How might we make left-over, edible food products available to hungry New Yorkers while expanding New York's centralized food distribution systems?
We designed a micro-scale, distributed system to highlight and rescue uncommercial food products directly on the streets where they occur.
Our exploration of NYC‘s food and waste management systems revealed that roughly 25% of all food resources go to the landfill. Strict legal constraints regarding expiration dates force retailers to send products to waste that are technically still safe to eat – especially baked goods and packaged convenience foods are relevant here.
“Freeganism” is an activist movement by are activists who collect such food products from black garbage bags on the curbside to save them from going to the landfill at nighttime. What if these surplus food products were not discarded, but sorted and marked as such to make them visible instead?
Once part of the GoodFill network, food retailers collect expired, packaged food items in GoodFill bags and place them on the curbside. The glow-in-the-dark and biodegradable bags make “second-generation food” visible on a micro-level, as they illuminate to be recognized on the streets after business hours.
Sustainable citizens and hungry New Yorkers use the GoodFill App to locate GoodFill bags filled with products that otherwise would‘ve gone to the landfill, collect what they need from the clear bags, and register in the app what’s left to take.
Food banks are unable to redistribute all surplus food products because of infrastructure constraints, while roughly 1.3 million New York City residents were considered food insecure (Feeding America, 2015).
Conscious citizens, hungry individuals, and food retailers alike see potential in the GoofFill system and agree that so long as hygiene is provided, it will reduce the stigma of collecting leftover food products in public.
Dumpster-diving for second-generation food is stigmatized in society, even though conscious citizens and businesses want to reduce food waste.
A network to save surplus food products
with Christopher Lopez, Andrea Burgueño, Cameron Hanson, Jack Wilkinson
Food Bank for New York City
Food Access, Sustainability, Waste Management
Applied User Research, Service Design, UX Design, Branding & CI
Service & System Blueprints, Physical Prototype, Digital Prototype, Exhibition & Talks