The contest, "Sustainable Development and Our Food – Reducing Food Waste: China Youth Environmental Protection Originality Contest", took place in China. Nearly a thousand innovative works by Chinese pupils reached the organizing committee, varying in forms like videos, paintings, photos, articles, etc. Ten works each were appraised and selected from primary schools and secondary schools.

Conserving food has always been a culturally important practice in China. However, according to a study by the Chinese Academy of Science, per capita food waste in primary and middle school amounts to 129.5 grams/meal, a waste rate of 22%, which is much higher than the overall urban per capita waste.

Therefore, a contest was launched with the title “Sustainable Development and Our Food” – Reducing Food Waste: China Youth Environmental Protection Originality Contest. The contest was carrried out by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, All-China Environment Federation, UN Environment, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, jointly hosted by China Academy of Sciences Institute's Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research and jointly implemented by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute China Office and Green Lightyear.  It builds on the previous REFRESH contest carried out in Europe.

You can see videos of the Chinese contest entries on the REFRESH youtube channel.

Here we present selected contest winners that provided English information:

Reduce Food Waste – Video

This video explained several ways that food is wasted in harvest, transportation, sale and consumption through a story of nine fish. Meanwhile, this video also included an investigation of food waste in school lunch. It investigates the situation of children in poverty and food waste in China and the world.

Watch the video...

Fushan Foreign Language Primary School, Forth Grade
Authors: Xia Ruixing, Ge Yixuan, Zhang Haochen
Video: 7:30 min

WYIS Pollution Solutions – Video

This video shows food waste solutions of the Wuhan Yangtze International School. It shows the integrative environmental approach of WYIS, by integrating related issues like sustainable water management, urban gardening and sustainable resource management.

Watch the video...

Wuhan Yangtze International School
Authors: Tsz Shot (Allen) Ngai, Damien Conrad, Geon Kim
Video: 5:00 min

Say no to Food Waste – App

Students need to find a way to communicate with the school canteen because they have wasted a lot of food. In order to solve this problem, an effective communication virtual platform could be helpful. The presented app is a suitable way of communication with students.

See the presentation...

Qinghua University High School International
Author: He Tianshuo

Middle School

Brown Rice & Polished Rice – Project

Brown rice is superior to polished rice in nutritive value. But, grain consumption mainly centers on polished rice. On the basis of personal study and exploration, Wang Ruohan and Wang Ruosen explain whether grain processing would be better as grain is more refined, and whether grain and energy consumption will be wasted due to excessive grain processing. A majority of people prefer polished rice and neglect the nutritive value of rice. The project suggests that consumers pay more attention to the nutritive value of rice, through a healthy and scientific combination of brown rice and polished rice. Through this innovation, wastage of food and energy consumption can be effectively reduced.

See the presentation...

Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, Grade 3 of Junior High School
Authors: Wang Ruohan, Wang Ruosen

Saving for Ourselves – Video

This video uncovers the major reasons why students are wasting food. There are three main causes of wasting food: (1) vegetarians who waste their foods (majorly meats), (2) popular “big eaters” on the Internet who waste food, and (3) students who do not want to eat after exercising. The video also provides solutions to correct wasting-food behavior.

Watch the video...

Shenzhen High School
Authors: Isabel Ku, Xia Xiaozhuo, Li Zhuoyi
Video: 3:09 min

Earthworm – Project

This project is to use biodegradable kitchen waste and earthworms to avoid food waste. Although earthworms are very small, they can eat almost as much as their own weight, and the food they eat is what we typically throw away. In the process of digestion of our kitchen waste by these earthworms, they also make the soil from barren to fertile.

See the presentation...

Beijing Academy
Author: Yu Jiayue

Diners – App

This app helps to gradually reduce the amount of wasted food you eat. Every time you start a meal, take out your phone and take a picture of the food you enjoy, and then take a picture of it after eating. Diners can automatically calculate the wasted food ratio, with the scale conversion for a small pizza on the phone's screen. The app makes your “eat up" trip full of fun!

See the presentation...

The high school affiliated to Minzu University of China
Author: Zhao Yue

Use of Bean Dregs and Watermelon Skin – Recipes

After making soya-bean milk, most residue from the soya beans will be treated as garbage. But bean dregs are treasures. This presentation shows tasty recipes reusing “kitchen garbage” like bean dregs and watermelon skin.

Try the recipes...

Beijing Daxing No.7 Middle School
Author: He Jiamu

The three Vegetables – Video

This video is a story about three vegetables. The brutal reality destroys their dreams-they were wasted and lost the meaning of their lives. The background and characters' cards are painted by watercolor.

Watch the video...

Wuhan No.81 High School
Authors: Liu Wenxuan, Li Anhui, Luo Shihan
Video: 4:33 min

Rice Grain Bowl – Campaign

This is a bowl designed for reducing food waste. The shape and appearance of the earth around the bowl allows diners to fully appreciate the limited nature of the earth's resources, recognize the importance of a grain of rice or a vegetable in the bowl, and avoid waste as much as possible.
The slogan on the bowl: Raise a grain of rice to a gentleman's point of view, let the diner cherish the food in the meal, avoid waste. Restaurants using this kind of tableware will change the procedure of serving the dishes. After ordering, the waiter will first put the empty bowls in terms of the dishes that the customers need, let them know the significance of these “treasures” and the cook will put the food in them in front of the diners.

See the presentation...

Paddington Billingual School
Author: Wang Chi

Mess Hall & Save Food – Concept

This entry is a concept to reduce food waste at mess halls.

See the presentation...

High school affiliated to Minzu University of China
Authors: Zhang Ruijia, Wu Siqi, Zhang Junrong


Reasonable in Sense but beyond Expectations – Video

The creative background of this entry is the Chaoyang campus life at Peking University High School. The video tells the story of a bunch of bananas from the beginning of the school near the fruit to buy back until its end in the trash.

Watch the video...

High school affiliated to Minzu University of China
Authors: He Haoyang, Wei Gongpu, Sangbuluozhu

Food Waste at School – Project

Starting 2016, this project investigated the specific situation of food waste in the Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University. After a survey for two weeks in winter and summer, conclusions were drawn and suggestions developed.

See the presentation...

Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University
Authors: Li Xinran, Guo Weihang