In the U.S. alone approximately 30-40% of food produced is wasted and never consumed. That averages out to wasting 20 pounds per person per month. World wide, the statistics are similar with the entire population wasting over $1 trillion worth of food each year and 24% of all calories produced lost before they could be consumed. This disregard for the value in our food is causing millions of people to go hungry each day and causing unnecessary waste in our already full landfills. Why are we letting this happen?
A Food Sharing App
Determined to reduce the food wasted in the United Kingdom, Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One teamed up to develop a food sharing app. In February, 2015 they launched OLIO. With the goal of reducing unnecessary food waste, OLIO provides an easy and accessible platform for sharing items in your local neighborhood. Now with over 175,000 users, OLIO has saved 250,000 items from being discarded in landfills!
How Olio Works
OLIO is available to download on an iPhone or Android and is completely free. Once you make your account on the app, you have the option of browsing items you can pick up within a 16 mile radius. You can also add an item that you no longer want for someone else to come collect. Items can be canned food you didn't like, extra eggs you accidentally bought, or too many leftover enchiladas from a weekend party. You add your location and what time you are available for pick up and someone contacts you when they want it. Everything is free and simple! Currently in Bellingham, we have tomato sauce, pesto sauce, cinnamon rice cakes, and more available for pick-up!
Expanding OLIO's Reach
OLIO has expanded beyond the U.K. and is now active in many other countries and cities across the US. Download the free app to find who is sharing food near you! OLIO has also expanded beyond just food items and now shares other household items that need a new home as well.
If you find that people aren't using OLIO to share food in your city, don't despair! Encourage a few friends and family members to try out the app and get a group going! Share this article on your neighborhood websites or social media pages. It only takes a few people to start saving a lot of food from the landfill. When I first signed on to OLIO, there was not a single active user in Bellingham. Now it has grown to be an active little community!
Are you ready to join a food sharing revolution in your city?
Download the free app today and see what food you can save!
*The links shared in this article are affiliated with OLIO, and Zero Waste Wisdom is compensated for media exposure. That being said, OLIO is something I have shared in the past and a company I would recommend no matter what!
OLIO - The Local Sharing Revolution
Food Waste: The Facts
World Resources Institute