From Farm to Landfill: Results of a Campus-Community Awareness Event to Promote Sustainable Food Systems
Methods: To increase awareness of local, sustainable food systems resources and student engagement in community efforts, a campus-community educational event was held in spring 2017. Event participants completed surveys to report on knowledge of food production, distribution, consumption, recovery, and waste management.
Results: In a retrospective pre-posttest, participants (N=29) reported increased awareness of campus and community resources and intention to adopt encouraged practices such as growing their own plants (73.9%), adopt a healthy habit (73.9%), research more on sustainable food systems (91.3%), and reduce food waste (65.2%). Event networking resulted in various collaborations including an interdisciplinary campus sustainability project on food recovery, community engagement internships, and volunteer opportunities for students.
Implications: Community-academic partnerships and initiatives can incorporate an educational component for students to apply course principles into practice-based projects and events. This study provides an example to further connect research, teaching, and practice regarding food systems-related work and sustainability efforts. Similar opportunities can be provided to promote sustainable campuses and communities.