Everyone has a cellphone nowadays, and there are so many apps to choose from. But did you know there are several apps that can help us live a sustainable life?
From helping you reduce food waste to getting rid of junk mail, there’s an app for almost everything you can think of. It’s really incredible to see technology be used for the betterment of our planet!
So, I’ve rounded up 8 apps that will help make sustainable living a little bit easier.
If you want to be a part of the sharing economy, Bunz makes it incredibly easy to do so.
On Bunz, you can trade your items locally, hassle-free.
Let's say you have a few items you no longer need, but don’t want anything in return. Or, maybe you need something but the other person doesn’t want what you have to trade.
To make both situations work smoothly, Buz created a digital currency called BTZ which can be traded for items, or even used at stores and cafes.
Bunz is based in Toronto, so if you live there, you’ll have tons of local businesses on board with BTZ. Even if you don’t live in Toronto, the good news is Bunz is branching out and expanding.
You can still use this app anywhere you are, and it’s a great way to get rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose in your life. It’s also a great way to build community, one of Bunz’s main goals!
Got some leftovers you don’t want to waste? Olio can be help you share them!
This free app connects neighbors to share food (and other things) instead of throwing them away.
Globally, a third of all food produced is wasted. In America alone, 40 percent of food is wasted.
When food goes to a landfill, it wastes the water, labor, shipping, transport, manufacturing and packaging involved in making it. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China.
That’s why it’s so important we halt food waste in its tracks! Olio can help with that.
All you have to do is snap a picture of the food you want to give away, choose a pickup location, and choose who to share it with. That’s it!
You can also browse the listings and see what others are sharing. If something sticks out that you like, just send a friendly request and pick it up at the agreed upon location.
Olio can even help businesses become zero waste: They’ll be more than happy to come pick up your surplus food and redistribute it.
Worried about your carbon footprint? EcoCRED can help you reduce it!
This app helps create a personalized carbon footprint for you after you answer a few questions about where and how you live. Many changes can impact your personal footprint, such as your diet, your water and electricity use, and so on.
Based on EcoCRED’s assessment, they’ll assign you a level which will help you track your progress and show you where you can grow. They’ll even share some easy tips and tricks to help you get started on lessening your carbon footprint.
You can literally watch your footprint change in real-time as you make positive changes!
Then, EcoCRED will connect you to other users making a difference to see which habits are making the biggest difference. You can compete against other members and redeem in-app rewards in the process.
Completing more positive habits that lower your carbon footprint will also earn you redeemable points.
Overall, it’s a fun, interactive way to decrease your carbon footprint as well as monitor it.
Want to prevent food waste but find it hard to keep food from spoiling in your fridge and pantry? CozZo could be the solution you need!
This free app helps you manage your fridge and pantry, along with functioning as a grocery shopping planner. It helps you track what you already have in your home and when it expires, so you can stay on top of things easily.
First, you set up your food and home supplies inventory, so you can see exactly what foods you have to work with, and when they expire.
CozZo lets you have up to 10 members of your household on this app, collaborating together. Anything they add to your home or shopping list gets updated in real time.
Perhaps one of the handiest things about this app is the latest top improvement – their premium recipe finder. You can literally get recipes based on what you already have at home with just a few taps.
This premium recipe finder lets you choose from one of the 10 premium cooking sites in your preferred language, but generic google search is available to all users. This will really help you use up items that are just about ready to expire and need your attention ASAP!
The app also has a shopping planner that sends you reminders, helps prevent overbuying and can easily be shared with other housemates at the tap of a button.
There’s even expiry tracking that clarifies “use by” and “best by” dates, gives you reminders when something is going to expire, and shows your monthly progress.
The whole goal is to help you avoid as much food waste as possible. And, in the process, you won’t forget what’s in your fridge or pantry!
Do you have food scraps you want to compost, but no access to a compost bin? ShareWaste can help!
This free app lets you see nearby composts that you can take your food scraps to. If you have a compost already, but need people to drop off food scraps, you can also become a host on ShareWaste.
To start, you just choose whether you’re a donor or a host. Donors have kitchen scraps to give, while hosts can recycle the scraps.
You can browse a map and see where other hosts are located in your area, which is really cool. It will tell you exactly what the hosts are accepting (such as veggies and fruits), and make it easy to contact the hosts to schedule a drop off.
Any individual, community garden or company can become a host on ShareWaste as well. The only requirement is that you have composting space and are willing to share it with other people.
This app makes it super easy to compost no matter where you live and will help connect you to neighbors. It’s also fantastic for people who travel a lot, because it can help you locate the nearest compost drop off location in your area.
Got junk mail? Let PaperKarma take care of it.
This app will help you eliminate junk mail from your life. All you have to do is snap a photo, press send, and you’ll be unsubscribed.
PaperKarma works well on unsubscribing you from most magazines, catalogs, credit card offers and yellow pages you’ll get in the mail. Coupons from local grocery stores or the local pizza chain may a bit tricky to unsubscribe you from, but PaperKarma will do their best.
The cool part is even when PaperKarma can’t contact the company automatically, they’ll still locate their contact information in case you want to contact them yourself. I think that’s a great option.
In general, PaperKarma can help stop you from receiving junk mail from associations, catalogs, charities, coupon offers, credit offers, direct marketers, insurance offers, local mailers, magazine, and national mailers. It won’t, however, stop mail you actually want – so there’s no reason to worry.
Once you submit a request, PaperKarma processes it within 24 hours. Once processed, it can take 8 to 12 weeks to see the unwanted mail completely stop.
This app will greatly help you reduce the amount of paper waste in your life, and it’ll help save trees! What could be better?
If you struggle with staying focused and off your phone, the Forest app may be able to help you.
This app helps people beat their phone addiction and manage their time in a productive, pleasant way that actually helps the Earth.
Users can earn credits by not using their cell phones and plant real trees around the world with the credits. Isn’t that awesome?
There’s also a visual aspect to the app: When you want to focus, you can plant a (virtual) tree. The tree will grow in the following time, but if you leave the app, the tree will die. It’s all designed to motivate you to stay focused.
Literally, over time, you will help grow tons of virtual trees, creating your own little forest. Each tree will represent your focused time. Not to mention, you’ll also help grow real trees too!
This is a great app to install that will help you stay focused in any scenario, like at work, studying for school, or even just being present with your friends.
This app is definitely perfect for people who need a little motivation to stay focused. I love how it rewards you for spending time away from your phone!
If you've got a big following on social media and want to use it to help the environment, #Climate is the app for you.
This app helps you share important climate change news with your followers and encourages them to take action. It can be hard to know which organizations to trust, but #Climate makes it easy to share current legitimate actions with your followers.
When you setup an account, you get to choose which environmental topics are particularly interesting to you (ex: fossil fuels, animal welfare, etc). You can decide how frequently you’d like push notifications too, and you can even customize the news to your specific location.
#Climate takes your personal preferences into account and curates topics and news you can easily scroll through.
When you find a topic you feel will be most relevant to your audience, you can easily share it with them because #Climate is linked to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Then, you can track how many people reacted to what you shared and if they take action.
#Climate helps you mobilize your followers to bring about real change and raise environmental awareness. It’s great for influencers looking to get the latest scoop on climate change news all in one place!
Which sustainable app will you be downloading?
Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book "10 Ways to Reduce Trash" by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.