Woman ‘upcycles’ stunning jewellery from plastic straws and carrier bags

Ever wondered what happens to your plastic once you recycle it? Worryingly, of the 8.3billion tonnes produced worldwide, only 9% has been recycled.

However, thanks to one artist, she is changing the narrative.

Say hello to the thrifty Lorelai Le Quilliec, who is make jewellery out of your waste.

The crafty creative encourages members of the public to send her plastics straws, carrier bags, broken cables and unwanted toys, so she can ‘upcycle’ them as wearable trinkets.

Her mission? Quite simply, to save as much precious plastic from landfill as possible.

Lorelai’s eco-friendly earrings and necklaces are pure eye candy, with inspiring handiwork coming hand-in-hand with a vintage flavour for those who love colourful accessories.

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Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Lorelai spoke about her innovative collections and how her arty genes kickstarted her crusade to help save the planet.

Lorelai said: “I’ve always had a creative streak and an eye for colour and pattern. I tried being a goth as a teen, but my favourite piece of clothing was a rainbow-striped skirt!

“Back then, I would collect toys and beads and other odds and ends to decorate my school bags; strangers would come up to give me Happy Meal toys to put on my bag.”

She continued: “I also used to use those bits and bobs to make jewellery for myself, my favourite was an earring with a fluorescent pink fish on, I wore it all the time.

“I have come full circle, working with waste plastics, I make earrings out of little toys and beads and other plastic knick-knacks in my business, with necklaces coming soon.”

Lorelai says that once she has an idea, she then translates it into reality by fully visualising it in her head before embarking on the creative process.

She uses trial and error methods to see what works best, with experimentation often sparking ideas down the line and even failed attempts proving positive learning curves.

The miracle maker also hopes to encourage people to recognise the powerful link between art and wellbeing, and how it can affect our personal identity.

Lorelai revealed: “I think art is the best way we have to express our identity as individuals, from the clothes we wear, the objects we wear, to the music we listen to, and the films we watch. All human beings are naturally creative, that is our super power.

“It breaks my heart that so many people think that they are not creative because they don’t have a specific talent. Cooking a beautiful meal is creative, the way you pick out your clothes and dress yourself is creative, the way you decorate your home is creative.

“To be human is to be creative; if we all explored our creative sides a little more, I believe this world would be a better place.”

Chatting about where she finds her influences, Lorelai says she seeks it in all sorts of unusual places whether inside or outside the house.

She said: “I find inspiration everywhere, I love clothes and dressing myself in raucous colours and clashing patterns, so I tend to gravitate towards fashion magazines and interiors accounts on Instagram to fill my creative well and trigger that next design idea.

“I collect interesting objects, patterned fabrics and all types of magazines, so inspiration is not far away, especially when I’m cooped up inside due to a pandemic.

“When I’m not stuck in my house, I love to visit art galleries and museums and explore new cities to gather images for my mood-boards. Interesting street art often sparks my imagination, but I have also been inspired by peeling paint where different textures and colours really shine through and even the shape of a sewer grate at the side of the road.”

Lorelai hopes to create a Domino effect with the vibrant pieces she masterminds then going on to inspire her customers.  

She concluded: “I really want people to see that plastic is a precious material made from a finite natural resource and not something to be used once and thrown away.

“Plastics can be repurposed and recycled into beautiful objects both to wear and decorate your home.

“I would love people to evolve out of this throwaway culture, realise that there is no ‘away’ and start to really notice the intrinsic value in resources we get from our planet.”

To grab a statement piece, click here: Lorelai Le Quilliec.

Insanely cute video sees blind dog learn how to run again with guide puppy of his own

Whatever your plans for this weekend, you might want to cancel them because once you’ve seen this video you won’t be able to stop watching on a loop.

In what is now our favourite Instagram profile of all time, we have discovered the incredible Tao.

Tao, a glorious Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with glaucoma and lost his vision last year and had a little trouble getting around after his eyes were removed by the vet.

However, thanks to new buddy Oko, Tao is back leaping about the fields with a guide puppy of his own.

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Little Oko was just eight-weeks-old when he was introduced to Tao, now 12, as his new ‘eyes’, and now the pair are inseparable – not to mention, beyond adorable.

Chatting about how the idea came about, dog owner Melanie Jackson revealed that she wanted to do all she could to avoid putting her pet down.

Melanie explained: “Euthanasia was never an option. He’s part of our family and we have done the best we can for him.

“Tao is truly amazing and has learnt to deal with his sight loss so quickly.

“He has given me a new appreciation of blindness issues and when people meet him, they don’t always realise he’s blind.

“In fact, when we are out walking some people think he’s my guide dog because he has a sleeve on his lead saying, ‘Blind K9’.”

Speaking to local paper Somerset Live, Melanie added: “Everyone has had to adapt and change things and Tao has adapted brilliantly.

“We have sensory mats by doors now, so he knows when he’s going out. He doesn’t jump hedges anymore and tends to stay closer to me now, but he loves his walks. Tao did get overconfident recently and went on ahead of me in the field and then stopped suddenly.

“He turned to look at me, stood in a stream, with an expression of, ‘you could have warned me, mum’ on his face.”

Though Tao has since developed a new-found confidence to run again, with Oko helping him to build the stepping stones to self-esteem.

The loving and loyal relationship between the dream team has captured the heart of the Instagram army, with their profile having racked up over 20,000 followers.

Their infectious energy is often caught on camera as they play in the great outdoors, and we’re warning you, once you click here you won’t be able to stop watching.

Teen boy risks life to rescue mum and her three kids from burning car wreckage

It’s engrained into us from when we’re tiny to call emergency services when there’s a problem, but what happens when there’s no time?

One lad took it upon himself to save a family as their car became engulfed in flames.

Justin Gavin was out running errands in Waterbury, Connecticut, when he spotted a vehicle driving erratically down the street was on fire.

Instead of panicking, the 18-year-old remained cool in the crisis and immediately raced over to help as the car came to a standstill.

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Initially, he tried to help the mother at the wheel and the three young children in the back open their door handles.

However, as they were too hot to touch, instead he asked the eldest child, nine, to unbuckle herself and her younger siblings, four, and one, from their seatbelt and car seat so Justin could carry them to safety.

Fortunately, Justin was able to use the outside handles to open the doors, before he helped the mum from the driver’s seat and saved her brood.

While Justin’s story has captured the heart of his native USA, making national news, the humble lad said he was just doing what any other passer-by would have done.

Justin said: “Some people think teens are just lazy, but that’s not true.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a hero; I’d just want someone to help me if I was in that situation and that’s why I ran to the car.

“This was really about someone else’s wellbeing, not mine.”

He added: “I feel good about it. Situations can be scary, especially if your life is in danger, but if you jump into action and help someone you feel good about it.”

Waterbury Chief of Police Fernando Spagnolo was so impressed that he rewarded Justin for his efforts with a ‘Challenge Coin’ – an award usually gifted to outstanding cops.

Chatting on the TODAY network, Spagnolo said: “Justin showed the country we need each other and need to engage in selfless acts.”

Spagnolo added: “Actions like his show how we, as a society, get through social unrest with an open heart and an open mind. Justin’s getting the attention he deserves, and we want more of this; what he did was so awesome.

“The community has really rallied and he’s garnered lots of support nationwide and he’s handling it so well. I think he’s going to do great things in the future.”

The Chief of Police is now hoping to introduce Justin to the family he saved ­– whose accident started by an electrical failure – once the mum and her children have recovered.

Lad who lost younger brother to suicide to bring mental health first aid into schools

Education is meant to prepare a young person for when they leave the school gates, and yet still we do not teach them healthy coping mechanisms or what to do if struggling.

All that is about to change, thanks to the efforts of one lad flying the flag for wellbeing.

Ben West is now spearheading his Save our Students campaign, by calling on the government to make mental health first aid a compulsory part of teacher training – with 308,275 supporters having signed the petition so far.

While it may sound daunting to people who just want to join the teaching profession to share their love of geography or history, mental health first aid training does not actually require anyone to ‘fix’ the problem or solve psychological issues.

Instead, the training enables someone to act more as an intermediary figure to help signpost a student who might be struggling to access the services they need.

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The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Speaking about his quest, Ben revealed that he started the mission after losing his younger brother to suicide in January 2018, when Sam was just 15-years-old.

Ben believes that the training will provide teachers with tools to ‘walk alongside’ students in emotional crisis and start a conversation with someone who may have difficulties.

WARNING: SOME READERS MAY FIND THE CONTENT BELOW DISTRESSING

Ben said: “I sat on my bed that Sunday evening, unaware that only a few metres away from me my brother was about to take his own life.

“I heard screams through the headphones and ran upstairs at 9.30pm. I did emergency resuscitation for almost half an hour before the mass of emergency services arrived. 

“No one should ever have to experience the loss and confusion of losing someone to suicide. I hope that this petition can save at least one family the awful pain I’ve had to and continue to face.”

Following his brother’s death, Ben began to research ways in which he could help young people suffering with mental health conditions in schools and discovered how ill-equipped staff were to deal with problems faced by some students in our 24/7 world.

The campaigner continued: “Very few staff members have training of any level. That’s why I’m calling on the government to train teachers in mental health first aid so that they have the knowledge to help if they do feel they should step in and start a conversation.

“It would be very cost effective to run, outlining potential problems faced by students and offer suggestions to staff on what to do. It would advise staff on who to contact about the student to start putting into place the support they need as quickly as possible.”

Ben believes that just as there are many teachers capable of dealing with physical medical emergencies, it’s about time there is parity with mental health problems too.

He explained: “Most schools have a single specialist physical first aider as well as having a mass of teachers with knowledge of first aid.

“I don’t think an epicentre of mental health support is the right way of dealing with the issue, instead we should have a more broad knowledge.”

With three students per class now having a diagnosable mental health condition, and four schoolchildren losing their life to suicide every week, there has never been a more urgent time to revamp teacher training to help staff protect our future generations.

Ben concluded: “I wholeheartedly believe this isn’t an excessive measure to take, it’s a desperate one.”

To sign the petition, click here: Ben West.  

For confidential advice, contact the Samaritans.

Feast your eyes on magical painting that is breaking records as world’s largest canvas

An artist has put paint to canvas to create an incredible masterpiece fit for any wall.

Only, putting it on the wall might be a problem.

For the record-breaking painting has achieved status as the world’s largest canvas and covers over 1800 square meters – that’s nine tennis courts.

The eye-popping artwork, which will be auctioned off for charity in Dubai, was the brainchild of Sacha Jafari who decided to devise a piece to celebrate humanity.

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Named ‘The Journey of Humanity’, the aim is to connect 1billion people around the world by becoming the largest social, artistic and philanthropic project in history.

Once finished, the painting will be split into 60 panels, before being individually named, numbered, catalogued, framed, then sold.

All proceeds from the auction sales with go towards supporting the sectors of education, connectivity and wellbeing for those in the poorest and most in-need areas of the world.

Speaking about the project, Sacha says his ultimate aim is to save the lives of 10million children who desperately need our help.

Explaining the picture, the British artist said: “The Journey of Humanity, part one, is the soul of the earth. This represents the energy rising up.”

Sacha continued: “Part two is nature, the mountains, the rivers, the trees, the lakes.

“For part three, it’s the arrival of humanity. This shows the journey of the child, with the love and nurture of the mother and guidance and protection of the father.

“The fourth section, we move into the solar system. The dark purple skies, the twinkling stars, the planets revolving, and this section reminds us how small we are in the universe. Only when we remind ourselves of this, can we realise what we can become.”

He added: “Then the solar system will bleed back into the soul of the earth, and reconnect us, humanity, to ourselves, each other, and ultimately, the soul of the earth.”

The fascinating piece took seven months to complete, with a gruelling 18 hours a day, and over 1,200 gallons of paint and in excess of 1,000 brushes.

Now that’s a masterpiece.

Woman reveals how she turned corner from feeling suicidal to loving herself

It is said that the most crucial human development takes place in our first seven years, when the brain is rapidly developing its mapping system.

So, regardless of how wise we may be years later as an adult, healing very often means the tricky task of unravelling those early years of trauma.

Yet one woman took on the mission to turn her life around from suicidal thoughts to loving herself – a journey she now shares with others.

By exploring different strategies, Lisa Cybaniak overcame a decade of child abuse that left her feeling alone and stigmatised from what she had endured.

Having founded her own business, Life Like You Mean It, Lisa now shares those strategies with others on a quest to conquer their demons.

Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Lisa revealed how the project came about and the tools she uses to pass on all that she has learned to her clients.

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Lisa said: “Back in 2016, I was a very unhappy secondary school science teacher, looking for options to build a happier, more fulfilled life.

“My husband and I brainstormed options. I could be a travel blogger and get all our holidays compensated – would that not be grand? While that would be a tremendously exotic life, it would not allow me to help others in the way I feel I was born to do.”

Lisa continued: “After much debate, I decided to start a blog about the strategies I used to overcome 10 years of child abuse. These are all the things that worked for me 20 years ago to turn a corner from being suicidal to loving myself.

“These techniques, which I still use today, include Socratic questioning, meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, Reiki, and shifting the way I view experiences.”

Socratic questioning is named after Greek philosopher Socrates, who is credited as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought.

It is a form of disciplined questioning based on the foundation that thinking has logic. The practice encourages people to question underlying thoughts in many ways such as exploring complex ideas, getting to the truth of things, opening up issues and problems, uncovering assumptions, and distinguishing what we know from what we do not know.

Using this myriad of self-help work, Lisa’s first blog – named Victim to Survivor – had a remarkable response with many people resonating with her child abuse experience.

Lisa continued: “The thought of us each suffering in great pain when we could have spoken up to one another and been a great source of support, infuriated me. It angered me that the stigma of being abused prevented us from knowing that we were not alone.

“Very quickly it turned into a mission to shed the stigma of being abused by breaking my silence. I started appearing on podcasts, magazines, newspapers, and radio shows.

“My blog turned into a full-fledged business dedicated to helping others push past their obstacles to build the life they deserve.”

Following the success of her blog, and the demand for self-help content, Lisa began developing a three-month coaching programme, called Survivor to Warrior.

The course was created with the goal of walking survivors through steps to shift their perspective, outlook, and experience, regardless of what they had experienced in life.

Lisa added: “Becoming a qualified NLP practitioner, I incorporated this into the programme, allowing for a deeper result in shifting old belief patterns.

“I also offer NLP sessions on their own, with many of my clients now being those who recognise that they are not where they want to be, and despite all their efforts, just cannot seem to make it over that hurdle. They come to me as they know that I have overcome my own tremendous hurdle, and are confident I can help them do the same.”

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is a practice that promotes the idea there is a connection between neurological processes, the language we use, and the behavioural patterns which follow. By changing the way that we talk and view past events, it is believed people can change the way that they think and take control of the mind.

Due to the popularity of Lisa’s teachings, she soon began evolving her business, creating a variety of courses including Moving Forward after Abuse; Anxiety to Action; Becoming Fulfilled and Satisfied in Life; Manifest Like a Boss; and Creating Vision Boards that Work.

She also went on to release a podcast, which is listened to in over 70 countries.

Lisa told us: “I now release two episodes a week. One is a solo episode, featuring me outlining the lessons I have learned throughout the years. Currently I am airing my spiritual series, focusing on my spiritual growth and its impact on my healing journey.

“The other episode is an interview with dynamic guests sharing the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them, giving the audience their top tips along the way. Guest have shared everything from overcoming anorexia, domestic abuse, and mental illness.”

Lisa, who is striving to reach 1million women by 2021 to realise the control they have in their lives, is adamant that her past does not define her present.

She said: “My story is not about my abuse. It is about the shifts I have made in my life to choose to walk along this path; to be happy and fulfilled; to love and accept myself.

“Life is full of choice. I once chose to live in darkness, a victim. Understanding the control that I have, in how I choose to act, react and think, allows me to create a different life. And that is what I do every single day.”

As Lisa continues on her crusade to help others reclaim the power within them, she has also written a book, Survivor to Warrior: You Can Change Your Life.

Lisa concluded: “I sat down to write it initially 20 years ago! Back then, I had not shifted my perspective and mindset, so the idea of the book was all about the abuse.”

Having never spoken about the past in detail, the book began as a therapy session giving her the voice she felt she never had. However, something about the process did not feel right and so Lisa set the manuscript down until she felt inspired again – 10 years later.

Yet a decade later, something still did not resonate, and it was cast aside for another 10 years. It was only in August 2018, that Lisa had an epiphany on her third attempt.

She added: “I realised I had been trying to write a book about my abuse, but I am no longer defined by my abuse. I do not need this platform in order to feel that I have a voice. I had evolved, and so also must my book.

“Sitting down for the third time, I shifted my perspective by writing about how I have become who I am today – all the strategies I use and spiritual awakenings I have had.

“I broke them down into tangible bites so that others have a guide to begin to do the same. That felt right! And, within the year it was published.”

To kickstart your awakening, click here: Survivor to Warrior: You Can Change Your Life.

Son ‘brings back’ dad from dementia by helping him play piano

When neurodegenerative illnesses take hold of our loved ones, it can often be hard to reach the person they once were.

However, a son managed to ‘bring back’ his dad from dementia after giving him just four music notes which then triggered a beautiful improvisation performance on the piano.

The incredible moment was caught on camera, with Nick Harvey filming dad Paul as he advised him to play “F-natural, A, D, and B-natural.”

What happened next was simply captivating, as former composer and teacher Paul began tinkering at the keys to play a spontaneous piece he made up on the spot.

RELATED: PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA CYCLE ‘ACROSS THE GLOBE’

Nick posted the video online, alongside the caption: “Dad’s ability to improvise and compose beautiful melodies on the fly has always amazed me.

“Tonight, I gave him four random notes as a starting point. Although his dementia is getting worse, moments like this bring him back to me.”

With the video capturing the public’s heart, views swiftly began spiralling with more than 1.5million hits at the time of publication.

Even the team over at Good Morning Britain fell in love with the footage, inviting Nick and Paul – who was diagnosed last year – on the show to speak about their experience.

Chatting to hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Nick said: “I genuinely felt so privileged to be in the same room as him when he came up with it.

“Honestly, it was an amazing moment.”

Susanna then tested Paul for round two by gifting the notes “C, D, G and B” to see if he would perform live on ITV, before he rose to the challenge with a stunning performance.

Dementia is an umbrella term for several diseases affecting memory or cognitive abilities that are a result of ongoing decline of brain function.

There are many different causes of dementia, and many different variations of it.

Music therapy continues to prove popular in preserving areas of the brain as research shows that playing, listening to, or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioural benefits for people with the disease as key brain areas are linked to musical memory.

Calling all thrill-seekers! Are YOU brave enough to ride this ghost train?

If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for your next fix, then we’ve got just the ride for you.

While it’s not quite the same as dangling upside down at Alton Towers, it is a magical mystery funfair ride that you can embark on all while remaining a respectable 2m apart.

A new ghost train journey has launched, inviting participants to join the “absurd and melancholic” adventure at project space Block 336 in Brixton, London.

The work of Andy Holden – a British artist known for his sculpture, large installations, animation and multi-screen videos – is described as a “socially distanced journey through a desolate post-cartoon landscape”.

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But how exactly does it work?

The solo exhibition was initially built in the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak, although sadly failed to open to the public due to lockdown.

However, it has now been revamped to launch as a behind-the-scenes tour experience.

Visitors will travel through the exhibition on individual motorised sculptural carts, following a predetermined track.

Unlike a theme park ride that lasts mere moments, this immersive journey will take guests 40 minutes to complete.

Their journey will take them through the desert, the woods, stopping in the mansion’s haunted library, and then finally passing through an uninhabited city.

Each section includes a short, animated film, with the entire installation interrupted by a large 3D-film that surprises guests when the space is plunged into darkness.

The exhibition, which runs until October 24, asks people to book ahead for allocated slots that depart at various times between 11am and 4.30pm from Thursday to Saturday.

To get your freak on, click here: The Structure of Feeling.

Blind teen to swim in Paralympics after coach goes ‘blind’ to learn how to teach her

We all watch in awe when the Paralympics grace our screens as athletes overcoming obstacles give their best fight in the name of sport.

Though very often we know little about the stories behind each competitor and their gruelling training to get them in the best shape for the world stage.

Yet one swimmer is blowing away the smoke and mirrors on her routine and the incredible coach who is preparing her for pool domination.

Anastasia Pagonis, just 16, endured a long battle of losing her vision over a 10-year period before she was registered completely blind in 2018.

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While she had been a keen swimmer as a child, Anastasia gave up all hope as she became unable to see and thought her career in the water was over.

However, thanks to one coach, he turned her life around and is preparing her for the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics after the games were postponed this year due to coronavirus.

Speaking about the adaptations that coach Marc Danin has crafted for her, Anastasia revealed that he even went ‘blind’ himself to master the best way to teach her.

The gold medal hopeful said: “I hated myself. For about eight months, I was not positive. I did not want to share my story. I was not eating. I was in bed. I was just crying all day.

“I thought that I was worthless because I couldn’t see and I wasn’t swimming, so what was I now? If I wasn’t a swimmer, what did I have to prove to anyone? That was just going through my head all the time.”

Anastasia continued: “Nobody wanted to train the blind girl, though I ended up finding an amazing coach who was willing to train me and actually put on blackout goggles to try to figure out a way for me to swim.”

Marc also discovered further innovative ways to coach his star pupil, including foam cushions around the pool to be a guide and padded arm sleeves for Anastasia.

The young New York native also turned to YouTube for inspiration, listening to Molly Burke – who at age four was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which causes loss of vision – for tips and tricks on how to stay positive in spite of her perceived disability.

She also turned to seven-time US Paralympic medallist Brad Snyder for advice on how to stay straight in the pool while swimming.

Anastasia, who competes as a mid-distance freestyler and individual medley swimmer, is rising the ranks having nabbed two golds at the World Para Swimming World Series events in Australia earlier this year – plus a bronze and silver in previous years.

Chatting about her experiences, Anastasia told her 80,000 Instagram followers that it has been a “crazy” journey but one that continues to motivate her to train each day.

She wrote: “Swimming blind has been crazy! Although, I’m very bruised and battered, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’m still having trouble swimming straight and I continue to smash into the lane lines, but it’s getting better each day.

“When I first started, I couldn’t take a stroke without crashing and crying, it was not fun. I would have a breakdown every time I swam.

“Now, I have an amazing coach who is kind and tough and is helping me reach my goals. Even though it’s extremely difficult for me to swim without my vision, it’s what I love and what keeps me motivated to get up each morning and try to be better.”

Not only does Anastasia hope to make a name for herself in the pool, she also wants to create a ripple effect of positivity online.

Chatting about her goals, she said: “There are stereotypes for people who are blind that say you have to look a certain way and act a certain way, I want to break down those stereotypes and show people I can wear make-up and I can be a professional athlete.

“I don’t have to be in this little box or bubble that people put me in.”

For more updates, check Anastasia out on Insta by clicking here.

You can also take a peek at Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, currently streaming, all about the Paralympics and how the competition started.

The way we eat is changing forever as free food is gifted on empowering new app

In a world where we feel more divided than ever due to social distancing, a new initiative is battling against this to bring us together.

An incredible project is not only helping people connect socially, but also fighting waste by saving the planet too.

OLIO is an app that is encouraging millions of people to giving away food and other household items to their neighbours, all for free.

Co-founded by Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, their objective is to build a more sustainable future where resources are shared rather than thrown away.

Their belief that small actions can lead to big change is what paved the way for their venture, and now they are leading the way in how the public views food nearing its sell-by date or how we dispose of leftover home-grown fruit and vegetables.

Having created a tool that is easy to use, people are simply invited to download the app, add a photo and description of the products they are donating, then include when and where the items are available for pick-up.

RELATED: HIP-HOP USED TO CHANGE HOW WE VIEW FOOD

The app also includes browsing options to see listings available near your area and a private messaging service to arrange individual collections.

Speaking about what inspired her to launch OLIO, Tessa said the idea came about after she moved and was told by the removal men that she had to dispose of the remaining food in her fridge as they would not move it between properties.

Tessa explained: “I grew up on my parents’ dairy farm in North Yorkshire. It was an amazing childhood in so many ways, but one that had a constant theme running throughout it – work needed to be done. Feeding cows, mucking out, moving stock; it was relentless and ran late into the evening, every day of the year.

“As a result of this, I learned pretty much as soon as I could walk just how much hard work goes into producing the food that we all eat. And so, I grew up with the firm belief that food is meant to be eaten, not thrown away.”

She continued: “The ‘lightbulb’ moment came in 2014. I was packing up our apartment in Switzerland to move back to the UK. Despite our best efforts to eat everything we had, we were left with six sweet potatoes, a whole white cabbage and some pots of yogurt.

“The removal men told me that all the food had to be thrown away, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do this. And so – much to their frustration as we still had a lot to pack – I got my baby and toddler dressed and set off with this food to find someone to give it to.

“Unfortunately, the lady who I had hoped to give it to wasn’t in her usual spot outside the supermarket and I got quite upset. I thought about knocking on my neighbours’ doors to see if they wanted it, but I didn’t know if they would be in; and even if they were in, I didn’t know them and it might be awkward if they didn’t want what I was offering.

“Feeling thoroughly defeated I thought to myself, “This is absolutely crazy, this food is delicious. Why isn’t there an app where I can share it with someone nearby who wants it?’ And so, the idea for OLIO was born.”

Meanwhile, fellow co-founder Saasha added: “I’m the daughter of Iowa hippy entrepreneurs (hence the origin of my last name, Celestial-One – which my parents made up!) and I grew up in a large, relatively poor family.

“I spent much of my childhood accompanying my mum on various missions to rescue things that others had discarded – wooden fixtures from foreclosed houses, plants from the greenhouse dumpster, or aluminium soda cans casually tossed aside at the beach.

“In salvaging and reselling these items, I not only earned my pocket money, but I literally learned that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. As a kid, I launched over a dozen scrappy micro-businesses, and I always dreamed of starting my own business one day specifically in the area of food, which is a passion of mine.”

She continued: “Tessa and I met in 2002 and have been close friends ever since. When she told me about her idea for a food-sharing app, I instantly knew it was genius and that I wanted to be a part of the journey bringing it to life.

“Within an hour we had settled on a name and made our plan! No one ever said we don’t dream big or move quickly.”

As they set about putting pen to paper to make their dream a reality, the entrepreneurs were stunned to learn just how much waste is produced by throwaway food.

A third of the food we produce globally is binned, and in the UK, households are responsible for over half of all food waste with the average family chucking £700 worth of food each year – that’s £12.5 billion that is going straight to landfill.

Tessa and Saasha are doing all in their power to drive these figures down and have so far shared over 6million portions of food thanks to their project.

They are also branching out with sister campaign OLIO Made, which allows makers from all over the world to sell handmade crafts and homemade food directly to neighbours.

The dream team have even joined forces with Tesco who are introducing the #NoTimeForWaste project, enlisting the help of OLIO volunteers to visit stores and collect surplus food nearing its sell-by date before distributing it via the app.

Not only are the power duo resourceful and caring, they are also ambitious and are striving for 1billion OLIO users in 10 years’ time.

With their belief in “karma and the power of collaboration”, the app is inclusive and for everybody regardless of background, perspective and thought; with Tessa and Saasha hopeful that their ethos can “empower others to help fulfil our mission”.

Time to start rummaging in the fridge!

For more info, click here: OLIO.