Courtesy of Google

The web app also offers up tips on wasting less water and electricity.

Mike Pomranz
September 07, 2018

One of the hottest causes of the past few years, the conversation around reducing food waste has inevitably waned a bit from the days when it seemed like slashing waste was all grocery stores, restaurants, and even brewers were talking about. However, the problem of food waste is far from solved, and today, one of the biggest tech companies in the world has launched a new effort to keep the discussion alive: Google has introduced “Your Plan, Your Planet”—an interactive web app intended to help people understand the impact of their waste.

To be fair to those who jumped into the conversation earlier, plenty of apps looking to battle food waste already exist from straightforward concepts like FoodKeeper—a USDA app that helps let you know when food goes bad—to more involved programs like Food Cowboy that aims to connect excess food with the people who need it. Even Alexa can tell you how to stop wasting food. But successfully fighting food waste is all about getting as many people on board as possible, so it’s still great to see another big name like Google get more involved.

For its app, which can be found at g.co/yourplanyourplanet, Google partnered with the California Academy of Sciences to present information on three common types of waste: food, water, and electricity. “We all want a healthy planet,” the site says upon entry. “The small choices we make each day can help us get there.” Next up, you pick your topic, such as Food.

Courtesy of Google

Once in the Food section, users progress through a number of interactive features. You’re prompted to select at least three items you threw away in the last week from 14 common choices like bread, milk, meats, and fruit, after which Google presents info on the amount of water is used to produce that food and carbon dioxide its production created. There’s an interactive quiz on where to store certain food items. And as you move along, the app tosses in simple tips on how to reduce waste in your own home. You can also sign in to track your progress.

Courtesy of Google

Google is known for groundbreaking technology, and frankly, this simple interactive website isn’t one of those game-changing ideas. But then again, cutting food waste isn’t as complicated as something like artificial intelligence. If you want to cut your food waste, all it takes is a bit of knowledge and the desire to follow through. A lot of people spend a lot of time on Google: If seeing the company’s logo reminds people to keep that desire alive, that’s a step in the right direction.

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