4 Apps for Saving Food and Money

About one-third of food is wasted each year. A part of this comes from grocery stores and restaurants. Some countries, like France, have created laws to ban stores from throwing out edible foods, but in most countries this is not the deal. People have gone so far as to dive down dumpsters, so called dumpster diving, outside of food stores and restaurants to retrieve food that is fully edible but no longer sellable.

I’m not really into the whole idea of crawling through trash, so I’ve instead downloaded some neat apps that allow me to save foods from stores and restaurants before they go down the dumpster. As a perk for me, the food is either cheaper or completely free. A real win-win!

If you want to start saving food, check out the apps below to see if there is anything in your area!

Karma

Karma allows you to save food from restaurants and stores for less than 50 percent of the price. This means that cafés, restaurants and grocery stores can advertise the foods they wont be able to sell during the day, avoiding having to waste food and also getting some extra money. For you as an individual it means food for less!

The company was founded in 2016 in Sweden and they are currently selling in Sweden and the UK, while expanding to France and Europe soon. Living in Stockholm, there are new restaurants and stores added to the app daily and I very rarely get take away at full price anymore. If I feel to tired to cook in the evening I just buy something in the app and pick it up on my way home.

ResQ

ResQ is a finish company that works in the same way as Karma. Save food that is about to expire or won’t be able to be sold for 50 percent of the price! It is currently available in Finland and Sweden, as well as parts of Germany and Poland.

Too Good To Go

This app allows you to save food by buying surplus from stores and restaurants. This one is cheaper than the previous two, but the difference is that with Too Good To Go you order a “magic bag”, which means you don’t know what you are actually getting.

There is a filter for vegetarian options, but if you are a picky eater this might not be the option for you. Too Good To Go are currently available in over 10 European countries and continue to expand!

Olio

Unlike the others, Olio is not simply a business to consumer solution, but it also connects individuals with each other. Allowing people and restaurants to share food that they will not be able to eat.

Maybe your neighbour grew so much zucchini they can’t take care of it themselves, or you might be going away for travels and don’t want to throw out the veggies that wont last. Well, that’s where Olio comes in! Another great thing about Olio is everything is free!

Do you have any other food saving apps where you live? I would love to learn know more options!

How to eat in a more sustainable way

A big chunk of our yearly impact comes from the food we consume. Without food, we die. So compared to other types of consumption food is clearly driven by an actual need, compared to most fashion consumption. Still, in some parts of the world food consumption has become a problem.

Food waste, transporting exotic fruits by plane and methane releasing cattle. All food-related problems you will hear of in the West. So do we need to stop eating anything grown far away or give up meat cold turkey (pun intended)? I say no. While we might be able to sustain ourselves on a local vegan diet, for most people there is a lack of money, time, knowledge or allergies that makes it hard or impossible. But we can all do something!

Eat less meat

The meat industry has a huge impact on the environment and accounts for a big portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. While I do believe that it is possible to enjoy an omnivore diet and be sustainable, the truth is that most of the meat consumed is factory farmed and not got for the environment, the animals nor our health.

Eating less meat doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely. For some it might mean meatless Mondays. For some only having it for one meal a day or maybe reserving it for weekends and special events. However, if you want to continue eating meat, invest in good meat, from animals that have lived well and that haven’t been force-fed soy and antibiotics. Look for local farmers where you can see how the animals are treated or go for organic grass-fed meats.

Support local

What most people think about when it comes to local products is that it avoids long transportation, but it also contributes to the local economy and to create a thriving community. Local farmers and producers are needed to keep the landscape living and thriving.

Seasonal foods

Consuming seasonal foods are great as there is no need for energy-craving greenhouses or transportations from around the world. Sometimes the supply of seasonal produce is high, so eating in season can also decrease the eventual waste.

Not only is seasonal foods better for the planet, but generally both taste better and are cheaper than buying other kinds of foods. Supply and demand! So instead of opting for the out season produce from across the world, indulge in some cheap and delicious seasonal foods.

Buy organic

Organic means that the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides are not used. This is important for biodiversity, for the bees, for the health of the farmers and of the people living in the areas where it is grown. Some say it might even be better for your own health!

If organic feels way out of your budget, try to see if there is something you might be able to prioritize differently. Maybe you could skip a chocolate bar or two and instead spend that extra money on some organic milk? Some fruits and veggies are known as the dirty dozen, they generally contain the highest amounts of pesticides so if you cannot manage to buy everything organic, maybe you can avoid the worst ones?

Don’t waste

About one-third of all food is wasted worldwide. From all parts of the food chain there is a waste, in production, in stores, and in the homes. Our biggest impact is in the homes, but by buying wonky-looking veggies and brown fruits we can also tell store owners and producers that there is a demand for less aesthetically pleasing produce as well.

Food waste is not only bad due to the fact that it wastes the food and all the resources used but also because many countries don’t have compost. This means that the food waste ends up in landfills where it does not degrade due to being packed tightly with no air to break it down. This ends up emitting methane, yep the same thing as the cows.

What do you do to eat more sustainably? Do you have any points to add to the list?

Self-care that you can do at home

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Self-care can sound expensive and luxurious, and many might think of a spa or a get-away when they hear the word. But self-care is much more than treating yourself to things. It’s about taking care of yourself, your body, and your mind.

Self-care doesn’t have to be a big deal. In fact, it shouldn’t. It should be something we have integrated into our lives. For our health. For our personal sustainability. Just carving out a few minutes a day can make a big difference, so don’t feel that it isn’t for you just because you can’t consecrate an hour a day to meditate or go to the yoga studio.

If you feel like you really don’t have time to spare (I mean we all have busy lives) think about if there is anything you could prioritize differently? Maybe you could save up some time during the week by prepping your food on Sunday. Or maybe you could skip 10 minutes of Netflix or Instagram time to meditate? Just focusing on your breathing can make a huge difference, and that is something you can integrate whenever during your day. Just by taking a few deep breaths, all the way down to the belly.

So now that you’ve found some time, here are some small ideas of cheap (but still pretty luxurious) self-care you can do at home:

  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Do yoga (I love Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel)
  • Take a nap
  • Put on a face mask
  • Paint your nails
  • Read a book
  • Turn off your electronics
  • Meditate (here I’ve shared some favorite apps for meditation)
  • Massage (either doing it yourself or having someone massage you)
  • Gratitude journal

How do you make sure to take care of yourself? 

Self-care You Can Do at Home

 

Self-care is not Selfish, it’s Sustainable

Why you should stop thinking self care is selfish

The talk of eco-anxiety and eco-burnout has been floating around in the sustainable bubble for a while now. In Sweden, research showed that 80 percent of young women suffered from eco-anxiety.

During the safety information on a flight, they tell us to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. If we do not put our own oxygen mask on first, we risk passing out trying to help others and that just leads to no good for anyone involved. This holds true in other parts of life as well.

For us to lead a fulfilling and sustainable life, and to have energy and time to give to others and to important causes, we need to function well ourselves. So if we want to advocate and inspire towards a more sustainable and ethical world we need to make sure we set out time for rest and recharge.

Self-care looks different for everyone and there is no one size fits all. For some, self-care is a quiet undisturbed day (or even just an hour) at home, away from family or kids. For others, it might be a raging girls night out or a dinner with family. The important thing is to prioritize small things and actions that make YOU feel good. It’s worth noting that needing or wanting to take a break from your “regular” life doesn’t mean you are a bad person. You can love your spouse, child, parent or friend and still crave and need time away to recharge. So don’t ever feel guilty for it.

Taking care of yourself is not selfish, and if anyone ever implies that it is they are wrong. Anxiety, burnout, and depression do not make people feel better nor makes them more productive or efficient. We are generally at our most productive when we are energized and motivated, and when our health is manageable. So if we want to save the world, we need to take care of ourselves too.

Self-care is not selfish. It is a necessity.

September Challenge: Self Care

Fall is around the corner and while the end of summer marks a new school year and a feeling of new beginnings, it also means that darker and colder times are arriving. So, for this reason, I will be doing #selfcareseptember as my monthly challenge for September, as a way of easing into the times to come.

If you want to join along I’ll be focusing on one thing daily to treat myself to new experiences and love. However, self-care is about doing what feels right for you, so if you feel like it make up your own calendar or list of things you want to do or focus on. Nothing is too big or small!

Self care calendar

An eco-friendly reading practice?

A stack of books and a tree branch

Reading in itself is a great hobby. It requires no electricity (except maybe a lamp) or energy to perform compared to other types of media like TV or the Internet. However, making books requires paper, and paper comes from trees. Paper is a renewable resource thanks to the fact that trees can regrow, but keeping your resource usage in mind is always a good idea. Especially today when more forests are being cut down to give room for crops and cattle. So always buying new books might not be a very eco-friendly choice.

Additionally, if you try to live a more minimalist or conscious life buying new books all the time will result in an overcrowded bookshelf and home. And a cluttered home, gives a cluttered mind, and we don’t want that, do we?

Reading that doesn’t require chopping down trees

So should we just stop reading? Of course not! Reading is a great way of gaining knowledge and amusement. So if you want a more minimalist and eco-friendly reading practice, below are a few tips.

Library

As a child, I would spend hours in the library getting lost in the rows filled with books. A habit I recently got back into because it’s great! It’s (more or less) free and it has more books than I could possibly ever read, no risk of getting bored. If you have the privilege of having a library where you live, definitely check it out.

Borrow from friends

Another free option is to simply borrow from friends and family! You probably know someone or several people who have at least 10+ books at home. Why not ask if you can borrow a few the next time you visit? Apart from being free and resource smart, it might give you something to discuss the next time you meet!

Swap

Swapping has become commonplace in fashion and clothing, but honestly, it’s even better for books. Most of the time we only read something once or twice, so why should it take up space on your shelves? Why not organize a small book swap with your colleagues or your friends’ group?

Thrift

Second hand first applies as much to books as it does any other item. By buying second hand you are using resources that have already been used. And while it’s not free, it’s definitely more affordable than investing in new.

Audiobook subscription

Nowadays there are several subscription services where you can pay a monthly fee and get access to hundreds of audiobooks. Granted that you won’t be reading it yourself, this can be a great option if you are an auditive person, also if you drive a lot or just have little energy/possibility to read yourself.

E-readers

This one requires quite some resources to produce (batteries and plastic) but if you are a big reader it can be worth the investment. Both money-wise and for the planet. You might even be able to score one-second hand! The nice thing about an e-reader is if you travel a lot or read on public transport as it allows you to bring a library of books in a few hundred grams.

So, if you are one of those people who love the feel of a physical book in your hands, realize that there are a lot of options out there for you. You don’t have to get an e-reader (nor should you if you don’t like it).

And, if you really do love a filled bookshelf and it gives your life more meaning, continue by all means. But maybe you could decrease it just a bit? Buying only the ones’ that you really want and for the rest don’t. Book swap with friends, or go to the library. If you really like it afterwards you can always make the splurge then and it won’t have cost you an extra dime!

Simple plastic-free swaps at home

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It can be tempting to switch out every single plastic item in your home when you see organized Instagram pics of nice pantries and bathrooms, but my first rule of sustainability: Use what you have. Don’t spend your money and time on switching out every plastic product in your home thinking it’s the most sustainable thing, because it’s not. Buying new will always require new resources and production.

The best way of transitioning to a more plastic-free lifestyle is slowly over time. Only replace your old plastic products when they are no longer fit for use or when you have found a way to mindfully dispose of it (I’m not talking recycling here, but rather gifting it to someone who loves plastic Tupperware and has no problem using it…).

Therefore, the simplest swaps are going to be those kinds of products that you need to switch every few months or so:

Dish brush

Instead of buying another plastic one, next time you need a new one, opt for a plastic-free version. I really like this kind that has detachable heads you can switch out.

Sponge

Instead of a regular sponge to wash dishes or clean around the house, you can upgrade to a loofa. There are also other alternatives made from coconut, cotton and similar fibers.

Glass containers

Switching out all your plastic containers for glass ones might seem like something of a must when you scroll through Pinterest, but there is no need for that. Just start by saving the glass jars you buy jam and stuff in. Wash them and peel off the labels and soon enough you’ll have a great selection of glass containers without having to pay anything extra for it!

Solid bars

Solid hand soap and dish soap are easy swaps. The only thing it requires is a good soap dish (I just have a thin slice of loofa) so that it dries off in between use and doesn’t go bad. Today you can find solid bars for almost anything so if you want to go full out you could also go for laundry bars, shampoo bars, and conditioner bars.

Do you have any favorite simple swaps for a more plastic-free home?