Studying the impact of a mobile application in food waste reduction, circular economy, and social interaction inside the community.

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för datavetenskap och medieteknik (DM)

Abstract: Social and ecological sustainability applications are a significant way to bring equality, equity, and happiness in society. Food waste and food security are two of the most significant problems the people have to tackle the next years. In every country, there are huge problems regarding the food waste which cause serious health problems and pollution not only in the atmosphere but in the subsoil as well. Contrary to that, there is a countless number of people facing food security issues every day across the globe. These problems occurred in Greece as well due to the modern way of living on one hand and the financial crisis on the other. A combination of technological ideas in the economic field of the circular economy could be applied to succeed in sustainable solutions. In this thesis, a literature search conducted in order to identify similar problems in Greece. There are very worrying statistics that indicate the massive food waste that is happening in Greek households. Additionally, the literature search for food security and unemployment reveals the significant problem occurred in society as a result of the financial crisis. An additional search in the field of the circular economy reveals excellent solutions in the agricultural machinery sharing and refactoring that could be applied locally, exploiting the existing infrastructure of the community. These solutions help small and young farmers to improve their financial situations. The author is exploring the effects of the financial crisis in the local economy in an effort to apply technological solutions in a form of a mobile application to interconnect people and make the donation, sharing and job search easier for the community. The ultimate goal of this study is to develop an application that could help the community to move towards social and ecological sustainability. Even though the ideas applied in this thesis are fresh to the community in the author’s region, the results of this work indicate that there are significant support and willingness to contribute. The development efforts are focusing on a mobile application where its features are focusing on the best possible interconnection among people of the community. Participants believe that the application interconnection along with the features provided, like the food donation, food sales, machinery sharing and job search among people of the community, could bring positive results reducing the food waste, promoting the circular economy, and toning the local economy in general. The data have shown that the author is moving towards the right path in his first attempt to present these ideas to the community in his region. Every participant in this study embraces his efforts finding potential value in the provided features of the application.

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