Chosen theme: Climate Preservation
Name of team: The Waste Warriors
Participant name one: Libby Sheleg, email@example.com
Participant name two: Sofia Sherbakova, firstname.lastname@example.org
Project name: WasteLess
Introduction and Purpose
A need to solve the problem of climate change is especially eminent in today’s functioning
society. Notably, one of the main factors contributing to such is food waste. For many years,
wasting food has been an ever-growing issue in daily life. For example, how many times have
you let something expire in the fridge or left a fruit rot on the counter? This is primarily due to
forgetting to eat the food before it goes off, or the high demand of consumers for foods to be
‘perfect'. Because of this, one-third of food produced globally is wasted; about 1.3 billion tonnes
of food that is never eaten. Primarily, food waste in landfills rots and releases methane (CH₄ Greenhouse Gas) into the atmosphere, which leads to a direct consequence of climate change
and global warming. In fact, about 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that are released
from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food.
WasteLess - the name of our proposed mobile platform - is a user-friendly application that aims
to minimize food waste in households around the world. Put simply, WasteLess ensures that
every food in the household is eaten by the expiry date and saves precious time and resources.
The idea of an app to minimise food waste is not entirely new to the market, although the app
tackles the issue in a way other apps on the market are lacking. Compared to similar products,
Wasteless is primarily directed to households; whilst other food waste apps focus on
larger-scale projects such as supermarkets and neighbourhoods. We specifically chose to target
households because individuals are more likely to utilise the product than industrial companies.
Furthermore, once individuals are familiar with the impact that wasting food makes on the
planet, they may feel a greater need to change their approach to food consumption in their
personal life. Not only this, but over one-third of wasted food is thrown away by households,
making this demographic an ideal target to desirably benefit from the product.
Ideally, the main target users of WasteLess are consumers who will use the mobile application
in their households. These are likely more environmentally conscious adults or teenagers
interested in climate preservation. However, in the future, WasteLess will be accessible for
everyone with a mobile phone to use on a regular basis. To meet the wants of such
demographic, the app needs to be easy to use and navigate, as well as have a wide database
of food items to choose from when selecting products. To provide a larger scope of consumer
feedback, a Google Form was made and sent to individuals that showed interest in using
WasteLess if it were produced. After providing a short description of the project with a range of
questions regarding features, usefulness, ways to enhance the app, etc. The main proposed
idea to improve the app was to add dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, allergy
warnings) to the recipe inspiration, which would benefit consumers with these dietary
Benefits and Current Status
Ultimately, if the problem of food waste was solved through WasteLess, we would be satisfied
with our goal of helping assist the efforts of climate preservation. However, before this can be
done, there needs to be some refinement to the mobile application. Currently, WasteLess is a
working prototype with the three pages (as discussed below) executed for a School’s Science
and Technology Fair. However, the application contains various bugs that need to fixed, and
other features that need be improved functionally such as the notification intervals.
Other enhancements that could to be done to the app include:
- Removing singular items off rather than the entire list.
- A larger collection of food products.
- More recipe options with different dietary restrictions.
- A bigger variety of categories, focusing on faster-perishable foods.
- Making the application compatible with IOS and other devices.
Main Features and Development Plan
As a background to WasteLess, the app maker used to develop the product is Android Studio.
Android Studio has options to code using Java or Kotlin, and we have coded with Java in the
past. An Android mobile will be used to run and test the app, as Android Studio is only
compatible with Android devices and not IOS (Apple).
The three main features of the application:
Page 1 - Adding items to the list: Here, the user can select the name of the food in their
pantry, and the foods also consist of a description of their expiry (i.e. “Apple - Lasts 7 Days On
Coding Plan: This was done using a Spinner and an Array list, where the user selects from
different categories (“FRUITS AND VEGETABLES,” “DAIRY PRODUCTS,” etc.) and the list
opens a dropdown menu - here will be the names and description of various foods within that
category. (Note: this dropdown can be further expanded into a variety of food products,
however, to maintain the simplicity of the application the platform will only start with a few). They
select their desired one and click the ‘+’ icon. This image button automatically takes the
consumer to their list, using the ‘Catch Exception’ statement. At the same time, the food name
will be added to the database.
Page 2 - List View of Items: On this page the consumer can see all of the items on their list,
and select any they want to delete (i.e. if the item has already been used in their household).
Coding Plan: Once the application brings the user to the second page after selecting a food
item, they see a clear view of all of the items previously added. On this page, there will also be a
‘recycling bin’ (as previously mentioned) that selects items to be deleted from the database.
After this, there will be a short message appearing (possibly a ‘snackbar’) that reads, “Item(s)
Page 3 - Recipe Inspiration: The third page of the app contains recipe ideas so the user can
utilize their nearly expired food to make into a recipe or use the recipe inspiration for a different
Coding Plan: This is done using a searchbar - the viewer is able to search for recipes using the
name of the food (i.e. “Apple.”) Following this, the application will come up with a variety of
recipes containing that keyword, perhaps from an external website that has a plethora of recipes
with different dietary restrictions. From here, if it is of interest to the consumer, they can press
the name of the recipe or the photo, and it will direct them to the platform with the full recipe.
Daily Notification: The app will notify the user every 24-hours to make sure that the foods on
their list do not expire, and upon pressing the notification it will send them to the ‘Recipe
Inspiration’ in which they can find various recipes to include their expiring food in.
Coding Plan: This was fairly simple to execute be done using an ‘AlarmManager’ and an
‘AlarmReciever’, which will notify the user every interval throughout a set period of time (earlier
established). This feature is of relative importance as without the notification, the consumer may
possibly forget about the foods that they enter and may end up throwing it away!
WasteLess Folder Resources: (including mockups, code, other planning aspects).
In conclusion, we strongly believe that WasteLess has the potential to become a user-friendly
mobile application to change our mindset to food waste - one household at a time. Through this,
we can then shift our approach towards climate preservation and creating a greener future for
generations to come. Out of 10, the success evaluation of our application is an 8 - we have built
a strong foundation and have feasible aims to carry out over the course of the hackathon.