Waste watchers: A food waste reduction intervention among households in Arizona

Christopher Wharton, Maricarmen Vizcaino, Andrew Berardy, Adenike Opejin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Food waste is a globally significant issue, contributing to financial losses and adversely impacting the environment across the supply chain. In developed countries, the issue is especially problematic among consumers. The present study conducted a novel, evidence-based and theoretically founded household food waste intervention designed to explore how a multifaceted educational approach could impact food waste generated in the home. Households in the City of Phoenix, AZ, USA, were recruited to participate in the study (N = 53). Enrolled participants completed a baseline week, a 5-week intervention, and a follow-up week. Education and strategic information were delivered via a website specifically designed for this study, presenting home strategies for food waste reduction in a variety of formats (e.g. podcasts, infographics, videos). Participants were trained on how to properly collect, weigh, and report their weekly household food waste throughout the duration of the study. Participants also completed a series of surveys on food waste behaviors and behavior change constructs pre- and post- intervention. Household food waste showed a significant decrease from baseline to follow-up (p = .008), from week 1 to follow-up (p = .017), and from week 2 to follow-up (p = .001). Also, a significant improvement in all behavior change constructs was observed (p =0.004 – 0.000) by the end of the study, as well as an association between household food waste and behavior change constructs (rs = -0.28 – -0.42). The present study demonstrated that an educational intervention delivered virtually was effective in reducing food waste by 27.85% among participating households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105109
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Behavior change
  • Household food waste
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


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