As part of its programme to promote sustainable food strategies, the Municipality of Florence has developed an innovative project: “My school without waste”.

The project was launched in 2019 by the former Sportello Eco Equo, now the Sustainability Office under the Environment Directorate. It is a collaboration with the training institute for hoteliers, Istituto Alberghiero Aurelio Saffi, and the cooperative dedicated to science, the environment and sustainability, le Mele di Newton Association. It was created with the aim of contributing to the dissemination of know-how and best practices to be adopted in order to reduce food waste.

The project is of urgent relevance: Every year, around 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted worldwide for reasons largely linked to consumption habits. Awareness of this problem led to the idea of launching campaigns aimed at changing individual behaviour, starting with future catering professionals, but also approaching students and teaching personnel. The course included a calendar of theoretical and practical lessons on the phenomenon of food waste.

As a result of the social distancing rules imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the original courses that were planned were turned into a guide entitled “My school without waste” (in Italian). The guide was produced in collaboration with the Le Mele di Newton Association as part of the series of publications edited by the former Sportello Eco Equo under the Environment Directorate. The guide was then distributed to the students of the Saffi Institute as part of their ‘homework’ for the summer recess.

In 2021, in order to provide a sense of continuity and to consolidate the experience, the Sustainability Office devised a competition involving the creation of videos on the theme of food waste. Aimed at the students of the fourth year of the Saffi Institute, the competition offers the students the chance to deepen their understanding of food waste as well as to raise awareness of the topic.

The amateur videos that the students will make must document one or more stages in the preparation of a dish or an activity described in the guide. The videos must highlight one or more behaviours that will contribute to the reduction of food waste; intrigue and motivate viewers; stimulate and motivate the adoption of behaviours and consumption choices oriented towards waste reduction; and communicate a positive image of waste reduction.

Anyone who would like to participate in the competition can do so individually or in groups. A commission appointed by the Municipality of Florence will select the 10 most promising videos, from which the top five will receive prizes.