The first day of Christmas my true love said to me… less wasteful food

Woon Tan
Woon Tan
Dec 1, 2016 · 4 min read

On the first day of Christmas 6Heads teamed up with If You Want To… for 12 days of digital solutions…

Partnership is a wonderful thing, and very much in the spirit of 6 Heads. One of the biggest joys of being part of this community is who we meet along the way and the adventures our collaborations take us on.

Last December, after being sat next to Dr Paula Owen at The Crowd, 6Heads fell in love with Eco Action Games and became huge supporters of the #12daysofCOPMas campaign. With a new blog and eco action challenge for each day of Christmas.

This year, while pondering what we might do this Christmas, I was also mulling over another, and far less interesting problem. To smart phone, or not to smart phone?

I can come up with a myriad of reasons with why I don’t trust smartphones, but roughly they fall into two categories.

One — I think they are bad for your social life, attention span and manners.

Two — I don’t trust what happens to my personal data and they are made from finite resources in an unsustainable way

Plus the battery always dies at the crucial moment.

However, when my trusty Nokia (the one that can last for a whole festival and even has a torch) gave up and my partner offered me his old smartphone I had a dilemma. Surely recycling old, possibly evil, smartphone is better than buying new but old fashioned nostalgic non-smartphone (even if it is one that can be dropped down escalators without damaging the screen)?

There was also the fact that digital innovation is happening at an incredible pace and as a member of a community that champions sustainability and innovation I should really be embracing the wonderful solutions the digital world has to offer, not hiding from them.

So i decided to smart phone, but two months later I realised my phone had become a glorified camera which ran out of battery all the time. The one redeeming feature was I got lost less.

Reaching out to the 6 Heads gang we decided to engage our community and pool resources on our favourite apps to do a guide for the 12 days of Christmas. It turns out I am not alone, my friends at 6 Heads all hardly use apps… certainly not enough to cover a 12 day directory between us.

Luckily for us our 6 Heads network and extended family are far more tech savvy than us. Thanks to another one of our collaborations with Hackney Tours at our Camden Sustainability Walkshop we met Woon from If You Want To…? In a Camden alleyway, while Simon Cole was giving us a fascinating history about the transformations taking place in Camden, we set the challenge to our tour group to help us on our digital journey. The next day Woon introduced me to If You Want To - who are collecting and curating the services that help us transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. And this includes all the digital enabled solutions like apps, and online tools and platforms.

Serendipity was on our side and we have teamed up with If You Want T0 (IYWTo) who will be bringing you a themed blog for each day of Christmas covering the very best the cleanweb has to offer.

Louisa Harris

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Day 1 Reducing Food Waste

For each of the next 12 days, I will be posting 12 of the most exciting sustainable lifestyle changes that is enabled by cleanweb services.

Cleanweb is the use of digital technology to address environmental challenges, resource constraints and climate change.

Living a sustainable lifestyle is information rather than material intensive. Digital technology is a powerful way to help shape new behaviours. Here at IYWTo we have been exploring cleanweb as an enabler of sustainable lifestyle, and taking a digital and lifestyle perspective to explore this growing sector we call cleanweb.

Each post will explain a crucial transition towards sustainable lifestyle and what is happening at the cutting edge of cleanweb innovation.

For our first post we explore the move towards less wasteful food consumption.

We know that food waste is a real issue with the latest research in the UK predicting that 7 million tons of food is wasted by households each year and ⅓ of the global food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted.

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Here are 2 apps solving this issue and making great traction.


Olio is an app that matches people with surplus food with neighbours who can consume them.

Take a photo, add a pick up location and get your food found on the app. You can message the person via the app and arrange to collect them.

Too Good To Go

TGTG is an app and website that links people with local restaurants, cafes and bakeries with food that would otherwise go to waste. Through the app you can make your order and collect the food up to an hour before closing time.

Let us know what you think. Are there any similar services out there that you would like to share with the IYWTo community.

For more about IYWTo head over to or get in touch with Woon

6 Heads is a community we would like you to be part of. We are dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation. We are curious and experimental. Every month we bring together brilliant and curious minds to brainstorm on what we could do together, plan events, blogs, campaigns and whatever our curiosity may come up with.

if you want to

Innovative solutions for a sustainable life

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