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How to get free food locally using an app!

Pink, yellow, fruity, tropical desert with ice cream and banana. Reduce food waste and save our planet.

As you may already know, there’s still a big problem with food waste and people going hungry around the word. The United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021revealed that in the Unite Kingdom households produce on average 77kg worth of food waste per year. As a country we produce 5.2 tonnes of food waste per year in the UK alone. According to the report, more than 900 tonnes of food gets thrown away globally! . As part of my eco journey, I was looking into various ways to reduce my food waste and save money at the same time.

Food waste & it’s environmental impact

Did you know that food that we throw away end up in landfills, producing nasty greenhouse gasses that are worse than carbon dioxide? Food that is rotting, produces a greenhouse gas called methane. The WWF found that approximately 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions comes from food waste. Methane is far more potent than CO2, because Methane has a 100 year global warming power and is 28-34 times stronger than CO2 according to the United Nations Economic Commision of Europe. Therefore it would make a huge difference if we all reduce or even eliminate our food waste. Now we can, through an app called Olio.

What is Olio?

Teal Olio food sharing app logo
pic by Olio

Olio is a free food sharing app that can be downloaded onto any Apple and Android phones or tablets. It allows users to share surplus food or collect food for free from another neighbours, local shops or cafes, which would otherwise be thrown away. It’s kind of like a Freecycle app. Currently Olio is currently being used in 119 out of 195 counties in the world.

By using this app we can all fight waste, help each other and save the planet at the same time.

Free food and household items on Olio

A screenshot of available free food in my area.

All foods and non-food items under the free tab in the app is free. If you see something you’d like to have, you can send in a request to collect the items. Got any surplus food that you won’t be able to finish and may end up in the bin? Why not list it on Olio for someone else to have and avoid food from rotting and producing the nasty methane gas?

Last year my tomato plants were producing too many fruits for me to eat. I’ve ended up sharing them with family and friends. This year I know if I have that much surplus again, I can also share with others in my neighbourhood.

Within the app you can also share free non-food items such as furniture, toiletries, toys, plants etc. with people locally. This reminds me that I’ve got a pink kids Trolls scooter in the garden that just sits there, as I’ve got my little girl Yas a Micro scooter. I’m planning to list the scooter on Olio today. This will prevent it from going on a landfill and will make another child happy. I’d say that’s a win/win!

Olio Made

within Olio there is a “Made” section where anyone can list their homemade foods and handcrafted items to sell locally. As you can se from my screenshot above the items in this sections are not free, but it’s still nice to support local people.

Do you already use Olio or another similar app? What’s your experience with apps like Olio why not share via the comment box below or find me on Facebook to connect: The Thrifty Island Girl.