Ok, so have you heard about ‘green apps’ or ‘eco apps’?
Perhaps some of you have, but likely many of you haven’t.
Frankly, this something l know little about, despite operating a blog on sustainability…
(Fine, mea culpa, l am just a person.)
That said, the digitisation of sustainability and eco-friendly solutions or services have exploded in the past few years.
Think of Ecosia, a search engine who plants trees for simply browsing the web.
Eco apps are popping everywhere to offer innovative ways to reduce your carbon footprint or live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Nowhere is this more evident than with food.
So, keep reading to find 4 of The Best Green Apps for Avoiding Food Waste.
Part 1 of a special mini series with Go Eco!
Green apps & food waste
Let’s be honest, food waste is a big environmental issue in our society.
Indeed, aside from the obvious air emissions, food production, consumption or in this case, waste, is the primary culprit.
This is even possible in plant based or eco friendlier products.
So, food production and waste is a universal issue.
Indeed, about 1/3 of all food produced across the globe is lost or wasted.
The average UK family spend £470 per year on food that could have been eaten but is thrown away.
And every year 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food from the UK’s retail and food manufacturing sector is wasted.
The ever-growing issue is blindingly apparent.
So what can we, as consumers, do to help?
Beyond meticulous meal planning to ensure that you only buy food that you will eat, there is a growing market for apps which help consumers, supermarkets and restaurants reduce their food waste.
Here are some of our favourites.
Green apps #1: Olio
Founded in the UK in 2015 by Tessa and Saasha, Olio’s premise is simple.
Donate your unwanted food items to others in your area who will use them, meaning less waste for some, and free food for others.
Since 2015, 3.6 million have joined the app sharing 17.8 million portions of food.
That is the equivalent of saving 52.3 million car miles.
The app itself is very easy to navigate and you can get started quickly, as the video below shows.
Olio’s app its easy to use and makes it simple finding locally available leftovers.
You simply create an account, input your location and explore what is available.
Both food and non-food items are now offered, meaning you can freely grab yourself any items that are being thrown out.
You can easily filter based on availability and distance and can sort by the newest or closest items. A lot of the food on offer comes from, what Olio call, ‘Food Waste Heroes’.
These are individuals who pick up unsold surplus food from businesses and post it on Olio.
It means that you are often guaranteed to find some kind of pastries and bread from supermarkets on the app.
To request an item, you simply message the individual that posted the item.
You then arrange a time and place that you can collect that item.
Olio also now offers ‘made’ items.
These are items made by those in your local community that you can purchase, often for a small price.
Beyond the food-swapping aspect of the app, Olio encourages you to make environmentally friendly actions through goals that you can add to your to-do list on the app.
The goals are all rated easy, medium and hard and each goal has a certain number of points assigned to it, which you will earn for completing it.
There is also a forum section of the app where Olio-ers can communicate with each other.
On your profile you can explore your impact which tells you how many people you’ve shared with, how many meals you’ve saved and how much water you’ve saved.
We love this gamified aspect of the app as it can really motivate individuals to join the Olio community and instantly see how you are helping to reduce food waste.
Green Apps #2 Too Good To Go
Another app which seems so simple you can’t believe it hasn’t been around longer.
Since 2016, Too Good To Go has been connecting restaurants and consumers to save an estimated total of 72.7 million meals all over the world.
To benefit from the app, you simply create a profile and then search for restaurants in your area giving away ‘magic boxes’.
These magic boxes are worth £8-£12 but will cost only £3 or £4.
There is the added excitement that you don’t know what you will get in your Magic Box, you simply choose a restaurant to reserve one from and then go and collect it.
We love how easy the app is to navigate.
You can use a map-view to look at your closest restaurants offering meals and can create a favourites list of your top places.
They also provide a simple food waste tip of the week.
Eco apps #3: No Waste
In the app you can log all the food you have in your freezer, fridge and pantry.
You can add the expiration date to each food that you input (either manually or by scanning the barcode) and then sort by expiration date.
This app helps reduce food waste by simplifying food planning.
You can also add how much you have left of each item.
This means you can easily see what food you already have and which ingredients you need to use soonest to help you plan your meals for the week.
The also has a shopping feature where you can add to your shopping list, as the video above shows.
Eco apps #4: Supercook
Supercook helps you reduce food waste by using up ingredients you already have.
You can easily add your ingredients and the app will suggest recipes.
From the recipes you can filter by:
- key ingredient,
- meal type,
- diet, cuisines,
- max number of ingredients,
- recipe time
- or nutritional.
You can personalise your app by favouriting your most-loved recipes and add ingredients you are missing to a shopping list.
Check out the video below to see exactly how Supercook works.
We absolutely love the idea of this app as it is easy to use and effective at reducing food waste in the home.
While some ingredients aren’t available to be inputted – for example, we couldn’t find falafel – don’t let this discourage you as the app is continually improving.
Takeaways – green apps are a must
There you have it, 4 of our favourite green apps.
All of them are useful in their own ways and will immediately help you to reduce yours as well as others food waste.
Try them all, and see which suits you the most!
And as we said, before this is the first in a mini series here on MGM so stay tuned!
Which of these eco apps do you think will use?
Leave a comment a below.