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Dynamic Social Norms as an Intervention Tool for Reducing Food Waste in a Community Dining Setting

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As a cause of negative economic, societal, and environmental effects, food waste is increasingly being seen as a sustainability issue that needs to be addressed. Reduction of food waste is preferred to recycling because it reduces the financial burden and

As a cause of negative economic, societal, and environmental effects, food waste is increasingly being seen as a sustainability issue that needs to be addressed. Reduction of food waste is preferred to recycling because it reduces the financial burden and technological innovations needed to address the issue. While there are many different approaches to reduce food waste, this paper investigates dynamic social norms as an avenue for reducing food waste. Recent studies showcased the effectiveness of using dynamic social norms to reduce meat consumption and the use of to-go cups. However, there appears to be a gap in research that investigates the impact of dynamic social norms in U.S. university community dining settings. This study piloted the use of dynamic social norms to intervene in post-consumer food waste behaviors at Arizona State University. Specifically, this study compared food waste amounts in a location with and without an intervention tool as well as conducted interviews to monitor any self-reported behavior change. Results show that dynamic social norms can promote behavior change in terms of food waste when compared to a control location without the intervention. Further, this study advocates for monitoring food habits through both quantitative and qualitative analysis in order to identify potential behavior changes that could not be captured to the same extent by a mono-methodological approach.

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2020-05

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A Comparative Analysis of Food System Sustainability: ASU’s Aramark Catering Services and The Walt Disney Company

Description

As recent statistics from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) show, “in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply…at the retail and consumer levels, correspond[ing] to approximately 133 billion pounds and

As recent statistics from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) show, “in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply…at the retail and consumer levels, correspond[ing] to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010” (“Food Loss and Waste | FDA”, 2020). Not only is excess food waste an economic problem for numerous companies, it’s unsustainable and inefficient when there could be the potential for learning and implementing innovative solutions, both on a large and small scale. The research from this creative project will focus on comparing The Walt Disney Company’s current food waste sustainability practices at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) local Aramark Catering Services practices and initiatives throughout the Tempe campus’ dining halls. Specifically, the thesis will explore the benefits of anaerobic digesters and The Walt Disney Company’s use of anaerobic digesters at their Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts as a central means of converting food waste material into renewable natural gas. It will also explore Aramark’s current food waste management processes, specifically composting with the City of Phoenix’s industrial-grade composting yard, and the potential for implementing anaerobic digestion via a partnership with the City of Mesa into or in place of their current processes on ASU’s Tempe campus in the future.

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2020-12

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An Environmental and Economic Analysis of The Near Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

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Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to keep up pace. This drive is due mostly to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles; sales of electric vehicles in 2020 are more than double what they were only a year prior. With such staggering growth it is important to understand how lithium is sourced and what that means for the environment. Will production even be capable of meeting the demand as more industries make use of this valuable element? How will the environmental impact of lithium affect growth? This thesis attempts to answer these questions as the world looks to a decade of rapid growth for lithium ion batteries.

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2021-05

Rethinking the Management of Restaurant Kitchen Waste: Solutions in Solid and Water Waste

Description

Food waste is a growing global issue that exemplifies an unsustainable system of resource loss in landfills which eventually breaks down into the greenhouse gas of methane. Approaching landfill diversion of food waste on the local level requires innovative solutions

Food waste is a growing global issue that exemplifies an unsustainable system of resource loss in landfills which eventually breaks down into the greenhouse gas of methane. Approaching landfill diversion of food waste on the local level requires innovative solutions based on public and private partnerships. This thesis project explored how the City of Tempe's Grease Cooperative could provide a model of restaurant partnership and third-party service to tackle not just restaurant grease waste in water, but food waste in the solid waste stream. This used other city-run food waste collection systems as examples, and it relied on the input and support of multiple municipal stakeholders in its design. Using an existing food waste collection service in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the research was collected during a month-long observational pilot study of four Tempe restaurants, where data ranged from trash bin differences to kitchen staff sizes. The results of the pilot were compiled for the benefit of the collection service, the City of Tempe, and the involved restaurants to demonstrate potential obstacles to a currently small, but scalable, collection service, and potential solutions that will make the service more efficient and attractive to new customers. Future research goals include expanding the pilot's reach and information through stronger partnerships and collaborative data collection in Tempe, providing a guide to a food waste collection cooperative within Tempe, and promoting large scale diversion of food waste from restaurants both through prevention and nutrient recycling. The final paper was submitted for publication to the Solutions journal, as an example of "On the Ground" implementation of solutions.

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2017-05

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Trash to Treasure: Turning Food Waste from Food Banks into Garden Compost

Description

Food waste is a significant problem in many developed nations, especially the United States. Each year millions of pounds of uneaten or partially eaten food scraps are thrown into landfill, where it degrades anaerobically, producing methane gas emissions, contributing to

Food waste is a significant problem in many developed nations, especially the United States. Each year millions of pounds of uneaten or partially eaten food scraps are thrown into landfill, where it degrades anaerobically, producing methane gas emissions, contributing to foul odors, and contributing to an unsustainable food system. This thesis project set out to conduct a small-scale composting system that diverted would-be food waste from a local food bank to a community garden, where food scraps would decompose into compost to then be turned into a valuable, nutrient-rich amendment in that local garden. Engaging with this food bank and community garden allowed us to leverage the existing relationship between the two, and experiment and develop a framework that would demonstrate the feasibility of a long-term composting system in this community. By conducting this project throughout 2021, we saw where strategies worked well, what challenges remained, and where future opportunities could be expanded on. In the end, we diverted over 2000 lbs of uneaten food away from the food bank and into our composting system. We concluded our project report by providing a set of actionable recommendations and future framework guidelines that could be used by the local community garden in the future or be referenced to by other interested parties.

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Date Created
2012-12

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Trash to Treasure: Turning Food Waste from Food Banks into Garden Compost

Description

Food waste is a significant problem in many developed nations, especially the United States. Each year millions of pounds of uneaten or partially eaten food scraps are thrown into landfill, where it degrades anaerobically, producing methane gas emissions, contributing to

Food waste is a significant problem in many developed nations, especially the United States. Each year millions of pounds of uneaten or partially eaten food scraps are thrown into landfill, where it degrades anaerobically, producing methane gas emissions, contributing to foul odors, and contributing to an unsustainable food system. This thesis project set out to conduct a small-scale composting system that diverted would-be food waste from a local food bank to a community garden, where food scraps would decompose into compost to then be turned into a valuable, nutrient-rich amendment in that local garden. Engaging with this food bank and community garden allowed us to leverage the existing relationship between the two, and experiment and develop a framework that would demonstrate the feasibility of a long-term composting system in this community. By conducting this project throughout 2021, we saw where strategies worked well, what challenges remained, and where future opportunities could be expanded on. In the end, we diverted over 2000 lbs of uneaten food away from the food bank and into our composting system. We concluded our project report by providing a set of actionable recommendations and future framework guidelines that could be used by the local community garden in the future or be referenced to by other interested parties.

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Created

Date Created
2021-12

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Lithium in EV Supply Chains: Charting a Path for Lithium Into the Future

Description

The project goal is aimed to research the most pressing issues facing the lithium supply chain today. It then is tasked with charting a path into the future through strategic recommendations that will help reduce risk, and make a greener, cleaner, and more ethical supply chain.

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Date Created
2022-05