Lingnan University (LU) kickstarted their Bug Wars against Food Waste Project on 27 March in order to both reduce food waste and turn it into a useful asset. The campaign aims to inspire students, faculty members and the whole community to adopt a low-carbon lifestyle, using black soldier flies to convert food waste collected from student hostels and canteens into organic fertiliser for the Lingnan Gardeners Project and plants on the campus, as well as quality feed for campus animals. Staff, students and the elderly are signing up as low-carbon ambassadors to develop and apply innovative ideas to resolve community issues and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.
In his welcome speech, Prof Leonard K Cheng, President of LU, said that the principal objectives of this project are to reduce food waste, raise students’ and staff awareness of food as a valuable resource, and encourage them to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. “Embracing sustainability has always been near the forefront of the agenda of LU. We are dedicated to reaching and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations for the betterment of humankind. The Bug Wars against Food Waste Project does not only respond to two SDGs, namely, Zero Hunger (SDG 2) and Climate Action (SDG 13), but it may also cope with the longstanding sustainability challenge confronting Hong Kong nowadays that is derived from food waste,” he said.
President Cheng and the officiating guests fed the black soldier flies with food waste, introducing this unique ecology that seeks to achieve sustainable development and benefit teaching, learning, research, and community services on campus.
The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens or BSF) originated in South America, but is now cosmopolitan and found across temperate climates in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Its name comes from the black colour with metallic reflections of the adult flies. The BSF does not bite or sting, and eats almost any organic waste, making it perfect for dealing with discarded foods and agricultural waste, and animals love the nourishing BSF larvae.