Noemi Nedelcev , a BA-2 IBCoM student from Germany who, in her daily life, loves to cook, is interested in the topic of sustainability, and loves visiting concerts.
During all her cooking, Noemi stumbled on the problem of food waste and she decided to delve deeper into solutions for it.
Noemi explained that, especially during her time working in restaurants, she noticed how much food gets thrown away, which made her feel quite sad. “I became very aware of how unaware a lot of people are about their food consumption and so decided to change some of my own habits in order to reduce food waste” she said, not knowing yet that this would result in her becoming part of a community that focuses on sustainability and reducing food waste.
Noemi now is the chairwoman of the social media committee of the ‘Erasmus Sustainability Hub’. This means that she is involved in lots of events that take place at campus concerning the topic of sustainability. Additionally, Noemi is also a part of the ‘Erasmus Food Lab’ which focuses more specifically on how to consume food in a way that is better for our planet.
“All these initiatives that we have at EUR are working together, since we have a shared goal of making the world a bit better.” A friend of hers, and another IBCoM student – Lena – inspired Noemi to become a part of the ‘sustainability’ community.
Noemi also hopes to be able to create more awareness among other students about the problem of food waste. She believes that it is important to motivate other students to live more sustainable as well. “We can motivate each other by providing examples of what you can do to live more sustainable and waste less food. I feel like a lot of students just aren’t sure how to make the change.” Noemi explains that we should definitely not force people, everyone should decide for themselves, “…but for me it is about progress not perfection – small changes help.”
I asked Noemi some easy tips to start living more sustainable, which she gladly wanted to share with all of us;
Tip 1: Store your greens! Noemi explained that if you have, for example, spinach or salad you can wrap it in a (only slightly) damp towel and put them in your fridge. This way your veggies will stay fresh way longer!
Tip 2: Use every piece of your food! Noemi always saves the bits of food that are normally thrown away – think onion peels, and the ends of a paprika. Save these in a bag and when it is full enough make a delicious bouillon out of it.
Tip 3: Visit the market! As Noemi also mentioned it is way better to buy your food at the local market than at the massive grocery stores (and probably more fun as well). In Rotterdam, there’s a big market on the weekends and on Tuesday in front of Markthal.
Tip 4: Don’t buy plastic! Bring your own reusable bag and try to avoid buying any pre-packaged products. Start small, and try to live as low-waste as time goes on – you don’t have to be too strict, but at least actively keep this in mind.
With Noemi’s tips we can easily all try to become a little greener.
If you are interested in learning more about the topic of sustainability, or want to know more about how to reduce your own food waste, you can always visit one of the events organized by the Erasmus Sustainability Hub or the Erasmus Food Lab.
Special thanks to Noemi for sharing her wisdom!
Responses may have been edited for clarity.