By Sabrina Theo

In this week’s meeting we tackled the issue of surveys. As a team with the goal of reducing food waste, we’ve realized that taking surveys of UCLA students is paramount in both the beginning and end of our food waste journey. First, we plan to gather information about how the demographics of students relates to their individual consumption choices. After this, we want to see if the same people, or those with similar demographics, change their eating habits after we implement various educational tools to bring the importance of reducing food waste on campus to their attention.

A large part of our time with these surveys is spent on deciding which questions we need to ask. During this discussion, our stakeholder, Emma, reminded us to keep an end goal in mind: we knew surveys would be important in our personal tracking of data and general information-gathering, but how could we utilize them to add the most value to our overall goal of reducing food waste? As a team, we realized we needed to ask questions that would prompt responses with a reasonable solution. We want to gather information that can be used broadly over a wide number of people. For example, we will ask what year in college the dining student is in. That way, we can group multiple freshmen or sophomores together and track their overall amount of food waste. We will also ask if people are vegetarians. This will allow us to find trends in both meat and non-meat eaters.

Our team is very optimistic about the usefulness in the surveys we will conduct with students eating in dining halls throughout the quarter. In upcoming meetings we will finalize our list of questions, decide how and when to execute the surveys and then analyze the results.Please see Danna eating a delicious pear below. She was sure to eat as much of the edible portion as possible before composting the core!

Our team leader, Danna is eating a delicious pear above. She was sure to eat as much of the edible portion as possible before composting the core!