RenewCastle is a new society to the University, which really got started in early January. It aims to promote sustainable living in the everyday lives of students. The society’s intent is to teach people that sustainable life is affordable, ethical and necessary.
At the beginning of February they launched a ‘Go Green Week’, where they had displays outside the union on how to live a greener lifestyle. Currently, they host bi-weekly litter pick-ups and monthly SOUP meetings, where ideas are brainstormed to help create a sustainable Newcastle.
One way is to prevent food wastage, as the average family in the UK wastes about 60 pounds worth of food each month. Hence why these Newcastle students have got involved with launching the app OLIO, which aims to reduce food waste. OLIO is a pioneering project with a lot of potential.
OLIO has a mission to “unlock the value of food that is wasted in the home and community.” OLIO is a free app which connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses to exchange their edible surplus food. At OLIO it is believed that small actions can lead to big change.
Camille Leininger (President of RenewCastle) states that “OLIO should be brought to Newcastle because food sharing is pretty limited here.” She brings forth the idea of the waste presented at the end of term times and international students packing up at the end of the year, which all gets thrown away. With OLIO people can share food with their local community to put an end to food waste while creating a more closely knitted community. It’s all about sustainability and community, and up until now there hasn’t been a source to promote this in Newcastle.
Camille learnt about OLIO at the beginning of January. Having downloaded the app herself, she learnt the perks of it, after downloading the app she “had my first food pick-up a few days later!” She received “an unopened jar of salsa, apple juice, and onion chutney”. Then Camille started listing items that she no longer needed, “things I had left over from a bake sale”, which a Newcastle student picked up from campus and she has “continued to list more food since”. Camille states that it is “easy all you have to do is take a picture and write a little description about the item. Once you receive a request for the item you can message the requester and set up a time and place”.
Although OLIO was launched in London, Camille hopes it can be extended to Newcastle. The app is free, and anybody can list their surplus food. The app will be even more successful if local businesses get on board, and instead of throwing good food away they can make up to half the original profit on it.