I have a confession to make.
I’m obsessed with Olio!
If you haven’t heard of Olio before, it’s a mobile app that aims to reduce waste.
It’s super easy to use and, you get to do your bit for the environment whilst you’re at it.
It’s a great way to discover food and non-food items for free from people who live nearby.
I was a bit dubious, to begin with, as unlike Facebook Marketplace and eBay, from a ‘sellers’ point of view, you’re not going to gain anything financially from using the app. But once I started to use it, I realised that earning money wasn’t always the important thing.
Giving Away On Olio
So far, I’ve only used the app as a ‘seller’.
A friend of mine recommended Olio, and I found myself intrigued by the concept. I went through all of my drawers and boxes and realised I had lots of ‘bits’ lying around the house that I no longer used. None of it was good enough to try selling on Facebook Marketplace or eBay, so I decided to give Olio a try.
I found old stationery I no longer used, such as random elastic bands, felt tip pens, metallic confetti, half a reel of string, an assortment of paperclips, and half a ream of printer paper.
I then set about uploading them onto Olio. As with Facebook Marketplace and eBay, there’s a requirement to upload photos and write a short description of your items. It’s also helpful to include your pick up terms. Some people prefer to leave items outside the house ready for collection rather than having people ring their doorbells. Others have specified hours they are happy for people to collect.
Once you’ve uploaded details of your items, you then need to make sure you have your notifications turned on and then wait for people to start contacting you.
I started to receive requests for items within an hour of posting. As most people are local, they’re often free to pick the items up immediately. There is a chat function within the app that enables you to arrange collection times etc.
The only awkward moment I’ve had so far has been when multiple people have expressed an interest in something, and someone takes ages to reply, so you don’t know if they really want the item or whether you’re safe to give it to one of the other interested parties.
Although I’ve loved getting rid of some odds and sods, the main idea behind the app is to give away edible products. I’m yet to try this, but I plan to soon.
The food section of the app works in the exact same way as the non-food items.
Often the food may be approaching its ‘best before date’, or some people list stuff when they are going away and don’t want to waste something. Items such as dried pasta, for example, don’t need to be untouched either. As long as you make it clear on the listing it’s already been opened, they’re still likely to get snapped up.
Supermarkets are also getting in on the act, and if they have food leftover at the end of the day, they can donate it to people who use Olio, who will then add it to the app and offer it out to the local community.
Through the app, you can also collect badges for various things. You can also see the impact you are making on the world, although this is more effective if you’re giving away edible items. It shows you how many people you’ve shared with, how many meals you’ve saved and how much water you’ve saved.
There’s an incredible online community, including people from all over the world. The app is currently available to download in 51 countries.
I’ve also just signed up as a Digitial Ambassador for Olio, which not only gets me a brand new online badge, it also means I can help promote Olio to my own online community. With so many people struggling worldwide, Olio could be a great source of help, reducing waste as well as reducing hunger.
Like I said above, using Olio isn’t about making money, although there is a section where you can sell homemade things too.
Rather ashamedly, I hate to admit that I hadn’t actively been looking for ways to give back to my local community. I am, however, becoming increasingly aware that we all need to step up to help save our planet and recycling alone just isn’t going to cut it! Since I’ve started to use Olio, I’ve developed this real sense that I am doing some good in the world. Not only is it giving me some extra space in my flat, I feel good about giving things to others, especially when they walk away with a smile on their face, and I get to help do my little bit for landfill too.
So what are you waiting for? Why not download Olio today and give it a try?