We’re constantly being reminded of the impact travel, and particularly air travel, has on the environment and its contribution to climate change. Wherever you sit on that particuolar fence, there is no doubt, we could all make small changes that could decrease our carbon footprint. Here’s a few suggestions from OLIO.
1. When you’re choosing your holiday, consider where you’re going to travel to and how you’ll get there. The average carbon footprint in the UK is over 10 tonnes per person per year, and we need to get this down to 2.5 tonnes by 2030 for global heating to remain within 1.5 degrees. Unfortunately, one of the most carbon intensive things we can do is hop on a plane. A return flight to Rome is 1/4 tonne, to New York is 1 tonne and to Perth is 3 tonnes. This is in contrast to going vegan for a year which saves 0.8 tonnes. So that flight you’re thinking of taking… why not check out a train or ferry instead?
2. Suncream is a must-have for all of us. Consider buying coral-friendly suncream before you go so that the harmful chemicals do not bleach the sea’s precious reef builders! There are many more eco-friendly brands than there used to be, including high street favourites.
3. Before you go, make sure that you share any food you have in the house that you won’t be able to use. If you can’t give it to a family member or a neighbour, consider sharing it on the OLIO app, which is easy to use and the majority of food listings are requested in less than half an hour. Ensuring that food gets eaten instead of binned before your holiday is an easy way to cut your own carbon footprint. The same goes for when you leave your holiday to return home. If you have a self-catering apartment or AirBnB – you can share any leftover food like olive oil, jams, cheese or fresh fruit on the OLIO app to be collected anywhere in the world!
4. Take reusable water bottles with you! Most countries in the EU have safe drinking water, so you can fill up in your apartment or hotel which is better for the environment and your pocket. If the country you’re travelling to doesn’t have fresh drinking water, it’s still better to take a reusable bottle, and fill up from a larger one each day rather than buying multiple small bottles of water. It’s estimated that around 8m metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea, and it takes 450 years for every plastic bottle to decompose – let’s not be part of the problem. How about the Grayl water bottle which filters pretty much everything from any fresh water source? Worth a shot.
5. Don’t be tempted to buy everything you need for your holiday brand-new. As the saying goes, the most climate-friendly fashion is the outfit you already have in your wardrobe. The same goes for buckets and spades, towels and everything else you might need. If there are some items you want but don’t have – like inflatables for the kids or camping equipment, consider trying to source them second hand or borrow them from a library of things or the OLIO app.
What is OLIO?
OLIO is a local community app that connects neighbours with each other so they can give away, rather than throw away, spare food and other household items; and so they can lend and borrow everyday things instead of buying brand new.
Half of all food added to the app is requested within 30 minutes of posting. Half of all non-food items (toiletries, kitchen appliances, books, clothes and toys etc) are requested within 3 hours.
Over 5 million people have joined OLIO so far, with half being outside of the UK. The largest international markets are Singapore and Latin America.
OLIO has had successful shares in 63 countries so far.
OLIO also has over 40,000 volunteers (“Food Waste Heroes”) who are trained members of the community. These volunteers collect unsold food from local supermarkets, canteens, quick service restaurants and more, and redistribute it to the local community via the OLIO app, thereby enabling those businesses to achieve zero food waste locations.
OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes are redistributing from businesses including Tesco’s 2,700 stores, Pret a Manger, Booker, Compass Catering and more.
Through the pandemic OLIO grew fivefold in terms of the number of listings coming onto the app.
OLIO is a high impact business – since launch OLIOers have given away over 50 million portions of food (and 5 million non-food items), which has had an environmental impact equivalent to taking 150 million car miles off the road, has saved 7.8 billion litres of water and has prevented 45k tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.