Local Food Launchpad 2016 Projects: Return to Earth
Local Food Launchpad 2016 Projects: Return to Earth David Hood
Society’s biggest challenges won’t be solved by government, not-for-profits or communities alone. Successfully addressing these complex social, environmental and economic challenges requires an ecosystem approach that enables key stakeholders, whole communities, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators to come together and cocreate replicable and scalable solutions.
In 2016, Doing Something Good ran a 10 week accelerator program for ventures and community projects aimed at making Melbourne’s food system healthy, sustainable, secure, resilient and socially inclusive. Building on a program of events that started with the EcoCity Food Forum in 2013, the second Local Food Launchpad program in 2016 worked with 15 participants to develop 11 concepts that hold the potential to improve our food system and build a better food future for the people of Melbourne. This is one of them.
Learn more about the 2016 Local Food Launchpad here. Discover other Local Food Launchpad projects here.
How might we turn our food waste
into a resource rather than landfill?
Return to Earth
Growing food not landfill.
The big issue
Food waste is a huge contributor to landfill in Australia and has a destructive environmental impact. Food waste is actually a valuable resource in terms of potential for contribution to soil fertility and improving outcomes for farmers and growers.
Food waste can be an invaluable resource
We believe that if we divert food waste from landfill and instead turn it into compost it can provide invaluable soil fertility to grow delicious and nutrient dense food.
Our big idea
We are providing a service to collect food waste from Melbourne restaurants and provide it to local growers and farmers to compost on farm. We connect the hospitality industry with farmers for their mutual benefit. Farmers gain a valuable resource and potential markets for produce and restaurants have access to an environmentally friendly and efficient organic waste disposal service as well as closer connections to local producers.
Where we started
Our idea has largely stayed the same although with each conversation we have seen potential for growth and new opportunities to help maximise our reach and impact.
What we learned
We’ve spoken to lots of people within the hospitality industry. We know there is demand for our type of service and we were pleasantly surprised at the level of interest and willingness to dedicate time and money to improving the environmental impact of their businesses.
We are beginning a pilot program to test our logistics and verify the viability of our system. We are looking to expand to more restaurants and farms over the next six months and test out different methods to maximise our impact.
What we need
We need funding for basic infrastructure such as collection pails and compost rollers. We are looking for more restaurant partners and farm partners to continue our expansion.
A little about us
Jess is an all round growing, worm feeding and environmental action superstar. She’s passionate about helping food waste find it’s rightful place as soil fertility gold and creating a better future for her two year old staffy, Bobby.
Chloe came to the world of compost a few years back after an epiphany over some underperforming tomato plants. She realised the plants were starved of goodness in their sad little patch of soil. She fed those plants and every other one. With many rewarding tomatoes since, she has made it her mission to make sure no plant goes hungry again.
Like to know more or want to work with us? Please get in touch.