More Taste, Less Waste

More Taste, Less Waste

Partner country: Tanzania

Partner organisations: Ludwig Wolker Verein and Practical Permaculture Institute Zanzibar (PPIZ)

Period: October 2023 – December 2024

SDG: Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

A picture of a group of Tanzanian and German participants at the side of a path. A´green building and palms can be seen in the background.
The youth groups during the exchange visit to Zanzibar in January 2024

“More Taste, Less Waste!”, an international youth exchange organised by the Ludwig Wolker Verein and the Practical Permaculture Initiative Zanzibar (PPIZ), brought together 14 young people from Germany and Tanzania to share thoughts about responsible consumption and production, focusing on food, as part of SDG 12. The young people’s experiences and the results of the exchange will be documented in a short film and in a sustainable cookery book, which will be available to interested members of the public.

The first exchange visit took place in January 2024. Seven participants from Germany travelled to Zanzibar for 16 days to work with the seven participants form the Tanzanian partner organisation on the question of “How can we make food consumption and production more responsible?” The programme for the visit was drawn up in consultation with the young people. As well as visiting a local food market in Darajani/Stone Town in Zanzibar, they helped out with the composting and gardening at the Msonge Family Farm. The programme also included a beach clean in Zanzibar.

Two young people are turning a compost heap at the farm.
Helping with the composting at Msonge Family Farm, Zanzibar

Coming together by cooking together

One of the highlights of the exchange was that the project group cooked together with a group of local students and their families. Zanzibar provided an electrifying taste experience for the participants, in line with the project’s “More Taste, Less Waste!” theme. Together, the “cooks” peeled fruits, chopped vegetables and experimented with spices from Zanzibar - there’s a reason why it’s referred to as the “spice island”! The result was a colourful and varied buffet of plantains, beans, pilau rice, fish and salads for everyone. Thanks to this collaborative cooking experience, the young people learned more about various ways of preparing food and other people’s way of living.

The picture shows a table with a colourful tablecloth, on which a varied buffet of plantains, rice, fish and beans has been set up. Participants are spooning food onto their plates.
Buffet with plantains, pilau rice, salads and beans

Responsible consumption - an issue that concerns us all

Sustainability issues like conservation and climate change are hugely relevant to young people. Many of the participants on the project deal with these sorts of issues in their day-to-day lives too. Project participant Judith, from Zanzibar, runs her own social enterprise called “Trash to Treasure”, which takes waste collected on beaches and streets and turns it into art. Hasan, from Saarbrücken, is studying law and hopes to act as an advocate for fair working conditions and climate action in his future career. The aim of all of the project participants is to become “change-makers” in their local communities as part of an effort to make change at the global level too.

Return visit in summer 2024

The Tanzanian group will visit Berlin in June 2024, where there will be a similar programme based on the lessons learned on the exchange so far and on the principle of partnership. As well as visiting the weekly market in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the participants will be helping out at an organic farm in nearby Brandenburg and doing a clean-up at the lakes there. Obviously, eating together will be part of this visit too - the plan is to have a picnic with homeless people in Berlin, using surplus food that has been saved.

Broadening horizons and forging partnerships

Projects like this are a chance for young people to explore the SDGs outside of school, working in partnership with friends. The exchange is a very hands-on way of getting to know new cultures. All of the “More Taste, Less Waste!” participants have resolved not to think of Tanzania and Germany in terms of stereotypes and to use real-life experiences to provide a way of gaining a nuanced impression of life in the other country.