategy founded the “Zero Waste: An innovative approach to food waste management in order to educate young people to value food and reduce the waste”. The main goal of the “Zero Waste” project is the school teachers to get informed and educated, through a useful training material, about the social, environmental and financial consequences due to food waste and the best practices for reducing it. Teachers will have the ability to include the training material for food waste in their class in order to raise the awareness and pass the knowledge to their students. The educational process will be more efficiently through an innovative training course and material along with the development of a gamified e-learning platform and a game. The final goal of this project is, both, teachers and students (and as a consequence their families) to act as transmitters for a new way of life based on the cyclical economy, the proper management of the daily food consumption and the elimination of food waste with the motto ‘use wisely, reduce, recycle’.
Zero Waste aims to strengthen the European agenda for the protection of environment not just by educating the participants about the importance and the consequences of food waste but also by making them active participants in innovative educational methods. The achievement is to aware and educate themselves in environmental issues, food and waste management through an innovative training course and material along with the development of a gamified e-learning platform and a game. Moreover, the Toolkit aiming to raise awareness among school children, teachers, staff and their families regarding food waste issues and introduce good practices that are conducive for food waste reduction with a long-term impact and contribute to the prevention of and reduce food waste since reducing food waste means more food for all, less greenhouse gas emissions, less pressure on the environment, and increased productivity and economic growth.