Combining cute mascots, productivity, games, and environmentalism is a good way to make me obsessed with something. The world of productivity apps is crowded, and honestly most of them don’t really help, or make tasks needlessly complex. However, I find them necessary to give me either the encouragement to develop good habits, like doing yoga every morning, or keeping track of tasks assigned to me from work. You can see the dilemma here. I’m so happy to add EcoCRED to my list of apps on heavy rotation because all of us could use some extra motivation and reminders to be as sustainable as we can be.
EcoCRED is an app that estimates users’ daily carbon footprint based on where you live, how you commute, your heating and air conditioning habits, and what kind of car you drive. I’m happy to report that my carbon footprint is about a third of average American households, however some of the work was done for me; I don’t own a car, don’t have central air (and only use a window unit sparingly), and live in an urban environment. The average daily carbon footprint for those living in the U.S. is 95.4 lbs Co2 / day, and mine is around 36.6 /day. It’s nice to have an estimation of how much Co2 I contribute to the world, and it’s alarming that’s all measured in dozens of pounds. It’s sobering to see that I contribute over 210 lbs. of carbon per week just by existing, and EcoCRED makes it easy to start planning if that number fills you with environmental anxiety.
EcoCRED comes loaded with simple tasks that everyone can do daily to reduce their carbon footprints (feetprint?). Not all of them will be applicable to you, but you can just cancel them from your schedule. For example, having gone vegan, the “go vegetarian” task is redundant, so I simply removed it from my daily tasks. It also shows you how many pounds of CO2 you’re reducing by taking on each task. Just bringing your own mug to work instead of using single-use paper (or even styrofoam) can eliminate 0.8 lbs daily. I realize now how much working from home helps me reduce my waste in that I always have reusable mugs, utensils, and leftovers to eat during the workday.
I scheduled my day to consist of many tasks I already do and some I need reminders for and successfully achieved a net 0 (actually slightly negative) carbon footprint.
Keeping up with these kinds of apps and habits is difficult as the fun of a new ritual wears off, but EcoCRED solves that through fun gamification. You earn points for each task you do and are rewarded for daily streaks. You can even see how you rank against the community of users, if you’re competitive like me, and see how you can be among the most elite eco warriors. It’s also fun to see how much everyone on the app has done; in the last four months, the EcoCRED community shaved off over 36 tons of CO2 from their carbon footprint, equivalent to 356 acres of forest.
One of the best parts is that you can trade in your in-app points for doing good for real world rewards like a $5 donation to the National Parks Foundation, a set of pens made from recycled bottles, or even a 3-month subscription to the New York Times. I can honestly say that these are rewards that I’d make sure to save for. They’re not just junk rewards either, I’d love a free subscription to the NYT or even some extra eco-friendly office supplies.
EcoCRED is an app I can see myself using daily — even though I already know and usually do these habits, this app will help on the days I don’t feel like hanging my laundry to dry or am rushing too much to remember to turn off my laptop when I’m not using it. It should never be seen as a weakness to admit where you can do better. We ALL need help making these small changes, and apps like this make it fun, accessible, and easy to remember.
Start tracking your daily environmental footprint and download EcoCred today – it’s free! Download from the app store here.
Disclosure: This product review was sponsored by EcoCRED. All opinions are the writer’s own. Specific product information is checked with the company. Whether reviews are sponsored or not, they are free from commercial influence or bias. For more information about our policies, click here.