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Dress ECOde’s lifestyle – Apps linked to sustainability: food and dating

The apps now support us in the most disparate daily activities. In addition to those dedicated to vintage and second-hand that we often mention, I’ll tell you how it went with the digital tools related to sustainability that I am personally testing. I start with two applications: one useful for reducing food waste, the other for getting to know and going out with vegetarians or vegans.

Too Good To Go – Let’s save the food and the wallet!

I have been using this app for some time, together with another competitor wide known abroad, to help reduce food waste. The idea is to connect users with businesses that offer unsold products, in order to prevent food from being wasted. On the one hand, customers receive food from favorite bars and shops at a lower price, on the other hand shopkeepers engage new customers and avoid disposal costs, contributing to the reduction of food waste.

You download the app, sign up for free and start scrolling through the availability of food by selecting the neighborhood, type of product (ready meals, food, baked goods), time slot of availability (lunch / dinner) and other criteria such as the immediate availability or the imminent closure of the time window for collection.

I had excellent experiences (in Milan in an oven and in an ice cream parlor in Rome) and a little less luck with some exercises in Roman territory where the participating shops have recently reached 1,000, with disappointment for the quality and quantity of food to be withdrawn. The app works great, it’s simple, immediate.

However, in some cases I had the feeling of a possible misunderstanding on the part of some restaurateurs: the purpose of Too Good To Go is to save the surplus from waste, everything that is close to expiry at the closing of the restaurant and cannot be sold soon. It is not only a tool to promote your business or to apply discounts to new customers… In one case, unfortunately, I also found food that, for reasons I overlook, was just to be thrown away. In others, the disappointment of finding few things and at a price almost equal to the price list and the doubt of not having really helped to save something about to be thrown away. On this we hope that the Too Good To Go team can find a way to better orient the businesses that join.

A part from that, I think it is a valid tool of great use in the fight against waste! In the case, for example, of the oven in Milan, the quantity of delicious food was truly incredible and it was clearly understood that they were sandwiches, scones, pizzas, stuffed cottages that the next day could not be put back in the window. The ice cream tasted recently was also very good, with a competitive price compared to the product normally sold.

It costs nothing to try, I invite you to download it! Let me know how you find yourself so I can share it with other readers.

(Photos: Too Good To Go)


Veggly – Digital dating for vegetarians and vegans (but not only)

A few months ago I read an article announcing the arrival in Italy of a new dating app, dedicated to vegans and vegetarians. “Will it work to get to know people with similar intentions, more attention to the environment and animals and a greater sensitivity towards sustainable issues?”, I asked myself. It would have been nice to write about one more tool to create new social relationships in times of distancing and physical distance.

I’d like to preface that I have never used a dating app. I therefore have no possibility to make a direct comparison with similar tools, but I was able to collect feedback from those who use them regularly.

Veggly works like this: you sign up, upload your photos, enter your description indicating whether you are vegan, vegetarian or if you are “trying” (in the sense of trying to become veg!) And the work you do. You can choose the free or paid version. By scrolling through the photos, if you like someone send a like. If he/she likes back, the match starts and you can begin chatting. No photos, no vocals. Messages only.

I’ve never given  a like first, but maybe for the article I should have tried. There are those who send you a like, reciprocate and then don’t write anything to you. I didn’t understand them. Even if it can happen to press “like” by mistake (it happened to me with one not at all similar!).

In recent months I have come across the strangest human cases. In the profile I indicated the work profession, age and interests converging on nature, the environment, travel and, after a first period of total inexperience, I clearly specified that I was not “a person from Tinder” and I would have answered to meet people with similar interests, with a real name and a personal photo (note for Veggly managers: but… why age? Why not a range of years for example? Does it really need to appear next to the name??… please…).

Trusting in a sort of natural selection given the name and target of the app thanks to what is written in the bio, I found myself being contacted by:

  • Two oil industry engineers
  • Dozens of people with no photos other than a kitten, sunset, vegan dish, etc.
  • A boy who for the first time has heard of professions related to sustainability
  • Several men disappointed with the answer to the question “What are you looking for here on Veggly?” (“I would like to meet people with similar interests”)
  • Mostly young boys (between 25 and 30 years old)
  • A misogynist

And then a series of cases that could be almost pathological.

I asked myself and I wonder: do they randomly click on “like” stopping at the photo, without reading the bio? Not even what is written in the top highlighted field “Work”? Following this criterion to skim, I did not respond to those who changed their name every day or to those who chose to call themselves “Rome” in order not to reveal their identity (in addition to avoiding those with a profile picture with their girlfriend).

I could write rivers of words only on the incipits of the conversations, on the first approaches. “What a beautiful lady, however in my particular view it is women & capitalism who are destroying the planet.” Already with “lady” you put yourself brutally, as if it were not enough you then destroy the professional and private mission that I revealed to you in the bio, showing a slight male chauvinist resentment! At least you read the bio. But why then did you contact me??

Few have patience. In a world of fast fashion and fast food, dating is fast too. At the first message they already rush to meet, get the phone number (the insistence from one of them at the first contact was exhausting), video call, get engaged, move in with you and someone already separate, doing everything alone because maybe you  having not activated the notifications, that day you did not really have time to enter the app.

I found myself telling a 20-year-old about that emotion that I lived as a teenager waiting to find a letter in the mailbox. A long-awaited answer, for which sometimes the words imprinted on the paper received a feedback even after months, if the correspondent was a bit lazy and the Post Office didn’t give you setbacks. I still remember the moments when I turned the small key to the box and found lying there, after miles of travel, a rectangle of paper sometimes smudged, sometimes perfumed, sometimes crumpled. There were times when I tore the envelope instantly, others when I waited to be silent in the middle of the field close to my house walking the dog or to curl myself  up on the bed in solitude.

Those emotions, I still remember them.

So opening an app and finding a series of consecutive pressing, or in some cases even delirious, messages because you didn’t respond promptly is a little shock. I was blocked by a couple of people:

  • from one because I didn’t want to share the phone number and chat on Whatsapp on first contact. The advice is to protect yourself and exchange a telephone number only after having met. Better to interact on Instagram first.
  • from a guy from Bucharest, because when he was insisting on the first contact for a video dating (but what is it?) I showed some perplexity, by proposing to write us at least a few messages first. After two words he was already talking about massages. When I asked what video dating was: “Why to spoil the fun before it?”. The perplexities at this point have only increased! And his unsolicited reassurances were useless: “I don’t even go for the back touch. So no need to get worried”. Continuing with an annoying and inappropriate flirting so cold in a message bombing.
  • from another guy, because I didn’t answer immediately. Then after a while he reappeared apologizing for the drama. And stopped any conversation shortly thereafter because you have explained that you prefer to start from a friendship. “Honestly, I’m sorry to break this off but talking about this app once a week I find it a bit sad (ed: we’re talking about not even a month of acquaintance). If, on the other hand, you think that something more intimate could be born from this friendship, tell me. For how I am made I try to live sexuality in a more open and free way, in fact I wanted to make things clear for correctness”. If it weren’t for all the name changes, which in the end I didn’t understand who I was talking to, and for the little aggressive drama enough for a belated response, I would almost have appreciated the frankness. Better than another, who kindly wrote messages consistently and then unexpectedly stopped writing after answering the question “But what are you looking for exactly on this chat?” (yet in the bio I wrote it!).

Actually another guy also blocked me. One of the few with whom written conversations were pleasant. Most of the messages are missing dialogues that languish. More than “Where are you from?”, “What are you doing?”, “Hey!”, “Can you move from Rome?”, “Have you ever visited a dog shelter?”. Difficult to read something engaging and original. He moved me instead. Until he asked me to follow each other on Instagram. I went to see his profile and suddenly I asked: “How come you have hundreds of followers and you don’t even follow one person?”. He did not like anyone, he did not consider anyone worthy of being followed, this is the summary of an answer given with a certain arrogance. Just enough time to show amazement and write that probably not even my profile is a great artistic product, then he blocked me.

The app itself works. I can’t catch the difference with similar alternatives, also because it is not required to be vegan or vegetarian. By definition, dating apps in Italy are for quick and slightly light encounters. I wanted to experiment, to tell it here if a common focus such as love for animals and the environment would open a window to a different target.

I find Veggly’s goal beautiful and the opportunity to reach people all over the world. I managed to meet a guy outside Italy with many points in common discovered in pleasant conversations and with an interesting experience in the fashion sector, maybe a professional collaboration will be born (I keep my conversations with him confidential). There remains the sadness of scrolling with a finger photos of strangers, “this yes, this no”, excluding – perhaps – statistically a little too much and the disappointment of not having expanded the circle of friends with similar interests. Will something innovative come from Veggly? In the meantime, I still don’t know for how long, maybe I keep investigating.

If you are interested in apps, we wrote with Giulia about a digital tool to organize our closet.

Ps I thank Serena Tringali, because in a Club House room I entered, creating confusion to gather information on dating apps, she turned the topic of the group to give me interesting ideas.


(Photos: Veggly; Pratik Gupta)

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