Ed Sheeran's Popular Song, the Shape of You, Now Has an Environmental Version

Screen capture. Global Citizen

Global Citizen changed the lyrics to include a strong anti-food waste message, and the result is both entertaining and informative.

Food waste is a serious problem worldwide, but for many people, the statistics are getting stale. The message about wasted calories, discarded groceries, and superfluous expiration dates comes from every direction, and it can be intimidating.

In an effort to make things more fun and accessible, and to inspire people to take more care, social action platform Global Citizen created a cute music video based on Ed Sheeran’s hit song, “The Shape of You.” The tune is the same, but the lyrics have been altered to explain why food waste is a serious problem, how it’s unattractive to see food being wasted, and what you should do about it.

In the video, a guy hangs out in a restaurant “because the club isn’t the best place to save the planet.” He sees his dream girl order a burger, only to toss half her fries into the trash. As the two get to know each other, he tries to convince her why it’s a bad idea to throw food away. The catchy chorus repeats:

“Now I’m singing like,
Girl, did you know how much
Food in the world gets wasted?
1 point 3 billion tons of food
From stores, restaurants, homes and companies.”
“Boy, boy you talk too much...”
“1 in 9 people on Earth go hungry
You should take a doggy bag, please.”

A week later, on their first date, he presents her with a flow chart, explaining how to minimize food waste. It contains many of the same suggestions that we share regularly here at TreeHugger.

Unfortunately, while taking care at home will reduce your grocery costs and shrink your own environmental footprint, it does not automatically translate to more food for hungry people worldwide. This is why Global Citizen wants listeners to sign a petition calling on the European Union to halve its food waste by 2030. As part of its Circular Economy package, new regulations would define food waste clearly, develop a methodology for measuring it, and establish a specific food waste hierarchy, “prioritizing feeding edible food to humans over lower value uses like anaerobic digestion.”

You can watch the video below and sign the petition here.

If you're interested in learning more about food waste and how to take action, I highly recommend watching "Just Eat It," a fascinating documentary about a Vancouver-based couple that goes six months eating only discarded food, and visiting the End Food Waste website.