Discussion 1։ Soil and food waste
This page is the folder-guide
of the required materials and tasks
for the first discussion-meeting
Discussions last 75 minutes. If the trainer feels that the discussion is dragging on, they can finish the discussion-exercise and the meeting simultaneously.

Discussions are arranged in the order of importance, that is, the importance of the discussions near the end of the meeting is lower and if there is not enough time, the quality losses are not much.
The main ideas of the discussion are

1․ Food waste should not end up in landfills. Instead, it can be used as a natural fertilizer.

2․ People and businesses need to stop wasting food because it is not beneficial to the earth or any other sphere of life. When organic waste is not used properly, it becomes very dangerous for the earth.

3. Anaerobic decomposition of organic waste is a major source of methane emissions, which raises the earth's average temperature and disturbs the planet's balance.

The goal of the trainer is to direct children to the above conclusions through discussions. Start the discussion by asking students what they found interesting or surprising about the reading material. When there are no answers, the trainer can ask guiding questions and, if necessary, share his/her own thoughts with the students.
Then proceed to the discussion of the questions that the students sent in advance. If there are no questions, continue the discussion.
The goal is to activate and prepare children for the main discussion.
  • Question
    Today we will deeply study the problem of food waste. Let's start from the very beginning. We know that 1/3 of food is thrown away. Where do you think so much food waste comes from?
  • Answer
    Food waste is everywhere. It occurs in restaurants, canteens, supermarkets, hotels, at home, etc.

    The main sources of food waste are:

    Individuals and houses - 37%
    Farms - livestock and crop farms - 21%
    Restaurants, cafes - 16%
    Retail outlets, shops, and supermarkets - 13%
    Products - 13%

    Source: ReFED Insights Engine
1. Discussion-Exercise
Targetted skills
Research, creativity, problem solving
  • Presentation of the task
    Imagine that after completing the Climate Uturn program and successfully completing your project, you became interested in environmental protection and sustainability and became one of the best sustainable development professionals in Armenia. Your former school wants to make its school cafeteria sustainable by first solving the problem of food waste. For this, they have invited you as the best graduate and professional. Using the knowledge gained from the reading material, try to discuss and understand what measures you would use to reduce food waste in the school cafeteria.

    The trainer stops being involved for 5-7 minutes. Turns off the camera and microphone and urges the students to discuss freely.
  • Guidance
    1. First, the school should do a study and find out how much food it needs per day. So they don't buy an excessive amount that will end up in the trash.
    2. Even vegetable peels don't have to go to waste. Composting is a great way to keep food waste out of landfill and get nutritious soil. You can also buy small composting containers. The school can sell the resulting compost or use it for gardening.
      Find ways to use, rather than throw away, non-fresh food. Vegetable scraps and peels can be used to make soup stock. Soft apples or blueberries are great cooked in oatmeal. Slightly wilted vegetables are great for soups. One of the best things about soup is that you can make it with almost anything.
      The school can also sell the surplus food through the "Too Good To Go" application, when it is already available in Armenia.
  • Key points
    1. The student clearly presents the results of their discussion and explains how they plan to address the issue.

    2. If the student makes assumptions, they should justify the opinion.

    3. The group is able to cooperate and divide the work to complete the task on time.

    3. Using the methods learned from the reading material, the group is able to make generalizations and talk about the key steps to start successful and high-impact methods.

    4. As necessary, the trainer identifies areas of weakness of the group that needs the most improvement.
  • Question
    As you know, food waste is a global problem.

    1. What project did you learn about in the video addressing food wastage in restaurants, cafes, and canteens by reusing unused food?

    2. Would you use that project/application?
  • Answer
    1. Too good To Go app - at the end of the day, restaurants can sell unsold food at a discount. Anyone can open the app, find restaurants near them, and go and buy that food at a discount.

    2. Many people in Armenia may refuse to use such apps due to stereotypes or lack of information, thinking that if the food is cheap, then it is of poor quality or old. Another reason may be the strong influence of public opinion ("what will people think"). Still, it is important to understand the importance of such programs and, if necessary, explain them to other people as well.
2. Discussion-Exercises
Targetted Skills
Research, Experience analysis, Assessment and comparison
  • Presentation of the task
    You are already familiar with the great success example, Too Good to Go. Imagine you are a well-established businessman wanting to start a similar initiative in Armenia. Now I suggest having a 10-minute discussion about how the business is organizing too Good to Go and what it is doing to develop the project.

    Answer the following questions:

    1. In your opinion, who will benefit from such an app (what age, gender, region and/or lifestyle people)?

    2. How would you make sure that people know about you and start using the app?

    The trainer stops for 10 minutes to get involved. Turns off the camera and microphone and urges students to discuss freely.
  • Guidance
    1. In your opinion, who will benefit from such an app (what age, gender, region and/or lifestyle people)?

    Target group- Generation Z
    Area- big cities
    Cost- low price or ecology
    For example- students

    2. How do you do that people know about you and start using the app?

    To inform the public about you through other environmental programs, projects and platforms

    "Word from the mouth"
    Easy design and simple attachment

    The answers and the additional information trainer can find in the bottom block.
  • Key points
    1. The student clearly presents the results of the research and clarifies how that information is used to draw conclusions.

    2. If the student makes assumptions, they should also justify the opinion.

    3. The groups can cooperate and perform the job division to complete the task on time.

    3. Through the TGTG model, make generalizations and discuss the key steps to start a successful and highly impactful project.

    4. If necessary, the trainer distinguishes the group's weak areas that need to be improved.
Further guidance for the trainer
1. For Too Good to Go, Millenials are the target market, as they were more familiar with environmental problems when the app was launched. In the case of Armenia, the target age may be generation Z (people born from 1997 to 2012) because awareness about the importance of the app is stronger near that generation. Moreover, for older generations, depending on age, the app can be more difficult to use.

At first, it will be difficult to organize the functionalities of the app in small towns or villages. Therefore, the most targeted places are large cities.

Let's not forget that the app will be used not only for consumers to save money but also for its main environmental purposes. For example, Too Good to Go offers consumers different food baskets, which state how much carbon emissions they are saving by not throwing away the product of that basket. These baskets are used by people who use the app mainly due to environmental reasons.

Other groups who can use the app are university students, as they have no time and finance for other food, and this will be a good option for them. A good target can also be people who do not have time to cook after work.

2. How do you do that people know about you and start using the app?
At the beginning of the application, TOO Good to Go has not had a major financial capacity. Their main mechanism was to inform the public about other environmental programs, projects, and platforms.

Another technical, which is marked by the founders of "TOO Good to Go", is the "Word of Mouth" marketing. People tend to trust their friends, family members, and neighbors more than a smiling young man who looks at the TV screen. Environmental communities and other users are involuntarily sharing their positive opinions about the app in everyday conversations.

Also, the application is maximally easy, simple, and helpful to make maximum user comfort. This ensures that feedback is positive and the "word from mouth" works in favor of the app.
3. Discussion-Exercise
Targetted Skills
Research, experience analysis, assessment and comparison
  • Presentation of the task
    Did you know that in Armenia, there was also an attempt to implement a similar initiative by young AUA students? However, the project did not succeed.

    Let's discuss and try to understand the reasons why the project failed.

    Question 1: Why did restaurants not join the initiative?

    Question 2: What could the creators of the app do to solve this problem?

    Resources provided

    Resources are not provided
  • Guidance
    Answer 1: The owners of the restaurants were old men who did not trust and did not want to work with young girls.

    Answer 2: The creators of the app should have evaluated the risks of culture and found ways of cooperation involving people (maybe men) whom the restaurant owners trust or will trust. Even the staff and lecturers of the AUA.
  • Key points
    People tend to trust their social circle, people of the same age and gender. If you need to cooperate with someone you don't know, try to find a mutual person who they trust and who can introduce you to them.

    Source: Yes: 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. N. Goldstein, S. Martin, R. Cialydini

    If necessary, the trainer distinguishes the group's weak areas that need to be improved.
  • Question
    The projects we have discussed can solve the food waste problem, but many restaurants do not think they create food waste and often do not join such initiatives. Based on the reading, what will you suggest? How can we cooperate with such restaurants?
  • Answer
    Suppose the owner assumes that their restaurant does not throw anything. In that case, it is very important to emphasize the amount of money they lose when the food appears in the trash at the end of the day.

    Winnow installs cameras in restaurants, hotels, and canteens above the garbage cans where food waste is thrown. The camera records the food waste and analyzes it through machine learning, and counts how much it would cost. At the end of the month, the system provides an account of how much money has been thrown in the form of food. This motivates people a lot.

    Do you know what machine training is? Artificial intelligence can be used in other areas.

4. Communication exercise
Targetted Skills
Communication, ability to negotiate, developing persuasive and effective presentation strategies
  • Presentation of the task
    Effective cooperation with target groups, investors, donors, and other involved groups is an important part of success when implementing projects, and startups. When you implement your own projects, you will surely need to negotiate.

    Imagine that you, as Winnow representatives, want to implement the project in Armenia, and you need to find and cooperate with investors. At the same time, you have the problem of attracting restaurants. Now, through a short 5-minute discussion, try to find out :

    1. Who will be the potential investors, and how will you attract them?

    2. How will you collaborate, communicate and attract restaurants?
  • Guidance
    General Skills:

    1. People tend to trust their social circle, people of the same age and gender. If you need to cooperate with someone you don't know, try to find a mutual person who they trust and who can introduce you to them.

    2. If you have results as part of this project, such as current profits or improvements in the financial situation of users of your services, be sure to present them when talking about your project.

    3. Another important skill is networking. Start making connections with people of different professions and interests as early as possible. In the future, your connections can help you develop your projects and business or get to know other important people.

    The trainer in the block below can read additional challenges.
  • Key points
    1. Students identify target groups, organizations, structures, individuals for cooperation.

    2. Based on the needs and goals of the groups, students create communication strategy steps.

    3. The discussion focuses on cooperation and communication with restaurants and investors.

    4. As necessary, the trainer identifies areas of weakness of the group that needs the most improvement.
Further guidance for the trainer

1. If you need help, talk about the groups and people who already support you. This will inspire confidence among investors.
Situation: In one hotel, people started using the same towel 26% more often when they saw a note from the hotel, according to which the previous guests of the room used the same towel several times to save the planet.

2. If any organization has not supported you in the past, then definitely mention your 3 F's: family, friends, and fools. Every year, 35-40% of startups get capital from friends and family. It is not necessary to mention that the ones who support you are family or friends. You can simply mention an example that the project has more than twenty supporters.

3. Familiarity bias can work if the investor has similarities to you or the project in some way. Maybe the investor and you are from the same city, or you are part of a big community. Perhaps these similarities are worth noting. And if you don't have such similarities, then find someone (maybe in your network) who does, and let that person introduce you and become an intermediary.

1. Limiting the time or quantity of your offer leads to more opportunities. Offer to test a limited number of devices for a limited time. This also inspires confidence.

2. When you want to set a certain price, offering three options is effective, and offering the desired one in the middle is effective. When people make a choice between two options, they tend to choose the cheaper one. And when three options are presented, people tend to think that the option in the middle is the most optimal.

3. If you're trying to sell someone a pen, you don't need to describe how good the pen is. It is necessary to show him that he needs that pen. In this case, it is necessary to show the businessman how important the Winnow device is for him, showing how much money it can save.
  • Question
    In order to make a big change, you have to start with a small amount of work. If such programs don't work in Armenia yet, what would you suggest? How can everyone dispose of the organic waste they generate at home?
  • Answer
    One of the main issues that we all need to understand is the potential danger that organic waste has if it ends up in landfills instead of being put to good use (fertilizer, energy systems, etc.).

    Instead of throwing organic waste in the trash, it can be turned into compost. It is a natural fertilizer obtained from the decomposition of organic materials under the influence of the biological activity of microorganisms.

Targetted Skills
Communication: building a persuasive and organized oral speech, team work

  • Presentation of the task

    Imagine that you are participating in a meeting where the director of one of the big restaurant chains in Armenia is also present. He doesn't know how dangerous the organic food that ends up in landfills is, and in all his restaurants, the unconsumable food is just thrown in the trash. Now I will leave, and you have time to discuss how you can explain to the restaurant chain owner why throwing away food waste is wrong and what can be done to solve the problem.

    Such important explanations should be given through a short and to-the-point speech. We will learn during the discussions how to prepare a similar complete speech.

    Our first step is to make the following points:

    Why is throwing away food waste wrong for the planet and the earth?

    Why is throwing away food waste wrong for a restaurant chain manager?

    How can this problem be solved, and how will it help the CEO of the restaurant chain?
  • Guidance
    1. Financial profit is the main pressure point of businessmen. You can get their attention by letting them know how much financial loss food waste causes. If you have some research done in advance about the loss of their restaurants, this will focus their attention even more.

    2. The harmful impact of food waste on the planet should be noted, but it should not be the focus of the conversation. There should be a shift from business interests to the idea of contributing to society and the planet, showing the businessperson how much of a positive public image they can provide.

    3. When proposing solutions, it is again necessary to mention the profit of the restaurant. If you mention the Winnow system, mention that by using it, they will know how much food is being used and manage it better, thus saving money. If you offer to compost food waste, you can mention that the compost can be sold for additional profit.
  • Key points
    1. Students present the chain steps from organic waste to methane emission correctly and logically.

    2. The structure corresponds to the purpose.

    3. After presenting the answers, the trainer discusses the effectiveness and areas for improvement.

    4. As necessary, the trainer identifies areas of weakness of the group that needs the most improvement.
  • Question
    We discussed initiatives that reduce food waste in restaurants, canteens, hotels, and other food outlets. But supermarkets are also part of the problem.

    How do you think supermarkets can avoid food waste?

    Now let me show you a clip, and you try to understand how this technology works.
The work process of Wasteless
*Note for trainer:
Students should be asked about their knowledge of English before showing the clip. If the trainer notices that the students' knowledge of English is not sufficient to understand the content of the clip, the trainer turns off the sound of the clip and shows it in parallel by telling what is mentioned in the clip in Armenian.
  • Answer
    The Israeli startup Wasteless uses machine learning to analyze the shelf life of food and offers the buyer different prices depending on the shelf life—the closer to the expiration date, the lower the price. Thus, the buyer is given a discount if he buys the food at that moment, and the supermarket does not have to throw it away.

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