Because of my varied work lifestyle I often end up eating out or grabbing food on the go instead of eating what's already in the fridge. And when you're busy it's not long before those use by dates are up and your fridge food doesn't smell quite so appetising any more. Then the food gets chucked, and even though it goes in the food waste bin and not in the normal bin, I still feel bad about contributing so much to the mountain of food waste that we as a society produce.
Did you know that right here in the UK we throw away 7.3 million tonnes of food and drink, every year!? That's £13 billion worth of food.
Now, out of that 7.3 million tonnes, 4.4 million tonnes was deemed to be avoidable waste, meaning that it was still perfectly fine to eat when it was thrown away! That's a lot of edible food that could have gone to people that needed it... it also equates to around 19 million tonnes of Greenhouse Gases released throughout it's lifetime. To put that in perspective, if you removed 1 in every 4 cars from UK roads, you'd remove approximately 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.
(Figures from WRAP - Waste and Recycling Advisory Body)
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash
So food waste is bad, and while it's easy to say 'just don't waste it then'
, it's not always that easy. Things get in the way, you go on holiday, you buy something and realise you don't like it, you end up eating out more than in and the stuff in your fridge goes out of date, you forget you've bought something, you just don't fancy it, you bought more than you needed, your friend brought dinner round... the list goes on.
But, if you're not going to eat it, instead of wasting it, why not give it to someone else?
Well that's exactly the idea that the guys over at OLIO had, and the great news is, they've developed a free, easy to use, quick to download, and totally compatible app that lets you do exactly that!
Plus, if you're a little hard up and in need of a helping hand, or you know someone that is, then you can log on and request what other people have offered.
'OLIO is a free app connecting people with their neighbours and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away.'
I think this app is a great idea, but when I set up my account I realised that no one near me had an account, so even though both the idea and the app is there, there's nobody around to start sharing with.
So I thought I would start spreading the word, that there's a fun and easy to use solution out there offering you the chance to give, receive, share, and cut down on your food waste and it's resulting carbon footprint.
It's not just for food either, it's got another function, which reminds me a bit of freecycle, so if you've got anything non-food related that you need/want to get rid of you can advertise it on there for free and someone can come and get it.
Started by two young women passionate about the food crisis that's been troubling the UK for years now, OLIO is a practical solution that seeks to connect neighbours with each other, and with local businesses so that both food and non-food items can be shared rather than thrown away. It's one more step in my mission to live more sustainably, and it's one more step for all of us to find a way to waste less and make the most out of what we've got.
Check out the OLIO site to download the app and for more on their work and story, you can find it here.
Photo by Harshal S. Hirve on Unsplash
Labels: Environmental-Sustainability, Lifestyle