Listen up, New York… About one-third of our city’s 24 million pounds of daily garbage is food and organic waste. Yes, this means we are doing something (or many things) wrong, but we can also see this as the potential to do something right for a change. With this in mind, we have the unique opportunity to put into effect ways to divert organic waste from ending up in landfills and incinerators and avoid large releases of methane into our atmosphere. Who knows, if we all do our part we might even steer the city into eventually following a circular economy system. Preventing food waste has endless socio-economic and environmental benefits, and NYC offers several apps that can help improve the city’s waste management at both a micro and macro level.
No matter your motivation or reason for preventing food waste, it’s always better to be a part of the solution - so, are you up for the task? Here are 4 awesome apps in NYC that can help you minimize your food waste and New York’s:
“Give Your Waste a Second Chance”
App Price: Free
How many times a week is your cutting board covered with ends of vegetables, peels, and other food scraps? A lot. It’d be nice if you didn’t throw them away this time, and did something useful with these organic scraps, no? That’s where ShareWaste comes in.
ShareWaste is an app that connects people looking to recycle their food scraps with neighbors who are already actively composting in their homes. Their mission is to help promote a circular economy system in New York and other states and bring together ecologically conscious individuals determined to make a difference for the planet and the global food system.
Users of the app can be a part of the collective mission to consciously separate organic material instead of letting it end up in a landfill, all while getting to know ecologically conscious individuals around your area. Once you create your profile, you have access to a map and can see the people around you who are interested in either giving their scraps or receiving them.
Next time you’re going to throw away your coffee grounds, why not look up and see if anyone is interested in turning into new soil? With ShareWaste, it’s that simple to help lessen your food waste and give it the second chance it deserves.
“Save the Planet at Closing Time”
App Price: Free
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the leftover pizza from your neighborhood shop at closing time? Forget about the extinction of dollar slices, imagine how many mouths they could feed with all the leftover pizza across the city. Unfortunately, most of these pizza spots end up tossing their pies at the end of the night. But thanks to our friends at Too Good To Go, more and more pizza slices in NYC are getting rescued daily.
Too Good To Go is the best app for those of us who care about the environment and are also looking to find affordable meals in NYC. This app helps users minimize food waste at a grand scale by letting people order food from restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, etc. that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day. It depends on the restaurant and shop, but most meals are around $6, making it accessible for New Yorkers around the city. Their “surprise bags” range from meals to breads & pastries to even groceries, and can make for a satisfying meal any day of the week.
They are dedicated to making zero food waste a reality and have already saved over 70 million meals worldwide. By helping save leftover food from going into landfills, Too Good To Go is also helping improve the food supply chain and supporting local businesses in the city.
“Opening the Door to Delicious & Exclusive Experiences”
App Price: Free
Only Available for iOS
The United States discards more food than any other country, nearly 40 million tons or roughly about 40% of the entire U.S. food supply. Out of this amount, restaurants, grocery stores, and food services are responsible for 40% of food waste in the country. We all love restaurants and delivery services, but maybe there’s a way to indulge in a delicious restaurant experience, while still being conscious of the importance of food waste management.
Say hello to Gradito - a personal chef app for private chef experiences in NYC and the Hamptons. This app offers users to opt-in for a night with a Michelin-trained private chef focused on supporting local producers and food sustainability efforts. By connecting curious users with an elite private chef match, this personal chef app is opening the doors to delicious and exclusive experiences with environmentally conscious personal chefs.
As you hire a private chef with Gradito, you are helping promote a more eco-friendly version of luxury fine dining, while still enjoying all the delicious perks and meeting the best private chefs in NYC. Your chosen chef will be sure to make a personalized full-course menu with the freshest ethically-sourced ingredients available in the market for an unforgettable private chef dinner party.
“Share More, Waste Less”
App Price: Free
Recycling can only take us so far in this fight against climate change… If we want to have an active role in helping the environment, we have to shift from our consumerist system to utilizing the resources that already exist in our local communities. Olio is a local sharing app determined to “solve the climate crisis one share at a time”.
Similar to ShareWaste, Olio is an app designed to allow users to pass on what they no longer need to people near them. People can not only help out their neighbors with excess food they are otherwise going to throw out, but Olio offers businesses the opportunity to redistribute their unsold or unserved food. Olio pairs trained volunteers with local restaurants, cafes, and shops, who are responsible for picking up the food that is left at the end of each day. Afterward, they add it to the Olio app and give people living near them the opportunity to request and collect this leftover food.
Their admirable mission to put food on tables instead of trash cans is to help build a more sustainable future for New York and beyond. With the Olio app, the communities of New York can have an accessible and effective solution to reduce the city’s food waste.
So, why not start making your contribution to this collective goal today? Downloading these apps can be our first step to finding a variety of solutions that will help improve the waste management crisis in New York City as well as on a global scale.