Don’t waste it, save it

Abstract

The project “Don’t waste it, save it” deals with the challenges to reduce food waste. As foodsharing.de is one of the biggest initiatives trying to target that problem, our focus was to build our project on their data. Our goal is to raise awareness by showing the daily progress of saved food in the greater Münster area and to make this accessible to the public so that the incentive to participate increases. The process was divided into three big steps — building a scraper and scraping the data, cleaning it and visualizing it.

Introduction

As our aim was to raise awareness on the topic of food waste, the first step was to find a reliable source where we can collect our data from. For that purpose we decided to collaborate with FoodSharing. It is important to mention that FoodSharing does not share any daily numbers on how much food has been saved but rather the total amount that has been saved since the platform has been launched. Our challenge was thus to retrieve and save that data on a daily base and to develop a code that allows us to extract the amount of food that is being saved daily and to finally visualize that number.

Methodology and results

To share code and information we mostly used Google Colab and Google Drive (as well as the chat during Zoom calls where collaborative work mostly took place). InfluxDB was used for the creation of our data base. We furthermore used Visual Studio Code with PlatformIO for programming the microcontroller. As our code and information was thus quite decentralized towards the end of the project, one of our team members gathered it on GitLab for an easier access and overview.

Possible future features

The list of possible future features is only limited by time, creativity and meaningfulness of the feature.

  • Improve the accuracy of the mean forecast by solving the block problem (via pandas).
  • Solving the -1 bug and / or implementing a direct api for the data from foodsharing.de (source).
  • Simple web page with an interactive counter and informations (public relations) regarding foodsharing.de.
  • Fitting the microprocessor and display from a prototype breadboard into a 3D printed enclosure.

The team

Hendrik Brügging Data Science

Mentor

Nils Schlüter

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