I don’t know about you, but I have an app for everything. From numerous games to combat my boredom to my beloved calendar app that keeps everything organized, what about an app to tackle climate change and save you a little money? Don’t overlook downloading a food waste app! Having one of the handy food waste apps that you can find below can help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Why is food waste bad for the environment?
Food waste is a huge problem in the world and for the environment and there are many layers to this topic. The climate change that comes along with wasted food is one layer, energy waste from mass-producing goods is another, and the tax and price points that come with food waste are yet another layer.
Global food waste accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions, when food ends up in landfills it produces methane which is a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. As people buy more food than they need or when it simply gets forgotten about because, well, life happens, it signals to farmers and other producers that they need to increase their supply because the demand has increased, this then puts pressure on our natural resources like water, land, and energy.
The government then tries to tackle the climate issues that come with food waste by increasing taxes and the price of food, which takes more money out of your pocket. All of this then turns into the vicious cycle of food waste, as it stands now there is more than enough food to feed everyone in the world, the issue lies with making it accessible and affordable for those who need it most.
Why download apps for food waste?
Downloading food waste apps is just a helpful stepping stone into the world of zero waste, by doing this you will be another earth warrior ending the cycle of chronic food waste in society.
Do you know how much food waste is in America? The number is greater than you think, Americans waste close to 80 billion pounds of food every year. That number is higher than any other country in the world, and accounts for approximately 30-40% of the entire US food supply, astonishing right?
Of course, the US is not the only culprit here, food waste happens pretty well in every country and it’s not only because people’s eyes are sometimes bigger than their stomachs. Overbuying is a common issue (thanks to covid this increased dramatically), not understanding expiration dates, and getting wrapped up in life, and not using the food you have are all other examples of how easily food is wasted.
Downloading apps for food waste can really help curb this issue, they help you keep track of what you already have, make you more conscious of what you are buying, and can help reduce your monthly grocery bill.
Eco Fact: Globally there is 1.4 billion tons of food waste every year!
What are food waste apps?
I’m sure this topic sparks many questions, like what exactly is a food waste app? Well, that answer is simple, a food waste app can come in a variety of forms, from indicating what you already have, to finding cheaper meals from restaurants that would have gone to waste, there are even ones that give you a chance to help someone in need.
Most commonly food waste apps pair with local grocery stores and offer you a discount price on produce because they either have a surplus, the food is nearing its expiration date, or it’s not aesthetically pleasing (yes, this is an actual thing), these do however require you to leave your home and pick up the food. So, is there an app to reduce food waste at home? You bet! Some of the apps that you will see listed below allow you to reduce food waste in your home. You can swipe through, find discounted products and have them delivered or you can help someone in need and give away food and items you have no use for.
Food waste apps we recommend
Location: Some US states and Vancouver
This is a great app that allows volunteers to help their community by picking up surplus food and delivering it to people in need. Food Rescue Hero cuts out people having to go to the shelter or food bank to get food and allows volunteers to directly drop the food off to where someone lives, works, or learns.
This app has already rescued 68 million pounds of food which equals 57 million meals and has mitigated 37 million pounds of C02. Originally launched in Pittsburgh in 2016 Food Rescue Hero has expanded to 16 cities including Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, North Virginia, and more.
Location: US, mostly West South-Central region, Midwest, Northeast, and the West Coast
Based in San Francisco Imperfect Foods puts a unique spin on reducing food waste, grocery stores often don’t put out items that are “imperfect” like irregular sizes, or it has a unique cosmetic feature, Imperfect Foods embraces differences and scores you a great deal! Simply sign up and do a quick quiz, you then get assigned a shopping window and delivery date, and then each week your cart is pre-filled (but don’t worry you can add and delete items to your liking), and then it’s delivered to you.
Locations: UK and Europe
Karma is reducing food waste by connecting surplus food from retailers to the consumer at a lower price. Get signed up for this great app and start saving some cash in your pocket, retailers sell their surplus food to you at a lower price instead of wasting the food that would otherwise go to waste. Karma has already saved over 4 million meals with its 1.4 million app users and 9,200 retailers.
This is an awesome app for everyday use and to keep you organized, Fridgely lets you know when your food is going to expire so you don’t have to worry about it going bad (or forgetting about it, guilty!) and prevents you from throwing out unused food. All you need to do is scan the barcodes of your items and Fridgely will itemize them and estimate the expiration date.
This is the perfect way to keep everything organized and ensure that your items don’t go to waste, I find this app particularly useful for pantry items.
Location: US, Canada, The Netherlands, Austria, UK, Germany, Poland, and more!
If you had a chance to read the sustainability apps article on The Eco Hub then you know how much we love Too Good To Go! This app has paired with local businesses that have a surplus of food and sell it to you for a discounted price, this can be anything from sushi restaurants to a local bakery you love. Simply download the app and as restaurants and other places have a surplus, they list it as a “surprise bag” and you can scoop it up for ⅓ of the actual price. This app is great if you’re looking for a delicious zero waste meal.
Location: Canada and the US
Paired with grocery stores near you, Flashfood gives you a discount of up to 50% off! This is great for saving money and reducing your impact. You can scroll through the app and look for food items that you want, add them to your cart and easily pay in the app, and boom! You have some delicious food at a discounted price. You will have to go down and pick up your order, but don’t worry, there is a designated Flashfood zone, and the customer service desk will help you confirm your order.
Location: Most of the US
Misfits Market mission is simple, give you the consumer high-quality organic food all while breaking the cycle of food waste. You can get sustainably sourced organic produce delivered to you with a discount of up to 40% market price at the grocery store. This app is free to join and has an average savings of $25.17 per week for high-quality grocery items, you can choose from snacks, meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and eggs.
Location: UK and Spain
Olio is a perfect way to get involved and help locals in your community, on this app you will meet people that are giving away food or other household items for FREE. To navigate Olio all you need to do is create an account, take a snapshot of the items you want to give away, set up a safe location (always ensure your safety when setting up a location), and get notified when someone requests your item. You can vet the people who are interested in your items through their profiles and star ratings.
A final word on food waste apps
Downloading apps to help with food waste are awesome! It can really make a difference, at the heart of it, we all want to make the world a better place, and taking small steps like downloading an app can help you get there.
There are a few easy ways you can improve your impact outside of downloading apps for food waste, start by composting (yes, even composting in your apartment) old food instead of throwing it out, by doing this you are actually creating rich soil that can be used for houseplants, just be sure to avoid items that are not compostable. Proper packaging of your food can also really increase the lifespan of produce, consider using plastic-free food storage containers, using beeswax wraps to cover food, or using reusable freezer bags. Growing your own food is another great option to reduce your impact and have more control over how your fruits and vegetables are grown.
I hope you found this article useful and even downloaded an app or two for the list, I know there are lots of apps out there that really aid in food waste. If there is one that you use frequently that you didn’t see on the list, please leave a comment down below! If you learned something new from this article please feel free to give it some love and share it with your friends and family.