photo: Elaine Casap

Old habits die hard. Not that this is an excuse for avoiding change, but… they just do. When you, like most of us, grew up in this affluent society of ours, you are used to groceries always being available to you. That yoghurt in the back of the fridge, that you forgot when you went away for a few days… oh well, sheepishly throw it away, you can get a new one today. That take away food, that you didn’t end up eating in the end – bye, there’s the bin. Again, you bought 10 eggs and ended up eating 3? If you are recognizing yourself right now, this article is for you!

There is that indifference, in all of us. But if global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases next to China and the USA. Unshaped fruit and vegetables, overproduced goods, portions at restaurants that are too large or expired groceries that are still fine to consume – all of it ends up in the bin, even though it is still perfectly fine to eat. Food waste is on of our biggest problems today and the fight against it should become habitual. This is why we are giving a shoutout to these awesome Berlin-based food projects that are taking a stand against it.

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Restlos Glücklich

The RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH association is dedicated to bringing back true appreciation of groceries into our daily lives. They approach producers and supermarkets in order to save the food that is deemed not sellable and would otherwise be thrown away. Even though alternatives like for example Die Tafel is working in similar ways, there is still a large amount of unshaped perfectly good food going to waste. Restlos Glücklich is a community, welcoming you to help while also offering cooking classes, dedicated to spread the message among kids and grown ups.

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Olio

Have you ever left for holidays with a heavy feeling of guilt in your gut, because your fridge was still half full with food? In Germany, half of the food waste that is going on is happening at home. There is a very simple and quick solution to that, named OLIO. It’s an app that allows you to put your food online in within seconds, so someone in need or your neighbors can collect it at your doorstep. It also connects you with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away. Till this day the app counts 319.000 users and was able to save half a million of items of food from going to waste.

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Original Unverpackt

Original Unverpackt is a super market and online shop dedicated to producing zero waste while selling groceries. They do not only plan to solve the problem of “abundance” in our fridges, resulting in us throwing away groceries we didn’t get to eat, but also seek to eliminate all the useless package waste that comes with selling groceries. The idea is to come with mason jars or tupperware, to take exactly the amount of food you need and are able to consume within the time frame.

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Himmelbeet 

Avoiding package waste and supporting a low waste café culture, Café Himmelbeet is making a name for itself in Berlin. With countless to-go-coffee cups, straws, coffee packaging and milk cartons regular cafes are actually playing a remarkable part in pollution. The makers of Himmelbeet dedicated their existence fully to being an example of how a cafe in a busy city can focus on producing as little waste as possible. Make sure to visit and try their fresh quiches, soups and garden salads with ingredients grown in their own community garden, Himmelbeet.

 

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Foodsharing

This passionate community was brought to life in Berlin in 2012, dedicated to save food from going to waste in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Already 200.000 food savers go actively on the mission to save unwanted and overproduced products from large companies, as well as small households, from getting tossed away. If you want to help or give away a product, all you need to do is register with foodsharing.de and communicate with other food savers from your area.

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SirPlus

A supermarket that is only selling saved food? SirPlus made it happen. Only founded in 2017, the Berlin-based startup is saving foods from large companies, that would have otherwise been thrown away, and brings it directly to you. Either as a “Retterbox” by delivery or through their fantastic SirPlus Store on Wilmersdorferstraße. To round it off, the two founders Martin Schott and Raphael Fellmer, created an low-waste online shop, so you can support the project and shop your groceries for the week online, if you lack the time to visit the store.

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