Updated: May 24
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Horace Greeley High School students Andrew Pang, Daniel Ye, and Elizabeth Xiu, have produced an impactful documentary called "Project Food Sustainability," raising awareness about food waste. The documentary was created for the Greenlight Awards, a program initiated by Bedford 2030, a grassroots organization focused on addressing climate change and promoting sustainability. Pang, Ye, and Xiu aimed to educate students about the pressing issue of food waste, and which most students are not aware of or realize how it will impact their future.
The students seized the opportunity presented by the Greenlight Awards to pitch their innovative ideas and proposals to combat climate change. Their documentary highlights the staggering amount of food wasted and left to rot in landfills each year, urging students to take action in reducing wastage in schools, businesses, and households. Divided into four sections, the documentary explores global and local perspectives on food waste, presents potential solutions, and includes insights from local experts.
Each team member played a crucial role in bringing the project to life. Pang assembled the documentary, incorporating graphics, clips, and voiceovers using Adobe After Effects. He also conducted extensive background research. Ye contributed to the scriptwriting, voiceovers, and coordinated interviews with local experts and organizations. Xiu reached out to local experts, conducted interviews, facilitated screenings in district middle schools, and provided scriptwriting assistance.
While making the film Ye's biggest “aha” moment was finding the need to simplify the language of the script, “Originally, our documentary included complex jargon and overly technical terms that might have been too difficult for younger viewers to understand. So, we edited the script with the intention of using concise and simple language so that audience members of all ages can understand our message.” They discovered that using simple and clear language, along with more images and animations helped them effectively convey complicated ideas.
Students who watched the documentary responded with overwhelming positivity, as the issue of food waste captivated them, sparking thoughts on a topic they had previously not thought much about before. “When we showed the documentary to students, many of them were fascinated by the issue of food waste, as it is a topic that doesn’t frequently come into the spotlight. Yet more so, they felt driven to apply the small habitual changes — that were introduced in the documentary —to their own lives, in order to make a difference towards lessening the impacts of food waste”, Pang told us.
Xiu emphasized the significance of influencing young minds with the knowledge presented in the documentary. “Since students like middle schoolers (which is whom we showed the documentary to) are particularly impressionable, we hoped that the information and knowledge in the documentary would be able to positively influence their actions and behavior regarding food and sustainable food practices from a young age. “
"Project Food Sustainability" stands as a remarkable initiative by Andrew Pang, Daniel Ye, and Elizabeth Xiu, shedding light on the often overlooked issue of food waste. Their documentary has successfully engaged and inspired students to make a difference in combating food waste and embracing sustainable food practices.
Interested in spreading in seeing how you can help more people learn to reduce food waste, support Hudson Valley EATS's Food Waste Project