We are what we sow.

At TEDxZurich, we have decided to design food. «Walk the talk» is TEDxZurich’s anniversary credo for a food concept for up to 600 guests that allows us to minimize waste along the whole value chain of food and beverage management while taking care of precious resources and lifting nature up to the highest gourmet level possible.

Food waste is already produced long before the actual day of an event. Did you know that a third of all vegetables and fruits planted in Switzerland grows only to be wasted? It is exactly that seasonal organic produce that we’ve added to our menu that would otherwise end up in the garbage. To support our idea, we have brought the association Grassrooted on board, which collects vegetables that do not meet industrial standards directly from local farmers. In order to live up to our promise to our guests, we have enlisted the help of ETH spin-off planted. In addition to respecting the dignity of animals and avoiding unnecessary suffering, their plant-based chicken allows us to save tons of litres of water otherwise used in meat production

A 16-point Gault-Millau chef is working with TEDxZurich to indulge our 500 venue guests with mouthwatering flavours. Our food will be served in fully biodegradable palm leaf tableware. Leftovers will be picked up by bicycle and distributed to people in need in the vicinity of Zurich, taking not only the ecological but also the social sustainability dimension of food waste into account.

We are what we eat, but are we also what we drink? Despite the unparalleled quality of drinking water, and the devastating plastic pollution of our oceans, more than 1.6 billion PET bottles are filled and consumed in Switzerland every year. With a recycling rate of 83%, why not use the PET that is already in circulation? TEDxZurich has initiated a collaboration with Valser to serve water in 100% recyclable PET bottles at our main event, saving as many as 1500 new bottles in just a single day. 

But luckily, we at TEDxZurich are not the only ones walking the talk, proving that change can be achieved in many small steps. Along our way, we have gathered experts from different fields that have already put many ideas worth spreading into practice. Each for himself may only be a drop in the ocean. But all of us together, we can build a wave that carries us to safer – and cleaner – shores. 

By Stella & Amanda

Sarah Ebling

          Sarah Ebling holds a professorship in Accessibility Studies at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and is a senior researcher at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on natural language processing in the context of disabilities and special needs, specifically, sign language technology and automatic text simplification. Her groups’ contributions involve artificial intelligence techniques with a strong emphasis on user involvement. She is involved in various international and national projects and leads a large-scale Swiss innovation initiative entitled „Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies“ (2022-2026; https://www.iict.uzh.ch/).