This app reduces how much food gets thrown away at grocery stores. How does it work?

We waste 1.3 billion tons of food worldwide each year (yikes!). The No Food Wasted app could help us fix that.

One-third of the food produced worldwide (that's almost 1.3 billion tons) is wasted every year.

In the U.S., the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that each person wastes more than 20 pounds of food per month, which is 30-40% of our food supply. Yikes.

And, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the family breakdown looks bad, too: an average family of four leaves more than 2 million calories (nearly $1,500 worth of food) uneaten each year. Double yikes.


A member of the Argentinian "freegan" movement rummages through a garbage container for food in 2012. The freegans collect the food discarded by supermarkets and restaurants, among other strategies to find free food. Photo via Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images.

Solving this massive food waste problem could help us feed 795 million undernourished people on our planet.

Plus, reducing the amount of food waste could put a dent in climate change (rotting food releases methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide). Recently, the U.S. government announced that it's setting a goal to cut food waste in half by 2030. That's a big goal.

Here's one incredibly cool solution that could help get us there: a mobile app from a Dutch entrepreneur that helps supermarkets cut food waste.

It could also save you quite a bit of money in the process.

This photo was provided by No Food Wasted and translated into English (right now, it's only available in Dutch).

How does it work? Based on your location, the No Food Wasted app shows discounts available in your area on food that's about to expire. Need bananas? Head to grocery store #1 for discounted bananas that might go into the trash 24 hours later. Looking for a loaf of bread? Grocery store #10 has 20 loaves that are reaching the end of their lives very soon.

“We've created a concrete solution for people to do something ... they don't have to pay more money, go to different grocery stores, or eat less food," said August de Vocht, the creator of the No Food Wasted app, which he developed at his mobile media company, Gemoro.

In a pilot study, the No Food Wasted app cut food waste in supermarkets up to 18%.

That's huge. From September 2014 to May 2015, the pilot study followed 22 stores from five supermarket chains in southern Netherlands. Those supermarkets cut their food waste pretty significantly by using this app, which is currently available only in Dutch.

While Dutch supermarkets throw away 10,000 euros' (over $11,000) worth of food a month, the markets that have used the app have saved up to 1,800 euros a month, de Vocht told Upworthy.

How did they make this big of a difference? De Vocht says the key was giving customers financial incentives for food that's nearing the end of its shelf life.

The app is simple to use, which makes it even more of a win.

Users log in via their Facebook, Twitter, or email accounts, or even anonymously. Grocery stores use an administrator's version of the app to scan a product into the app's database, along with the discount, number of units available, and “best before" date.

Users can check out a list of stores nearby, or they can click on one supermarket to see a list of all of its offerings at the moment.

This is what the app's interface would look like if you used it in your neighborhood. This photo was provided by No Food Wasted and translated into English.

And while supermarkets pay a monthly fee to use the app (which helps them get rid of food that's going bad and make more money at the same time), shoppers can download the app for free.

“One thing we learned is that people are triggered mostly by money and not by the environment," de Vocht said.

“When we asked about what discount was needed to sell the product, 35% was the magic number."

The future looks good for the app, too. Since smartphones and supermarkets abound, de Vocht sees this as a solution that can be replicated around the world.

There are, of course, limitations: The app isn't perfectly configured to update the number of units available in real time once discounted items sell. The No Food Wasted team is working on fixing that issue. They're also focused on raising investor money so they can roll out the app at grocery stores throughout the rest of the Netherlands, and then throughout the European Union.

Here's hoping that you'll be able to use the No Food Wasted at a supermarket near you soon!

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

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One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

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"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

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The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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