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Zero-waste day

Pancake Day should be about beating food waste – here’s how you can bring it back to basics
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Zero-waste day

Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday as it’s properly known – is about more than flipping and devouring stacks of delicious fluffy pancakes.

Traditionally, the aim was to have a massive feast to use up the indulgent foods in the house – eggs, butter, sugar – before the 40 days of Lent began.
If you strip it back to basics, Pancake Day is all about food waste: stripping the home of food that isn’t going to be eaten so it didn’t end up in the bin.

‘If you think about it, Pancake Day was the original zero waste day for many households. Nowadays, we’re all guilty of keeping unwanted food in the back of the fridge or the cupboard until it goes off and has to be binned. Why not use Pancake Day as the day to do a thorough clear-out and reduce food waste within the home?

‘Those unwanted tins of butterbeans, the forgotten lemons in the fruit bowl or even the half bag of coriander in the fridge may not be useful to you – but they could be to somebody close by!’

Co-founder of OLIO

Share unwanted food

This Pancake Day, sharing app OLIO is encouraging British households to strip their cupboards of the food they know they won’t eat and share it with neighbours instead.

According to waste reduction charity WRAP, the average British family throws away £500 worth of food a year.

How sharing works

To share, users simply snap a picture of their items and add them to OLIO. 

Neighbours then receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. Pickup is arranged via private messaging within the app, and often takes place the same day.

OLIO has over 2 million users across 52 countries who, to date, have shared over 9.8 million portions of food.

50% of listings are requested within the hour, while 75% are requested within 24 hours.

OLIO also allows users to share non-food items – the most common are books, toiletries, kettles and mirrors. All listings added to OLIO are given away for free.

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