BonApp and the growing Zero Waste Movement

Cover picture by Justine Bouchard

What exactly is BonApp?

BonApp was inspired by the concept of a German initiative on sharing food and avoiding useless waste. BonApp offers the opportunity to individuals (like you and me) to share more and waste less by giving and/or bringing fruits, vegetables and unopened goods to fridges installed inside different locations. This invites everyone to take action and save the food, either by giving it or taking it. 

Geneviève Rousseau, founder, acquired a BBA in marketing and sustainable development at HEC. Her time spent at the establishment exposed her to the extent of food waste as well as its causes and consequences. Following this experience, she decided to do her part to address overconsumption and food waste.

The organization started as university project and has received help from volunteers and even from a marketing agency. The community oriented project really grew thanks to collaborative efforts.

For Geneviève, the message is clear: we must practice abundance by doing more with what we have!


Gen, what is BonApp’s mission and how do you work towards accomplishing that goal?

BonApp’s mission is to reduce food waste by empowering individuals to take action. 

We are building a community around giving people ways to do more with the food they already have. 

Our journey started with a question: “How can we end food waste?” With 40% of the food in Canada going to the dump and nearly half of that coming from households, it’s an issue we could no longer afford to ignore.

The first step is changing behaviour. Since food waste is a very human problem, we have to keep the connections « real » despite today’s hyper-connected, cause-driven generation. We envisioned developing a network of fridges installed inside trusted spaces enabling people to give and receive free fruits, vegetables and unopened goods. Trust is our social currency and that is why we carefully chose our commercial partners that adopt a fridge and take care of it. 

We crowdfunded enough money this summer to install a network of five BonApp fridges. We want to enable people to take action and work towards developing new habits regarding food.

BonApp Fridge

If you could give the readers (like me) one trick to help them waste less food, what would it be?

Food waste may be a horrific problem with detrimental economic, environmental and social consequences but fixing it and challenging ourselves can still be enjoyable!

We invite people to share more, to think outside the box and use more of what they already have, and to do things differently. We titled this budding philosophy #PracticeAbundance. We invite you to do more with what you have and to be creative. Don’t be scared to eat your peels, stems and leaves, reuse your pulps when you juice your produce…they are edible and can be delicious!

Another trick is to give yourself the challenge to « save » ugly fruits and vegetables when you grocery shop. Take pride in purposely saving them from being rejected. They taste as good and this habit will allow you to change your relationship with food, and think twice before wasting it. 

practice abundance

Is there a food category that seems to be a particular source of waste in our household?

Absolutely! What we waste the most are fruits and vegetables. They're perishable and we often don’t know how to store them. Unfortunately, we also buy a lot of them.

What has been the most challenging aspect of setting up BonApp?

Changing the negative perception around food waste and trying to make food sharing « cool and trendy ».

However, by offering foodies recipes, collaborating with nutritionists (Sophie Lavallée Prairie, Cynthia Marcotte and Laurie Baron), well-know local chefs (John Winter Russell from Le Candideand organizing fun events with our community, we have been able to change people’s perception and make them proud to take action. 

Thank you so much for your time. Where can people learn more about you? 

We would love to stay in touch with you! Follow us on Facebook at 

Subscribe to our newsletter (and be the first to know about our upcoming exciting news!)

Give us some love on Instagram @bonappmtl and share us some interesting content through Twitter: @bonappmtl

 [Editor's Note]

The current drop points for BonApp are:

  1. Café le 5e
  2. LOCO Zero Waste grocery store
  3. Esplanade (social entrepreneurship working space)
  4. Temps Libre (in Montreal's Mile End)

The marketing agency who helped launch BonApp is N/A Communications. An agency specialized in Social Marketing for the new world.

Like this article? Like coffee? Check out our travel mugs! They help reduce waste by eliminating the need for waxed papers cups and we give back 10% of our sales to support the development of poor rural coffee communities of Latin America.

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