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


Recent comments

(3) View all

Abigail commented on Food Waste Diary: Mushy Peppers and Sad Bananas

Hello Shannon,

I really enjoy the simplicity in your idea. By no means is it any groundbreaking solution to food waste, but it addresses the problem from a more personal level. It demonstrates that even the smallest drops can create ripples and affect the entire system. I am very interested to know what sparked the initial idea for you to create the journal and any challenges you may have faced.

As for the idea itself, it would be great to see it implemented in larger environments like schools, restaurants, or entire families. Most people are unaware of the waste they generate on a daily basis. This kind of tracking would be a great way to make the problem known. Have you considered a way to integrate this into a larger community? I would also like to better understand your idea about the communal refrigerator. Would it be possible to create challenges within your classes for other individuals to keep a diary as well?

In addition to spreading the word within your community, Michelle is trying to attack the problem from a higher method. Take a look at her OpenIDEO project. The issue is finding plausible ways to collect data. Your food diary is a simple idea that could solve this problem and with little tweaking, give even more results than just what your habits are. Plus by talking about your ideas it creates potential to spread your idea while getting the word out.

Lastly, you mentioned what habits you realized you had and what food you wasted after keeping this journal. Did you change any of your habits after? If so, have you kept up with your new habits? Have you ever considered expanding your community be making a club, Facebook page, or app to document with others your habits and how to fix them? I do not believe this idea will have a large impact on the overall problem of waste, but it is nice to see that not every effort has to be a big production. Thank you for the change in perspective. I look forward to hearing you thoughts.


Abigail commented on Food Waste Forecast

Hello Michelle,

Although I do not believe this is a way to solve the problem of waste according to our relationship with food, it is a step in the right direction. Many individuals are so focused on trying to fix the problem that they neglect to realize a large percent of our population is completely unaware of the problem itself. I like that your approach attacks the issue from an uncommon angle and raises awareness.

That being said, it seems like a very gruesome task. It appears difficult to me for more reasons than one. News channels tend to be very busy and run on a tight schedule. Everything has a specific order and for them the phrase “time is money” is real. The amount of news stations that exist create a competitive edge where they are not only trying to get news across, but they are trying to do so in a way that will obtain the most viewers. Not that the idea of using the news is bad, but not very feasible. Secondly, I agree with your statement that it would be difficult and time-consuming to collect data. The technicalities would have to be written down ‘to a T’ so that there would be no confusion in the collection or methods of data used. This would most definitely require a lot of manpower and the possible need for experts.

As I mentioned previously, I do like your approach, so I tried to brainstorm ways to use the same general concept but narrow the current boundaries. Instead of appealing for a regular segment, why not focus on just one? You mentioned that Frank Somerville, a news anchor for a local TV station, is very interactive on Facebook. There is a higher likelihood that if you do manage to get in contact with him that he will be interested if you start with the idea for one local story. That way it will not mess with the whole system of the news channel. Once that is in place, perhaps narrow down what data you would like to collect and where you would like to obtain the information from. By picking a smaller region, the idea becomes more plausible in addition to easier to handle. This will allow viewers to have a better understanding of the whole situation because the numbers will be small enough to comprehend, but large enough to still give that shocking factor.

The news today is becoming a very dreadful topic. It is filled with negativity and violence, which many individuals try to block out. If your idea can be put into motion, consider stating with the benefits of not wasting food. That way you will already have the viewers’ attention when the painful data is presented. I look forward to hearing more about your idea and am willing to discuss any of the thoughts above. I wish the best of luck to you.


Abigail commented on Compost Buddy

Hello Le,

I love your idea about introducing compost into the community! I agree that it is a great way to reduce food waste. It is simple, effective, and often times gets over looked. I have seen composting up close and know there are challenges and benefits. I have worked at a summer camp for multiple summers. Speaking from experience, the kitchen unintentionally wastes immense amounts of food. Without composting not only would leftovers go to waste but also scraps from food preparation.

The idea of an app is the perfect way to combine this “old fashioned idea” with new technology of the modern day. Have you thought about the specifics you would like the app to contain? My understanding is that you want to connect the community, including residents, schools, farmers, and gardeners. Perhaps when designing the app you could make different icons that cater to the qualities of each individual. The program could be used by beginners to learn about composting, or composting veterans could use it to learn about how composting is used by others. Do you intend for it to have any social interaction? In this people could have accounts where it would be possible to know how many people in a given community compost or are interested in composting. There could be a location generator where you could find composts near you or even companies that compost. Would you want the app to be nationwide? If so, how do you want people to distinguish their community? There are so many opportunities this app could create!

The most important detail to not forget is creating the foundation for composting. Some communities may be very interested while others may not be. It will be most beneficial in high-populated regions such as cities. Have you ever considered starting this as a website or Facebook group to get the word out? If you have a structure of people who support composting, he or she can go out into their individual areas and teach about composting. Another important thing to consider is that most people don’t compost because they do not know how. Educating people about compost and teaching the proper protocols would be very beneficial. An app on top of all this would help connect the separate ideas throughout the town/state/country.

One last thing I have learned is that no matter how much you try to teach people about composting, there will still be mistakes or those who refuse to listen. In a camp, school, or company atmosphere, it is not guaranteed everyone will follow the rules of what can and cannot be composted. The question that stands is what system could be created to organize this mess? Also a piece of advice I would like to give is that compost is very smelly and can start to smell quickly. That could be a deterrent for restaurants or city dwellers that do not currently compost.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and hope to be able to talk more about composting.