Discover exciting new ways to share
LIFESTYLE | February 21, 2016

Discover exciting new ways to share

Here at Greenredeem, we're passionate about sharing ways in which you can save money by living greener, and taking part in the sharing economy is one of those methods.

We're not talking about the sharing that comes at a cost: Airbnb and Uber, for two hugely successful examples. We're talking about the real deal - the 'freeconomy', or sharing with no expectation of financial return. Warm fuzzy feelings as standard!  

 

OLIO food sharing app

OLIO is a free smartphone app designed to cut food waste in the UK. How does it work? By connecting neighbours with each other and with local shops and cafes, surplus food can be freely shared, not thrown away.

On setting up an OLIO account, you can start browsing food share adverts and offering up your own stuff immediately. Some scenarios you could encounter:

>> local shopkeepers and cafes advertising food nearing its sell-by date,

>> gardeners offering up spare vegetables from their allotments,

>> a birthday girl giving away the leftover cupcakes from a party,

>> holidaymakers wanting to get rid of the perishable groceries in their fridge, or

>> a healthy eater giving away all the temptations in their cupboard!  

I found OLIO super easy to use. I added some cereal that I'd had a single bowl of and decided that I didn't enjoy. The box was well within date and the cereal perfectly edible, but was never going to be eaten. I just opened the app, snapped a pic on my phone, added a brief description, set the price to free and put in the details of when I wanted the cereal picked up. Within an hour I had a couple of requests, the next day I had several more. I chose the person I felt most deserved the free food and organise the pick up via the app. They were grateful, I was happy not to throw the food away. Simple!

At the moment, OLIO is fully functional in Greater London and rapidly rolling out its service across the rest of the UK. Download it and have a play today!

 

'Little Free Libraries'

The first Little Free Library was only supposed to be one-off. In 2009 an American man built a replica of a schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher. He filled the model with books, mounted it on a post in his front garden and added a sign that read, "FREE BOOKS".

People in the area responded to his gesture so positively that replica Little Free Libraries began to pop up by many more front gates. Less than eight years later, thousands of Little Free Libraries are helping to promote reading and sharing in communities across the world, including in the UK.

To find out more about hosting a Little Free Library and discover how you can join the LFL worldwide network, check out the Little Free Library Project UK website.

 

Nightswapping app

The free Nightswapping app is similar to Airbnb, except instead of hosting other users for money, you instead earn 'nights'. You can then use those 'nights' as currency to allow you to stay at other people's homes for free. With over 150,000 members in 160 countries, you're bound to find somewhere you want to visit!

The creators of Nightswapping believe that taking money out of the travelling equation allows for a more authentic experience.  Rest assured, all stays booked via Nightswapping are fully insured for your complete peace of mind.

As we found with our investigation into house swapping, another money-conscious way to find accommodation, travelling in this way is extremely eco-friendly. By using an existing community resource, you help save popular holiday regions from over-development, support local people and hopefully make new friends!

 

How do you share in your daily life? Do you participate in  community-based sharing schemes? Tell us about it here or on Twitter and Facebook!

 

>> Don't buy it, borrow it!

>> How to share unwanted garden tools