Tyler Scheviak joined us as part of his Halma Future Leaders Program, where he spends six months at each of four different Halma companies.
This Q&A is a reflection of his six months here and the work he contributed to our mission.
What’s your role at OneThird?
I acted as Marketing and Business Development Manager for OneThird. I reached out to hundreds of stakeholders in the food system to understand the issues we are facing and how to best tackle them.
Through these conversations, I gained an understanding of problems at each stage of the value chain and determined how shelf life prediction can help.
I also started our content marketing strategy so that we can educate people on preventing food waste from our unique perspective.
What’s your career background?
I started in the Halma Future Leaders Program after graduating with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from NC State University.
I’ve now been at Halma for two years, but I’ve worked at four companies in four different industries and in four different roles in that time. From developing an ophthalmic device in Switzerland to leading a team of seven on a shop floor in Northern UK, I’ve had quite a diverse experience.
Why were you drawn to working at OneThird?
I have always wanted to tangibly improve the lives of those around me, and I used to think that creating medical devices was the only way to do that.
However, I learned that there are other pressing issues society faces- one of which is climate change and the horrible consequences of it.
OneThird has a direct relation to combatting climate change because food waste accounts for 8% of the global carbon emissions! If we can prevent food waste then we can create a more habitable planet for the future.
Working with other people in the sustainability field has been rewarding because everyone is after the same goal. People are more likely to help you and will give you more energy than in many other industries.
What has surprised you most from working in this role?
I was shocked when I learned how big of an issue food waste actually was. My wallet certainly wasn’t happy when I wasted food, but the global cost is larger than I ever imagined.
The infographic below reflects this.
I also had no clue what the environmental effects were. It’s shocking to see how much processing and labor we spend on food that’s sitting in landfills. We are wasting all of the work that was put into growing that food, not just the food itself.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
At OneThird, I was really proud to have increased our organic traffic by over 1,400% with my content marketing strategy. Knowing that we are educating that many more people on how to prevent food loss/waste is a satisfying feeling for sure.
My proudest accomplishment in my life is overcoming my fear of flying to travel to 17 countries over the last two years. Getting out of my comfort zone has led me to some amazing opportunities and introduced me to lifelong friends.
What do you think it will take to halve global food loss and waste by 2030?
I think everyone has to be aware of the issues food waste causes and how they contribute to them. The majority of people in America throw out food without thinking twice about it. It’s so easy to just throw away your food and never see it sitting in a landfill producing greenhouse gases. Once I learned about the damaging effects of food waste I drastically cut the amount of food I put into the trash.
We don’t have the most difficult task in front of us either. It just takes a bit of education and self-awareness.
Americans waste about half of all the fresh produce they buy. So you could throw out ~only~ 1 out of every 4 apples and still be halving your food waste.
How hard is that?
Let’s say it’s 2050 and stakeholders in the food system have all taken the right steps- what does that look like?
Every fruit and vegetable has a designated journey from the moment it is harvested. If it will last a long time then it can go to a further location, and vice-versa. Shelf life extension methods are so advanced that produce can last months without being eaten or even refrigerated. People won’t care so much about the aesthetics because they will pay for the quality they receive (dynamic pricing). Every food scrap has an alternative use so that the resources spent growing are not wasted.
What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?
I’m really big into photography and hiking. My photos have been shared by National Geographic Traveller UK 3 times! Here’s one of my favorites of myself.
I also like to tinker with app development to solve day-to-day issues that others and I face.
What’s one thing you wish everyone would do or at least consider doing?
Keep track of the food you throw away on a small notepad. By doing this, you will realize how much you throw away and the reasons you didn’t eat it on time. This will make the issue seem more real and help you think of ways of preventing that waste the next time.