OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Singapore Government's Strategy: Education & Propaganda

Singapore's National Environmental Agency took on the task of food wastage reduction by launching a propaganda campaign.

Photo of mak david

Written by

Image Source: The Straits Times

Highlights the mindsets of consumers: a. Will reduce if it hurts the wallet; b. Pre-planning meals... Our National Environmental Agency came up with an online educational tool
... Evidently, Singaporean authorities have decided that the most effective way out of this issue is to educate the public and create awareness. My question(s): 

1. Is public education "it"? 
2. Can we solve the human mentality of "hoarding", which will lead to "food-hoarding"?

A startling statistic from our national study reveals that 63% surveyed throw away food because it has expired. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Our refrigerators and freezers are designed in a way that we tend to chuck food inside for a long time. Reviewing our storage system can help us be aware of our actual stock, their expiry, and ideas on how to use them/ give them away without wasting them.

Tell us about your work experience:

After getting with a degree in industrial design, I've worked in the non-profit sector for more than 7 years. Currently, I am working in a PR and Communications Consultancy firm.

11 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Lynn Huang

I don't think education is "it", but it is key! When I was apartment hunting a few years ago, I saw some brand new building that incorporated a fridge similar to this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lg-10-1-cu-ft-counter-depth-bottom-freezer-refrigerator-stainless-steel/3256028.p?id=1219575816023&skuId=3256028&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3256028&extensionType=pla:s&s_kwcid=PTC!pla!!!79700327439!s!!85085181879&kpid=3256028&k_clickid=307a5560-6e72-4aeb-a077-f199711d7d19&lsft=ref:212,loc:1&ksid=307a5560-6e72-4aeb-a077-f199711d7d19&ksprof_id=13&ksaffcode=pg3377&ksdevice=c&ref=212&loc=1. I loved it concept! My cousin on the other hand hated it. His instant reaction was "how will I fit my bottles of water in here?" I responded with "why are you filling your fridge with bottles of water?"

Changing the refrigerator size/design can shape consumer behaviors, but how do we make these changes without inconveniencing people? For one, I would still ask that slim sized refrigerators include a water dispensing feature.

Photo of mak david

ohhh.. this is a pretty neat design! thanks for posting this! 

Education = Falling short of just saying, "let's run a campaign". The Japanese education has also been quite phenomenal in inculcating a sense of being considerate for their young too. And in it, they teach about recycling and proper waste management. 

I was personally rocked by the global food statistics. If we could have a giant counter of sorts to track food production, famine, drought etc in a real-time fashion, i believe it could potentially accelerate a widespread concern for food shortages. 

(btw, in Singapore student camps, food are simply purchase and smashed around during games, and subsequently being thrown away. Only when these teenagers/ young adults repeat the same games that they run for kids in villages from less well-to-do countries, and they saw the look of horror on the kids' faces as they saw water melon & lettuces being smashed to bits, did these folks come back with a whole new perspective on food wastage.) 

Photo of Lynn Huang

mak david - I am shocked that Singaporean students waste food in this manner at games! There are so many field games that don't require wasting food this way...I wonder why they used watermelon and lettuce! Scavenger hunts tend to be my favorite default. Let me know if you need more ideas.

View all comments