How can we be more careful with the way we use resources?
In this day and age of continuous technological advances that make our lives easier, more efficient and more environmentally friendly, squandering stuff away should be a distant memory. In the food chain, this doesn't quite seem to be the case. Practically a quarter of our food ends up as waste. And the same goes for resources that ultimately keep us and our planet alive.
Generation25 understands that things need to change and we absolutely need to be more mindful of the way we use resources. Generation25 wants to be more considerate when buying goods and especially contribute toward environmental protection in everyday life.
One such person is Christoph. The 28-year-old from Cologne founded 'FoodLoop' in 2013, an app that saves food from being thrown away at the last minute. The app tells consumers when and where their favorite foods will soon be expiring and potentially offered at a discount. This saves them money and reduces the amount of perfectly edible food going to waste. What's more, this helps to save on resources and lower CO2 emissions by reducing the need for transport.
For Generation25, awareness doesn't begin at the supermarket, but before that, when you're writing your grocery list. Alexander, 28, writes, "Thinking well in advance about what you need and how much of it."
It's about being organized, according to Steven, 30. "The more you stick to your plan, the less you throw way, and the more creative you'll be in the kitchen."
You can usually find recipes to use up leftover food and make something delicious. There's an app, for example, that tells you what's too good to go to waste, with 340 recipes and pointers about the best ways to store food. Christian, 27, thinks an app like this is a great idea. "An app with a virtual pantry that suggests recipes based on the ingredients you have that will expire soon."
Christoph from FoodLoop is not alone with his initiative. As well as clever food apps, the first supermarket in Germany to sell food without packaging was opened by two young women in Berlin in 2014.
16 million tons of packaging end up in Germany's landfills every year. And that needs to change. The idea for this kind of supermarket is a sign of the times for Generation25. Denis, 24, believes, "that packaging is unnecessary if everyone brings their own containers when they go shopping."
But conscious shopping doesn't need to and shouldn't be like this, of course. Because awareness of resources starts with the right frame of mind. Fabian, 24, says, "Just do your homework and find out how much effort and resources go into these things!"
And this view: "Put more value on quality rather than quantity, and change public perception and produce things more sustainably." (Liliana, 25)
Changing our lifestyles to produce as little waste as possible has become a societal trend. Generation25 is – as the discussion revealed – a prominent champion of a sustainable and resource-saving way of living. Initiatives and efforts against a throwaway society often come from this generation, which seizes on technology to conserve resources and make the world a little bit better.