Olio Stories: From fighting waste to a fairytale wedding

Olio Stories 3 min read

Maizie’s journey with Olio began when her dad introduced her to the app a few years ago, knowing her dedication to recycling and combating food waste.

It was my dad who told me about Olio because he knows that I’m really passionate about recycling and repurposing. I have a real thing about food waste, especially in the supermarkets, so it ticked all the boxes.

Having trained as a mental health nurse Maizie had supported a lot of vulnerable people who would find it very difficult with money. She found it so hard to watch food and items going to waste whilst witnessing firsthand how much other people could benefit from these. 

I tell everybody about Olio because it’s absolutely fantastic. It reduces food waste and if people are struggling, there’s no stigma attached to it like with food banks. Olio wasn’t around when I was in mental health nursing, you’d try and pass stuff on yourself but when you’re on an NHS wage you don’t have the vastest amount of money. Having an Olio app back then would have been amazing.

It wasn’t until later in life that the Olio community was able to help support Maizie herself for a very special celebration…

Maizie and her now husband had both been raised by parents in the army and had circled around each other all their lives but never actually met. It wasn’t until 1996 when Maizie was in Hertfordshire studying drama therapy that their paths finally crossed… 

I used to go to the local pub, buy a large glass of red wine and write all my essays, and this was where we met. It just blossomed from there really, fast forward nearly 28 years later and here we are.

He wanted to get married but I’d always said no until one day we were watching one of my favourite films ‘We Bought a Zoo’ and I said ‘I’ll marry you if we can get married in that zoo’. Then I had a Google and discovered, oh they do weddings, well I’m going to have to get married now!

The cost of a wedding had always been off putting for Maizie so they were set on having a sustainable and affordable celebration. Dartmoor Zoo is a charity and fed perfectly into their ethos of caring for the environment, recycling, repurposing, nature, mental health support and education. They’d found the perfect venue to host their dream outdoor wedding, but now they had to bring it to life! 

We were putting some money away to pay for the wedding but we didn’t have any money for decor, so this is when we turned to the Olio community. People were so, so generous. We got all sorts – runners, wreaths, lanterns, some games, flowers, little name cards to go on the tables; all the little bits that are very expensive when you actually look into it. We also loved that each table was unique because of this.

It took a couple of years for their plans to come together but last year their dream of a sustainable wedding became a reality. Reflecting on her wedding day…

We were just in this amazing bubble the whole day. I loved it. It was absolutely fantastic.

Now Maizie is returning the favour by passing everything she found on Olio back to the Olio community meaning their sustainable wedding day lives on, not only in their own memories, but also in their local community.

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