Applied Environmental Research

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This study measured the impact of an awareness campaign to reduce food waste on campus. Information cues were installed at strategic locations in a canteen to engage university students in food waste prevention. Stickers with food ordering tips were placed in front of the food vendors. Information cards about resource use in food production were placed on dining tables to remind students to finish what they had ordered. Other materials of the save food campaign such as pos-ters and banners carried messages and images to elicit a pro-environmental norm. Students were also encouraged to share their support through social media in order to increase the visibility of the actions. The analysis showed that carefully designed information was effective in changing be-haviors. Based on the visual analysis of returned food containers, the share of those who finished all their food nearly doubled after the campaign. The types of food waste on the information cardswere also significantly reduced. However, the results showed that voluntary behavior changes are limited to actions requiring little additional effort. Other types of interventions such as rule-based measures, economic incentives and changes in physical settings and how food is served should be considered to further food waste prevention. In addition, reuse and recycling options are needed for fluid and other unavoidable food waste.

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