designer. researcher. educator.

Women's Work

Feminist perspectives on food waste and design


Women spend an average of 260 minutes on unpaid domestic labor daily (as compared to 80 minutes for men)—an imbalance that grows more pronounced in developing nations. These daily tasks and accompanying decisions (such as cooking, cleaning, and caretaking) are often overlooked and undervalued in societies worldwide; however, what we choose to eat, how we clean our homes, and the lessons we teach our children can have significant impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure performance, and overall environmental health and sustainability. The full import of domestic decisions on sustainability is evidenced in studies on the relationship between diet and climate change, which have demonstrated that the action with the single greatest impact on our environmental footprint is to eliminate beef from our diet, more so than reducing vehicle miles traveled or even long-distance flights. Such findings demonstrate the power of an informed approach to daily “housekeeping.”

Click here for article published in Avery Review (2017)

Image: Jo Hanson, Art That’s Sweeping the City, 1980. Photograph by Jim Weeks. Courtesy of Dr. Leni V Reeves and Zack Schlesinger.