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Get in the Nood Food Mood!

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Nude protesting has been given a sweet new look – but before you panic and close your browser, it’s totally G-rated!

The Nood Food Mood is a creative social campaign designed to encourage us to reduce our consumption of fresh foods which are wrapped in plastic.

The nood food mood project says no to plastic wraps.
The Nood Food Mood project aims to persuade consumers to purchase fruits and veggies which aren’t unnecessarily wrapped in plastic (image: Instagram @noodfoodmood)

The social awareness campaign, featuring a ‘nood’ sweet potato named “Sweets”, was designed by Kara Agostinho, a Graphic Design (Honours) student at the University of Wollongong. Sweets is on a journey to ‘free’ other fruits and vegetables from the evil clasps of plastic.

Kara has designed a collection of adorable stickers featuring Sweets in the nood. The stickers can be downloaded via an app which Kara made herself! The campaign is designed to serve two purposes. The first is to provide a fun, funky way to communicate online. The second is to raise awareness of the issues of excess waste.

Sweets is the face of the Nood Food Mood
Meet Sweets! The gorgeous face of the Nood Food Mood (courtesy of Kara Agostinho)

“The idea that making something ‘cool’ can make people respond to an issue was something I wanted to explore further. That’s what prompted my thesis”, said Kara

Kara’s thesis looks at redefining design thinking: “I’m proposing my own model for design thinking; I learned other ones in my undergraduate degree and now I think there should be a new one!” Her model differs in that she’s primarily interested in the experience of the end consumer.

Kara has named ABC’s War on Waste series and Dumb Ways to Die, a campaign about train safety, as the two inspirations for her project.

 “While (Dumb Ways to Die) is a public safety message, it’s these really cute characters … but (the campaign) comes back to the social message at the end.”

War on Waste reinforced to Kara the urgency of the waste issue. She resolved to respond to it with a fun but informative campaign. The prominence of the issue is somewhat ironic. We live in a society where a lot of people are actually waste conscious; keep cups and other environmentally-sustainable products are becoming mainstream. However, waste remains a huge issue and we have a long way to go before solving it.

“They like to wrap organic sweet potatoes separately so you can tell them apart from the normal sweet potatoes. They use plastic and styrofoam,” says Kara.

Kara’s primary focus is food wrap waste, because it’s such a simple fix that we can all contribute to.

“Reducing waste is accessible; everyone can do something about it.”

Jeff Angel, Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about the issue of packaging vegetables in plastic;

“It’s socially irresponsible . . . marine plastic pollution is a world crisis.”

The Nood Food Mood movement is attempting to combat the impact of plastic consumption on sealife
The overconsumption of plastic has awful impacts on sea life. The Nood Food Mood movement is pushing against this (image: Total Environment Centre)

Australia is among the most wasteful countries in the developed world. Our combined waste grows by eight percent each year.

Designing Sweets

Sweets was created using Photoshop and Illustrator. When she was “on a roll”, Kara says she could create a sticker in 1-2 hours, but some took longer than others. The early ones especially took a while, because she went through “so many iterations of the character”.

early draft of the nood food mood
Early drafts of Sweets for the Nood Food Mood project (courtesy of Kara Agostinho)

The stickers, which Kara says were inspired by Pusheen and Kawaii (the Japanese ‘cuteness culture’),  are available for download at the iOS App Store. Sweets portrays a variety of emotions which you can incorporate into your online conversations.

The Nood Food Mood stickers: final product
Some of the Nood Food Mood stickers designed by Kara Agostinho

The sticker app is designed to be a fun, subliminal message to remind people that vegetables don’t need to be wrapped. The Instagram page is more informative and educational about the issue of waste.

Response to the Nood Food Mood

“I’ve had quite a few people download the app. It’s been really cool to see people messaging me using the stickers,” says Kara.  The program’s social media following is also beginning to grow.

“I think people have been receiving it so well because (waste) is such a current issue. Going plastic-free is trendy at the moment, which helps.”

The Future of the Nood Food Mood

Kara believed waste is an issue which is likely to remain relevant for some time and has dreams to continue the project after her Honours project is completed.

“I want to keep thinking about reducing waste after this year. It’d be cool to keep (Nood Food Mood) going.”

She would like to eventually broaden her movement against waste beyond fruits and vegetables, and for the campaign to eventually become a catalyst for plastic waste in general. She is also considering designing themed seasonal sticker packs, like Christmas and Easter, featuring Sweets.

Join the Nood Food Mood today!

Follow the Nood Food Mood on Twitter and Instagram, or download the stickers via the App Store!