8 Apps to Help You Live a More Sustainable Life

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.

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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!

Related: 5 Ways for You to Join the Sharing Economy

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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. 

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eco cred:

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.

Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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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.

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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?

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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.

So far, Forest has helped plant well over 500,000 trees. Forest has partnered with Trees for the Future in order to make this happen.

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!

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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?

8 Apps to Help you live a more sustainable life from www.goingzerowaste.com #apps #sustainable #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #tech #eco

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.

7 Ways Tech Can Help You Live More Sustainably

I have written about tech a few times on the blog, but TBH I’m more of an analog girl. I like my dumb watch, my grandma pedometer, and my physical planner. You will have to FIGHT ME to switch over to a digital calendar. I don’t trust them. The only thing I trust is me and my fountain pen.

Speaking of planners and fountain pens, be sure to check out my guide to eco-friendly office supplies!

At the same time, I do love getting to stream TV shows, music, and dimming/changing the colors of my LED lights. I think tech is amazing although it can be a bit problematic from an environmental point of view.


Hellooo, super, energy-sucking servers…. You can learn more in my blog post, How Eco-Friendly is Technology.

Tech is awesome and it certainly isn’t going away.

Instead, it’s about finding ways to make it more eco-friendly like sinking servers in the ocean, and using tech to help us live our BEST eco-friendly lifestyles.

I have rounded up several gadgets that can help you slash your carbon footprint!

Making your home eco-friendly/energy efficient is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment. When we think big picture stuff, beyond just our own personal shopping habits, it’s time to look at your commute, your home, and what’s going on with your money in the bank.

1. temperature regulation:

There’s no need to waste energy heating up and cooling down your home if you’re not even going to be there. When its warm wear a tank top and open the window, when it’s cold throw on a blanket. There’s no need to hit the thermostat for every small fluctuation in temperature.

For the Winter: 65° F when not home and 68° F when home
For the Summer: 80° F when not home and 77° F when home

Programmable thermostats like Nest are all the rage these days. Nest knows when you’re home and when you’re not. It learns your habits, knows the weather, and will help maintain a schedule to keep you comfy, save on those energy bills, and give the environment a big high five.

check out Nest a learning thermostat

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2. kill switch:

Phantom electricity is scary. “Nationally, phantom power accounts for more than 100 billion kWh and more than $10 billion in energy costs each year.” (source)

This is the energy that’s being sucked from devices plugged in but not in use so if your laptop charger, phone charger, kitchen aid mixer, or curling iron are plugged into the socket but not in use, it’s still sucking power from the grid.

Of course, some things need to stay plugged in like your fridge, but most things you should unplug. However, if you’ve got a plug that’s hard to reach or it’s just a pain to plug and unplug like a desktop computer or toaster oven, why not try a smart power strip?

A smart power strip hooks up with your phone so you can kill phantom electricity from afar. With the device you can check the total power consumption of each device by day, month, year and see which appliances are drawing the most amount of phantom power, and then turn them off or put them on a timer.

check out a smart power strip

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3. analyze your power:

Are you ready to live your most streamlined, energy-efficient life? Good, cause I’ve got some tech for that. If The WeMo Insight adapter works similarly, to the smart power strip. Its main function is to analyze and track one devices energy usage.

This will be really helpful for figuring out which appliances or gadgets are draining your energy and bank account. For instance, if you have a fridge from the 70s, you might be spending an extra $70 in electricity alone! That’s not good for your wallet or for the environment.

RELATED: Save Money and Energy | Apartment Edition

Are you ready for the big leagues? Forget single plug analysis, why not analyze your home’s whole grid? With Sense Energy Monitor you can do that. Sense is on the pricier side, and it needs to be installed by an electrician, but it will help you monitor everything in real time. The best part, at least for me, is knowing that I didn’t actually leave the stove on…. my greatest fear and largest source of anxiety when I leave the home.

Have I had to come home from events and work because an overwhelming fear of “I LEFT MY STOVE ON,” yes, yes I have… on more than one occasion. With sense, I can check an app on my phone and know, everything is OK.

Your home might not be the only place you want to streamline for efficiency, what about your car? With Automatic Car Assistant, you plug it into your On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. It can help track when things go wrong in the car like, “Why is my check engine light on?” And it will help you improve your driving habits through a series of beeps and app alerts.

When you’re using too much gas, accelerate too quickly, or slam on the brakes Automatic will let you know. This will extend the life of your vehicle - YAY less wear and tear! Will cut down on emissions - YAY the environment! And, will save you money, what’s not to love?

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4. powered up:

Why suck energy from the grid at all? Why not go solar? You may not be able to install solar panels right now, but that doesn’t mean your devices couldn’t use a little sun bathe.

Check out this portable solar panel that can charge your phone and tablet. It’s great for hiking, outdoor, adventures, or just enjoying a nice roof top lunch during the workday.

RELATED: How to Pack a Zero Waste Lunch

As someone who’s on the go and has to use my phone at a lot of events and conferences, this is a nice alternative to traditional battery packs - just make sure that the solar panels are fully charged when using! If your phone has more energy than your panels, your panels will suck the energy out of your phone… not what you want!

check out the portable solar panel

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5. light it up:

Talkin’ all about those light bulbs baby! I’m a big fan of LED light bulbs, not only are they much better for the environment - hello, energy saving - they’re also great for your wallet.

Just take a look at this chart from USA Today. You can clearly see how much LED bulbs will save you. Now, the number one complaint I hear is, “I don’t like the bright, bluish light these bulbs cast!” And, I feel that. I don’t like bright, bluish light either.

So, I got the Phillips Hue Bulbs with a range over 16 million colors. I can control these bulbs with an app, put them on timers, dim them, and feel like a god. Mostly because I say, “Hey Google, LET THEIR BE LIGHT!”

Feel like you don’t want to make investments in eco-friendly, energy saving tech because you’re renting? Well, fear no more. I’m a fellow renter, and I actually replace all of my light bulbs when I come into a rental, and then swap them all out when I leave. I do this for my shower head too!

You can read more about how I make my rental more eco-friendly.

check out my FAV LED light bulbs

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6. listen responsibly:

I know that I’m 1,000 years late to the audio book game, but OMG I love audio books. I still haven’t gotten into the podcast scene too much, if you have favorites let me know in the comments down below.

Instead of streaming music when I go on a jog or nice long walk with the pup, (cute dog photos and tips for raising an eco-friendly pet) I’m crushing some audio books.

I’m in the market for some new headphones. I’m currently using the iphone ear buds that came with my iPhone 4 purchase in 2010. Someone actually complimented me on my how well I took care of my old ear buds…. #10yrs #together4eva

But, I’m in the market for some new headphones. Some nice cushy ones perfect for 5-10 mile treks.

I have a House of Marley speaker and I’m a huge fan of the company. They are one of the few tech companies, that are really working to make their electronics ethical and sustainable. They use mindfully sourced materials including bamboo, FSC™ certified wood, recycled aluminum, plastic and fabrics.

please listen responsibly:

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7. accessorize ethically:

When it comes to our phones, laptops, and tablets, I’m a big believer in cases! I know some people prefer to go the risky naked route, but I will drop my phone… it’s inevitable. And, I’d prefer for my $1,000 investment to last AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

This is a girl with earbuds from 10 years ago. I’m not zero waste because I love the environment, (I do love the environment) I’m zero waste cause I’m cheap frugal.

When it comes to protecting your phone, my number one recommendation is a Pela Case! I’ve been a proud Pela Case owner for a long time!

The case is COMPOSTABLE! How cool is that, it’s made up with flax shive a waste by-product of the flax industry and it’s super shock absorbent which is a must for me because I drop my phone all of the the time…

One of my favorite thing about Pela is that they take full ownership over the lifespan of their product. If you can’t compost it for any reason you can send it back and they’ll take care of it for you. Plus, with each purchase they donate to environmental organizations.

check out pela case <—————- Get 20% off with the code ‘GZW20’

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