Good to know : discover Olio

Olio is my app of the month. Since I first joined in 2017, when there was hardly anyone in my district who was a member, numbers have gone up considerably, and the community is thriving.

The app connects neighbours with one another and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown produce (rhubarb in my case), bread from your baker (we got several baguettes the other week), or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. OLIO can be used for non-food household items too. We are having a long-term declutter at our house and have been able to pass on a number of items this way, from books and ornaments to unopened toiletries and craft materials. This is particularly good if your local charity shop is not always accepting donated goods. There is also the option to sell home-made items on the app, such as cards and accessories, in the "Made" section. To make an item available, simply open the app on your tablet or phone, add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up. To access items, simply browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a contactless, COVID-safe, pick-up via private messaging. The founders say: "Here at OLIO we believe that small actions can lead to big change. Collectively – one rescued cupcake, carrot or bottle of lotion at a time – we can build a more sustainable future where our most precious resources are shared, not thrown away." Wherever you live, it is worth having a look. You'll find local people giving away food and other household items to their neighbours, all for free.

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