In this day and age, the attachment we have to our smartphones is next to something out of a romance novel. Whether by checking the news, playing games, or scrolling through social media, we spend much of our waking hours on our devices. While some may view this attachment as less than favourable, there are undeniable benefits to today’s technology – like empowering us to make green and sustainable choices with easy-to-use apps! After some research and trial and error, here are the top 5 free apps I use to make sustainable choices on a daily basis. All of the following apps are available on iPhone and Android.
This fun app is great for those of us who like a challenge! The app records your daily sustainable actions like taking public transit, or bringing a reusable mug to your favourite coffee shop, and tallies them up into points. Join communities or make a group with your friends, and compete weekly to get the most points and achieve the title of “most sustainable”. Along with getting the competitive juices flowing, the app calculates the overall impacts of your actions as Kilograms of CO2 saved, Kilograms of waste diverted, and Litres of water saved!
This is one of those apps that is almost indispensable if you spend a fair amount of time in your vehicle. The app is based on avoiding traffic and choosing faster, more efficient routes for your commute. It is a community-based mapping program, which works in real-time to update you on traffic conditions, alert you to accidents, and you can even sync to your calendar so you are notified when to jump in your car for upcoming events and appointments. This app not only helps you avoid the frustration associated with being stuck in traffic, it also lowers gas consumption and limits emissions, making it a sustainability hero!
Good On You:
This Australian-based app is your go-to for finding ethically-sourced clothing retailers. The app allows you to choose from over 1,000 fashion brands and view how their practices impact workers, animals and the environment. The app boasts a thorough rating of each retailer you search, as well as similar brands with better ratings within your budget, and helpful tips to keep your shopping practices sustainable. This one is definitely a must-have if you are consciously fashion-forward!
Think Dirty :
This edgy Canadian-made app is all about skincare, beauty and household products. It lists sustainable, healthy options from sunscreen to toothpaste to laundry detergent. It even has a barcode scanner to use on your own personal items – providing a rating of the product as “clean” or “dirty” on a scale of 1-10. The overall health effects of the scanned product are shown, along with the impact of each ingredient, and alternative “clean” options! Use this app to re-vamp your bathroom essentials and to opt for greener, health-conscious alternatives!
Support your friendly farmers and eat locally using Farmstand. This app finds farmer’s markets near you, and provides you with weekly opening hours and seasonal working dates. Additionally, the app allows you to quickly and easily share your foodie findings and local eats on social media. By opting for local goods, you help out your neighbourhood farming communities, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions due to importation, and get to savour tasty produce at its prime ripeness! Sweet!
These apps are my secret to making sustainable living as easy as can be! What’s your favourite? Share your ideas or hacks on how to live sustainably in the comment box below.