What is Olio?
Olio is a food-sharing app where people can donate items they don’t want or need any more to someone who does. Aimed at cutting down food waste, it means that everyone, from all over the world, can share food with each other.
How Does It Work?
The app is relatively easy to use. It works like an advertising site, almost like Gumtree, but for food. It works on location so all you have to do is make sure your GPS is turned on and get started. Basically, you find something in your fridge or cupboards that you want to get rid of. Then, you make a post to Olio. Someone will respond to your post with a, ‘Yes I want that!’ and you can make the necessary arrangements to share.
Alternatively, you can hunt for foods that you might like. In need of some eggs? Or maybe you’re almost out of milk and someone around the corner needs to get rid of theirs. All you have to do is shoot them a message and then be on your way.
Other Features of Olio
There’s a message function, meaning you can talk to other Olio users, whether that be someone you’re donating to, or someone who has something you need.
Not only that, but there’s also a ‘Feed’ section, where you can take a look at all the latest news that Olio offers. Most articles are positive — they talk about food and the environment, one example being a story about children who found a way to save food waste at their school by selling unused vegetables. Here Olio also offers tips and tricks to help beat food waste and protect the environment, whether that’s by going plastic free, or mending old clothes.
Like most apps, Olio has a personal profile section, where you can edit and update your ‘My Olio’ profile, turn your location on and off, and donate. Like the rest of the app, this section is completely easy to use. There’s nothing complicated about it. With one click of a button, you’re not only cutting down food waste but also lending a helping hand to other people.
It’s not Just Food
Although it’s primarily a food-sharing app, Olio also offers a way to share non-food as well. People donate all sorts of things such as make-up, drying racks, bags, and even clothes. This is another way to cut down on waste, meaning these items will go to someone who will actually want them and get use out of them.
The Benefits of Using Olio
There are a range of benefits of using Olio. The biggest and most obvious benefit is that it cuts food waste down. By giving food away, you know that it will always get eaten. In this sense, it’s perfect for students, especially those who go home for holidays like Christmas and Easter, and know they’ll just end up having to bin food.
You can give pretty much anything away. There are advertisements for sandwiches, homemade pasta, vegetables and even peanuts! The possibilities are endless, meaning there will always be something you want.
There’s also a ‘wanted’ section, meaning that you can specifically request things you’re on the lookout for. And this isn’t just reserved for food, either. People can request a whole range of things, including bins, plants and even wardrobes.
The app is almost effortless to use. The style is minimalistic, but there is a menu with clear sections, which makes it easy to navigate. Even the most clueless of technology users will be able to work this app.
At the moment, Olio is still in its ‘beta’ stage, meaning the design and other aspects of the app may change. Since it’s still a new app, there isn’t a lot of interaction around Portsmouth. This means that you’d have to go out of your way to collect food, which is fine for students with cars, but not great news for those without. That being said, would the petrol cost really be worth a bottle of milk?
But if, or when, more people join, then it could be as easy as walking down the road to pick up a pint of milk.