As humans, we have integrated technology into almost every area of our lives. Healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and more benefit from the technological advancements of the present age. The environment, too, is not left out, and a new breed of eco-friendly apps makes a case for technology aiding our path to sustainable living.
Each app serves a different purpose, so you may need more than one on your mobile phone. You’ll find eco-friendly apps below to help tackle climate action and others that unpack a product’s supply chain so you can choose to buy from genuinely ethical brands. While some help to search for rentals and recycling solutions.
Stacking up the right apps for you on your phone can help instill, inform and measure ethical habits that favor the planet. For instance, an application that reminds you to take your reusable water bottle or thermos wherever you go will directly impact reducing your plastic waste.
What's more, the brains behind a number of these sustainable living apps purport to help eco-conscious consumers contribute their quota towards the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goals. And that can only be a good thing in our quest for a more sustainable world.
Related: When browsing your phone for zero waste living tips and what you can and can't compost, why not check out our list of the best eco-friendly phone cases to protect from drops without the plastic waste?
The Giki mobile app helps eco-conscious consumers in the UK identify sustainable and ethical products on the go. The app has over 250,000 products in its database and 13 ‘Giki badges’ that tell you what qualities make the product sustainable.
The badges include; sustainable palm oil, responsibly sourced, UK-made, organic, recyclable packaging, and animal welfare. Other badges indicate zero animal product testing, health benefits, zero chemicals, and the use of natural ingredients.
To use this app, you scan the barcode of the product to see which badges it has. You can make your choices based on what qualities matter the most to you. The app is available on iOS and android.
Making eco-friendly purchases is easier when you have all the correct details at your fingertips. And that is what the GoodGuide app is for. With over 210,000 items in its directory, the app rates products on a scale of 1-10 based on social responsibility, health impact, and environmental safety.
With GoodGuide, you can easily identify eco-friendly brands that you can trust and single out those that should no longer be a part of your life.
This is one of the green apps that will help you achieve an eco-friendly bathroom. Think dirty gives you the details about all the ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products.
You can scan over 350,000 products sold in the USA and Canada with their barcodes. Its features include a Dirty Meter, My Bathroom Rating, and Shopping Lists. The Dirty Meter rates products and gives comprehensive information on the ingredients, certifications, and health impacts. My Bathroom Rating helps you keep track of what's in your bathroom, how sustainable it currently is, and your progress towards a greener bathroom. When you find an item you like, all you have to do is click save, and it appears in the Shopping List feature.
People engage in activities that leave a trail of carbon footprints all day long, unaware of how much they contribute to climate change. You may find it difficult to calculate how much CO2 your daily activities and purchases emit. However, Oroeco makes keeping track of your carbon footprint not just easy but fun and rewarding as well. You get rewards when you get your friends to download the app.
The app uses information about your utilities, transportation, food, shopping, and so on to calculate your carbon footprint. It also allows you to compare your results with your friends and neighbors who use the app. Users of this app can use it to purchase carbon offsets.
Related: How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Recycling is excellent for developing a sustainable economy, but not every item is curbside recyclable. This is why search engine apps like RecycleNation come in handy, solving the problem of locating recycling centers in the USA. You can access it through their website or a mobile phone application. They have details on recycling locations for about 13 categories of materials and over 2,500 items. The app gives you directions to any recycling location along with hours of operation and contact details.
More than just addresses, Recycle Nation provides information on how to improve your recycling practices. It also has features that let you track your environmental impact.
The fat llama app is one of the innovative apps to help you integrate into the sharing economy. It is a peer-to-peer platform that allows you to rent out almost anything, from electronics to cookware and camping equipment.
As a lender, you have to post the item you wish to rent and the rate per day. Interested borrowers send you messages via the app and pay. The app’s services are available only to people in specific locations in the United Kingdom and the USA.
Get renting rather than buying new by visiting their site or downloading the application.
This app lets UK residents track the carbon intensity of the GB electricity grid. Carbon intensity refers to the quantity of CO2 that is required to make 1kWh of electricity. CO2 emission is a significant driver of global warming, and therefore reducing the level of carbon in our electricity system can have a positive impact.
This app helps people make better energy consumption choices, offering not just renewable energy facts but also interesting insights.
Rescuing food that is too good to go to waste is what this app does with its magic bags. Every day restaurants, hotels, cafes, supermarkets, and businesses with surplus food stack up unsold food that eventually goes to waste.
Too Good To Go provides timely information to users so they can purchase the food at a fair price. The food comes in packages called Magic bags. Each magic bag contains a selection of undisclosed food, and you only find out what you are eating when you receive it.
So far, the app has helped about 10,835 businesses in the UK reduce their food waste. It has also sold over 3 million magic bags.
iHuerting is an urban farming assistant, great for efficient home gardening. A person who is new to gardening will appreciate all that the app has to offer. It has features that help make gardening easier, more organized, and more engaging.
iHuerting offers suggestions on what to plant, instructions on how to plant and care for crops, reminders to water the plants, feed them, and more. The app can also help you identify and solve problems with pests and diseases by recommending organic solutions. A bonus feature is the recipes for preparing your homegrown food.
Bunz is a barter trading app that makes sustainable living so much more fun. It brings together a community of people who want to live a more sustainable life without giving up their sense of style or taste. You can exchange anything with Bunz; clothing, food items, and even your teeth. The app allows you to declutter your home and connects you with others who have similar interests as you. You benefit from the community in many ways, from sharing lifestyle tips to practical advice.
Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Toronto, London, and Ottawa are cities where Bunz operates presently. Whereas on Bunz you can swap second-hand clothes, you might also like to cast your eye down on our picks of the best online thrift stores, as a good few have apps facilitating your next thrift clothing find.
A sizable amount of unsolicited mail ends up unopened in landfills. Stop receiving junk mail using just a picture with the paperKarma app. You will be doing the environment and yourself good. It also prevents publications you don't want from being printed in your name and shipped to you; this saves trees and reduces air pollution. You also reduce your carbon footprint and save yourself the time and effort of sorting unsolicited mail.
Whether you are shopping, eating, or traveling, your actions contribute to climate change in many ways. You may not be able to put a complete stop to all your activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions, but you can make up for it.
EcoCRED is an app that lets you purchase carbon offsets that support sustainability projects. You can shop offsets on EcoCRED by trees or the number of people in your household. The ‘shop by trees’ option ensures that your money goes directly into funding tree planting projects. When you shop by ‘number of people, your money goes towards supporting science-backed initiatives focused on making the planet greener.
If you like apps that help you recycle waste easily, Sharewaste is a great one. The application is helpful for individuals who have organic waste in their trash but no means, time, or desire to make compost. Restaurants usually accumulate large amounts of leftover food unfinished by customers. They can use this app to give food waste a second life.
Sharewaste connects them to people in their community who need scraps for their compost or worm bin.
With relevant tips, timely reminders, and ethical ratings for brands, sustainability apps help you save money and time. These apps make sustainable living easier and something anyone can do anywhere on the planet in whatever ways they find.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.