Innovative Student Projects

During the Feeding 9 Billion Challenge in October 2015, students generated incredible projects designed to contribute to a healthier, more food-secure, and sustainable food system. By then enrolling in ICON, they were able to spend four months developing these projects further. Below, read a brief description of their progress!

Coffee Cup Waste Warriors

Our goal is to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups on-campus. Through rigorous research on effective social-behaviour modification campaigns (e.g. programs to reduce the prevalence of smoking, and to decrease the use of plastic bags), we have designed a multi-dimensional campaign for the University of Guelph that aims to change social norms in favour of the use of reusable mugs.

Team photo of the Coffee Cup Waste Warriors

Team CampUS 

We are creating a unique Certificate in Food Security and Community Education, at the University of Guelph, which will encompass 2 aspects:

  1.  Coursework: students will take a selection of food-systems courses across multiple disciplines.
  2.  Community: students will develop programming in teams & implement this as lessons in local elementary schools

The certificate will help students to develop a robust knowledge in food systems & will inspire young people to work toward a healthier, more food secure world.

Team photo of the Team CampUS
CampUS Team explains their proposed certificate in “Food Security & Community Education” to the University of Guelph’s executive

Black Box Initiative 

We aspire to introduce pyrolysis technology & biochar as a sustainable waste management solution for university campuses. Using this technology for our organic waste will:

  1. Establish a new flow for organic waste, by using it as feedstock in the pyrolysis unit.
  2. Create a nutrient-rich biochar product to use as a soil amendment for gardens and agriculture on campus.

This project will allow a university to manage its own organic waste internally, eliminating the need for third-party waste management.

Team photo of the Black Box Initiative
The first prototype of a small-scale pyrolysis unit built by the team

Food Survival Squad

We are creating a website targeted at university students, to act as a go-to resource to help minimize food waste & maximize food usage. The site is focused at university students, who we surveyed to understand reasons behind their food wasting habits.

With better access to information, we think that young people can minimize the amount of food—and simultaneously—money, they waste! 
Team photo of the Food Survival Squad


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