Self-service fridges? Our future? Let’s ask the Lebensmittelretter.
December 22, 2014
Citizens of Berlin have come up with a great idea- a network of urban fridges in the city to be used by all. While they can be found in stores, some find it easier to access them on the roads. Why are they special? They give out surplus food 24/7 and in addition, they offer the element of surprise of never knowing what to find in there.
The way it works is that volunteers look for food which can still be consumed but which would have been discarded otherwise. The consumables are stored mostly in shops and other organizations that support the initiative and subsequently become accessible to the needy of the society.
We store and take whatever we want”, explains Der Tagesspiegel.
This initiative bears much resemblance to the French “Partage ton Frigo” which aims at finding solutions to facilitate the exchange of surplus food in the most pleasant manner so as to prevent food waste.
By providing an informal supermarket, open 24/7, to whoever needs it, the new self-service fridges are quickly gaining popularity. The fridges are currently being filled up to three times a day by citizens of all ages and even tourists. With over 1,700 volunteers in Berlin, and 8,000 across the whole of Germany, the Lebensmittelretter have been successful in consolidating a network of a thousand supermarkets and sharing their surplus food with shelters for the homeless.