When I began my journey into sustainable living many years ago, there weren’t many resources available to help guide me. It was slim pickings back then so I relied heavily on websites such as TreeHugger.com and Ecouterre and read magazines such as Peppermint Magazine. Today this is no longer the case.
“There’s an app for that…”
In fact, living a sustainable lifestyle has never been easier with the development of amazing apps that provide useful information and helps you make greener choices.
So here are the top four free sustainability apps you can download:
The Changers.com app is an app that forces you to consider how your mode of transportation impacts the environment. It’s a fantastic app for those of you who are keen to get active against climate change. Founder Markus Schulz developed Changers on the basis that sustainability should be measured and that people should be rewarded for better choices. So the app actually compensates you for choosing greener options. It measures speed and distance and calculates the C02 balance of your journey and rewards you for using the bike and public transport instead of the car.
The reward is in the form of digital currency known as ReCoins (Renewable Energy Coins). For every kilometer sustainably travelled by bicycle or public transport you earn a ReCoin. You can then use these ReCoins to purchase CO2 certificates that compensate for your CO2 emissions by funding climate protection projects. For more information on this app and how the reward system works, head to changers.com.
My personal favourite is the #climate app. As I am time poor, this is the app I use to keep up-to-date with environmental news and information and actions from leading non-profits. This app allows me to select the environmental topics I most care about, choose the organisations that I’d like to hear from (e.g. Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace) and it curates the news for me. It actually informs me of campaigns that match my personal interests. I have it synced to my Twitter feed so it allows me to raise awareness of important issues by sharing it with my Twitter followers (so make sure to connect with me on Twitter if you aren’t already). Here’s what was recommended for me today:
Rippl is the perfect app for those who struggle with choosing the greener option and need constant reminders. This app makes simple suggestions on how to live more sustainable by delivering daily green tips as often as you decide and lets you set personal goals and track your progress. So if you forget to use reusable bags, save it into the app as a ‘habit’ and customise the routine by setting up an alert to remind yourself not to forget. If you forget to take your reusable mug for takeaway coffee, just lock it into your phone.
You can schedule one new task each week or if you prefer to just dive into the deep end, you can schedule a whole heap of tasks all at once. The app is designed to help you form greener habits through science-based recommendations (this app was co-founded by Invoke and environmental scientists from Ocean Conservancy) so that you ultimately reduce your negative impact on the environment and save money too.
I’m often hesitant to recommend apps and websites that provide ratings systems on ethics and sustainability as it can breed complacency. Having said that, the GoodGuide app is one of my top app picks as extensive research has gone into developing the app, there are actual scientists on the development team and it is founded by an environmental scientist.
Anyway the app provides health, sustainability and social performance ratings for over 120,000 consumer products. It also provides extensive information on each product category, what green issues to look for and how they’ve been scored. The app also features a barcode scanner to help you locate information quickly and also has customised product recommendations.
Now over to you: Do you use any sustainability apps? If so, how has it helped you live a greener life? Feel free to leave a comment so we all get the opportunity to learn from your experience.