Two Ways Brazilians Are Recycling Food Waste: From Rooftop Gardens To Murals

rooftop garden for recycling food waste

Whether you call them “green roofs” or “living roofs”, rooftop gardens are the quickest growing trend in cities around the world. They’ve become an oasis for some and a food source for many in urban areas. And now a shopping center in Sao Paulo, Brazil is joining the ranks of gardens revitalizing the local community. The mall’s employees collect nearly 900 pounds of food scraps each day from its in-house restaurants.

The food mixture is then blended with enzymes to eliminate bacteria and turned into compost. It’s then spread on a variety of vegetable and herb plants. To date, the rooftop garden has yield completely pesticide-free crops of lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, onions and basil. Some of the produce is served in the mall’s restaurants. The remaining food is harvested by employees at no cost to share with their loved ones.

In effort to continue educating the public about the effects of food waste, the mall hosts classes on how to properly store and cook fresh produce. Check out the video below by NewsBeat Social showing you the entire process from food court waste to garden in under one minute. Of course, it’d only be fitting to follow-up this cool news in food waste prevention with another.

Artist Displays the Beauty of Food Waste with Graffiti Murals and 3D Installations

Narcelio Grud creates “Urban Art” to provoke Brazilians and people everywhere to rethink how they view food waste. In 2013 Narcelio’s famous graffiti mural, Tropical Hungry, was painted solely with produce the artist found on the ground at street markets. He walked around gathering and separating the rotten produce by color. He then painted a mural of an open mouth. As with most art, the work is open to your interruption. My guess is Narcelio wants us to consider the millions of people needing food yet remaining hungry due to irresponsibility and thoughtlessness. If you’ve seen the work, what are your thoughts of it?

Now in his latest three-dimensional installation, Narcelio hangs large white letters on a black backdrop to spell out Grátis (which translates to “Free” in English). There are shelves in each of the letters, in which the artist rotates filling the space with fruit, flowers and toys.

Do you know of other creative ways people are recycling food waste for the greater good of their community? If so, I’d love to receive a note from you in the comment section.

Photo credit: Screen capture from “Brazil Shopping Center Recycles Food Court Waste into Rooftop Garden” video

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Sustainable Fashion Blogger since 2008 with work featured in magazines and newspapers, among other publications. Find her on .
  • Sam Goodman

    Organic or green living will increase health and longevity. I believe this revolution increase living standards