The internet, social media, TV and even old school print publications. They’re all alight with the word “sustainability”. It’s everywhere we look. Being more environmentally aware is on the agenda for many of us.
Thanks to that infamous nature documentary and one softly spoken presenter, we know we need to take action. That means tackling our food waste problem, using less plastic and doing something about our carbon footprint at home.
But these things seem to be easier said than done. Thankfully there are many sustainability apps that can help us make planet friendly choices.
Smart solutions to environmental problems aren’t without their issues. The data centres which power our gadgets are on their way to having a larger carbon footprint than the entire aviation industry!
So, while there might be an app for every possible situation you can think of, be selective. Choose the sustainability app that’s going to help the most in your quest for living sustainably.
Here’s some of our favourite sustainability apps.
The One Where You Swap Food With Your Neighbours
Thinking about giving your kitchen the Marie Kondo treatment? Fallen for more BOGOF offers than you can stomach?
Instead of chucking out the food you don’t need, use OLIO. Share surplus food with your neighbours and make some new pals in the process.
The One Where You Get Discounted Grub on the Go
Too Good to Go ensures cafes and restaurants don’t bin their surplus food at the end of the working day. Instead, they sell it to you at a discount.
This is great if you’re out and about and you’ve got hunger pangs. And it’s even better if you’re watching the pennies! However, you don’t always know what you’re going to get, so we wouldn’t recommend this app if you have strict dietary requirements.
The Feel Good App for Foodies
Need some good Karma? This sustainability app rewards you for saving leftover food from landfill.
Rescue surplus food from eateries and get a generous 50% off across cafes, restaurants and shops.
The Pocket Shopping Companion
In need of a shopping pal who tells it like it is (so you don’t come home with something expensive and unflattering)?
Giki Badges is kind of like that but with an eco twist. Next time you’re out shopping, use it to scan how ethical (or not) an item is, then make the empowered choice.
The Anti Junk Mail Sustainability App
Fed up with the endless stream of takeaway menus and junk mail? Had enough plastic wrapped catalogues and general waste-of-a-tree rubbish posted through your letterbox?
If you’re willing to pay, US based Paper Karma will contact the companies doing the sending and unsubscribe you. All you have to do is take a snap and upload it to the app.
The Anti Single Use Plastic Bottle App
With Refill, you will never have to rely on single use plastic bottles again. (As long as you remember to bring your reusable bottle with you.)
Just use the UK wide map to find your closest refill station and let the rehydration begin. Tap is a good option if you’re travelling abroad.
Reduce Your Carbon Emissions With This Car Sharing App
Of course, we should all be walking or cycling everywhere. But when distance, time and luggage are factors, consider using BlaBlaCar.
This app connects drivers and their empty seats with travellers going in the same direction. Fewer CO2 emitting cars on the road can only ever be a good thing.
The One Supermarkets Should Be Afraid Of
Looking for fresh groceries you can tuck straight into? Safe in the knowledge local farmers and produces have been paid fairly and squarely?
Farmdrop is your go to sustainability app for groceries. Supermarkets take note!
The One for Chemical Phobes
The GoodGuide contains an extensive inventory of products you might use on your body, baby or in your home.
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure anything you use in these spheres isn’t harmful to health. So avoid the products GoodGuide has rated as one and aim for the tens.
The One Giving Your Shopping Basket an Eco Overhaul
This one is kind of like the US/Canadian version of GoodGuide. Think Dirty allows you to read up on the ingredients in your beauty and household purchases.
It also provides ethical alternatives to your traditional brands. So you can get on with living your best toxin free life.
The One for Anyone Fed up With One Option Vegetarian Menus
Eating out as a vegan or vegetarian doesn’t always have to mean you’re stuck with an uninviting veggie burger. (Although it might seem like it at first.)
Happy Cow is your window to the world of veg friendly possibilities.
All restaurants are rated by fellow plant eaters seeking out veggie options. You’ll find plenty of eateries that’ll make your tastebuds sing.
The One for Competitive Types
Perhaps you’d be more inclined to make planet friendly choices if there was an air of competition?
Oroeco rewards you for making carbon footprint reducing choices. Whilst letting you compare your results with neighbours and mates.
Plus, it partners with Impact Carbon. They’re a non profit organisation providing energy efficient appliances to low income countries. So it’s a win win for planet and people.
The One for Gamers and Money Savers
Similarly, to Oroeco, JouleBug awards points for every ethically sound choice you make.
Need proof that the sustainable choice isn’t always the most expensive? Link JouleBug to your bank account to track how much money you’re saving.
The One for Conscious Consumers
Cogo is on a mission to make mindless consumption a thing of the past.
The London based app scores businesses on issues ranging from their carbon footprint to whether they pay the living wage.
Use it to find a sustainable shop, cafe or restaurant near you and breathe easy – you’ve made the right choice.
The One for Eco Friendly Fashionistas
Get your slow fashion fix via Good on You. This is an app to help you make more informed purchasing decisions when it comes to your wardrobe.
Brands are rated out of five. Everything from supply chain, carbon emissions and materials is taken into account. It’s the digital antidote to fast fashion we’ve been waiting for.
The Sustainability App Turning Us All Into Virtual Tree Huggers
We reckon you’d be more inclined to put up with ads if you knew the revenue was being put towards reforesting the earth.
Ecosia is a free browser extension that does just that.
With over 60 million trees planted to date (and growing), Ecosia proves you don’t need to be a tree hugger to be a climate warrior.
The Pescetarian’s Best Friend
Not made the jump to veganism yet? It’s OK, so long as you’re checking the Good Fish Guide app before you tuck into anything with scales.
Launched by the Marine Conservation Society, it gives you the lowdown on which fish to eat and which to avoid. It also rates the sustainability of eateries serving seafood.
The App That Rewards You for Recycling
This sustainability app delivers a double whammy of happy endorphins.
The first comes after spring cleaning your wardrobe. (Hello and goodbye tassel trousers from the 90s).
The second rush arrives when you use the reGAIN app. Use it to find out which shops will offer you vouchers or discount codes for dropping off your unwanted outfits.
The One for Citizens of the World
Do you know the UN’s 17 sustainability goals off by heart? And more importantly do you know if your country is sticking to them?
You’ll be clued up on both after downloading the SDGs in Action app.
It’s the place to read up on what’s being done to end poverty and inequality and tackle climate change. It’ll also tell you how you can help.
The App for When You Spend Too Much Time on Apps
Had enough of scrolling through the app store? With the Forest app, you can grow virtual trees. You can then trade them for actual trees (planted in collaboration with Trees for the Future).
The catch is, you can’t check your phone (not even once), or your tree will die. A brutal but effective way to get that much needed digital detox.
There are sustainability apps available to suit every lifestyle. So now you can let your phone do the hard work, there’s no excuse not to do your bit.