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Pathfinder project #7

“Reimagine Food” Awareness Campaign Reimagine Food icon

Project overview

Through a public awareness campaign, we aim to educate Guelph-Wellington residents on the real costs of food waste. The multi-pronged campaign includes:

  • Connecting with our community online, via and virtual community activators, as well as through in-person activities across Guelph-Wellington, 
  • Probing current behaviours and barriers to reducing food waste,
  • Using behavioural insights methodology to mobilize solutions and interventions that drive behaviour change, and 
  • Encouraging residents and stakeholders to reduce waste in the food system, improve nutrition, support broader community health and get involved in food system solutions.

By encouraging our community to reduce food waste, this campaign will help create local jobs, strengthen environmental resilience, boost  demand for the products of a circular economy and build stronger relationships between local food producers and consumers. It will also promote community ownership for Our Food Future, ensuring everyone within Guelph-Wellington sees themselves as stakeholders in the initiative. 


As we describe in the Engagement Strategy, we’re developing a made-in-Guelph-Wellington public awareness plan that will reflect the objectives we establish in collaboration with our stakeholders. However, that process takes time. In the meantime, we’re partnering with the Love Food, Hate Waste initiative to take advantage of the extensive materials they have developed.

Love Food, Hate Waste aims to change behaviours around food and reduce food waste. In the U.K., the campaign helped cut avoidable food waste by 21 per cent, saving consumers $23 billion. In 2018, the National Zero Waste Council—an initiative of Metro Vancouver—launched a Canadian version of the campaign, adapting it for audiences in this country. So far, it has attracted several major partners, including:

As a campaign partner, we have access to a broad range of existing resources that equip Guelph-Wellington residents with the practical information they need to cut household food waste. Drawing on these materials lets us hit the ground running and avoid reinventing resources that already exist. 

To get these materials to the Guelph-Wellington community, we’re employing a mix of face-to-face and digital tactics. These include public events, workshops and school outreach, as well as online engagement through social media, an e-newsletter and an engagement platform on the Our Food Future website. For more information about these tactics, see the Engagement Strategy section.

Tools, templates and technology used

Love Food, Hate Waste’s Canadian website boasts a growing repository of practical tools to help households reduce their food waste. These include: 

  • Compelling statistics, 
  • Tip sheets,
  • Meal planners and recipes,
  • Advice for parents on how to get kids to waste less,
  • Step-by-step guides on canning and drying fruits and vegetables,
  • Produce guides,
  • A “fridge guide” infographic,
  • A guide to freezing produce, grains, dairy and meats,
  • A table that shows the shelf life of more than 150 food items when stored on the counter, in the fridge or in the freezer, and
  • Videos on zero-waste strategies.

Challenges and lessons learned

Cutting the jargon: As we started developing Our Food Future, we undertook significant engagement with the Guelph-Wellington community to gather input. Those efforts highlighted the importance of using plain language and finding ways to connect with stakeholders on a human level.

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