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.

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

bunz:

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

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

olio:

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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cozzo: 

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!

sharewaste:

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.

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

paperkarma:

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?

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

forest:

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!

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

#climate:

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
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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.

5 Tips for Defining Your Personal Style | Creating an Ethical Wardrobe

When I started trying to create an ethical and sustainable wardrobe, a few years ago, I had a major shopping problem.

I also had ZERO sense of my personal style. I treated clothing more like a costume, like a character I would be for the day rather than a true extension of myself.

When I first learned about the problems with fast fashion, I donated most of my clothes to adopt a simple, versatile 18 piece wardrobe.

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

It did not go according to plan. I HATED it, you can read more about it in this post. And, I’ve been slowly figuring things out since then.

It’s been about a year that I’ve really started learning personal style, color scheme, understanding what I do and don’t like about clothing, and of course nailing that ever elusive personal style.

I feel like I’m finally, FINALLY hitting a pretty good rhythm. My personal style has developed by creating boundaries.

Many times when you think about personal style, you think about what you like. For me, I love power suits, frilly dresses, boho chic, edgy, vintage, preppy - I love ALL of the styles. But, it’s not necessarily practical for me to wear a power suit when I work from home.

And, I hear you, “Wear what you love!!” But, honestly, I’m not going to sit around my house and go to the grocery store in a suit. I’m just not going to do it when my old pair of jeans and a sweater sound sooooo comfy.

It’s not about what I like, it’s about what I do.

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

1. dress for what you do:

Many of us get caught up in the fantasy idea of dressing for who we want to be rather than dressing for who we are.

My best recommendation is to sit down and write out the activities that you normally participate in. My list looked something like this.

  • work from home/weekend (7x a week)

  • attend client meetings (1-2x a week)

  • speaking/panel discussions/interviews (1-2x a month)

  • go out with friends/date night/party (1-2x a week)

  • dressier (1-2x a month)

From this list you can tell that the majority of my wardrobe should probably be jeans and sweaters.

When we go to our closet and think, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!?” It’s because we haven’t bought appropriate clothes for the certain occasions.

Once you’ve figured out your categories, you can start putting together outfits that fall into each of these categories, and figure out where you have holes in your wardrobe.

  • work from home/weekend - typically jeans/pants, simple top/sweater, casual dress

  • attend client meetings - a little more formal, typically no denim

  • speaking/panel discussions/interviews - NO denim, blazers, silk shirts, slacks

  • go out with friends/date night/party - skirts, dresses

  • dressier - cocktail attire

I’m currently going through my closet creating outfits and putting them in one of these categories. I also have themed categories for costumes… but that’s because I’m a theatre kid and more than half of our parties have themes….

But, I figured that’s probably only relevant to me, and theatre kids everywhere.

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

2. get realistic about the weather:

This is my personal denial. Which I guess to say, if you’re in denial about anything, then it’s time to come clean to yourself.

I realized that I’m always living like I’m leaving. I’ve moved over 20 times. I’ve moved 5x in the last 5 years. I’ve never stayed in a place longer than a year, so I prevent myself from truly settling in and creating a true home with my space.

And, I’ve treated my closet the same way. I am from Arkansas. It is either hot or cold. It isn’t hot and cold in the same day unless there’s an unusual weather event.

In Northern California, it is consistently hot and cold in the same day. You wake up with it being 40 degrees then it heats up to 78 or 80 and everything bakes because there’s no A/C and when the evening comes around the fog has rolled in and it’s dropped back down to 40.

You have to dress in layers, and my wardrobe has never been layerable. So, now I’m shopping with layers in mind, and I’m thinking about how my wardrobe has to come together because most outfits will need four pieces.

  • Top

  • Bottom

  • 1st layer (typically a sweater)

  • Outer layer (a coat or jacket)

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

3. know your pain points:

Ah, yes, the pain points. This is where I realized how petty and particular I am. Honestly, I HATE how finicky I am, but it’s better to be honest with yourself about all your quirks upfront so you don’t wind up wasting your money on something you never end up wearing.

You’re going to read this list and think I’m out of my mind, but the fact is every piece of clothing that meets this criteria gets about 100x more wear than the pieces that don’t.

  • HATE clothing that has to be fidgeted with

  • I have to be able to walk at LEAST a mile in any pair of shoes comfortable (i.e block heels, no taller than 2-3”)

  • natural fibers (NO POLY!) Favorite fibers are wool, viscose, tencel

  • In summer, I don’t like wearing sleeves under the 1st layer

  • Really like white tops with colored and unique bottoms

  • Tops MUST be fitted or at least tailored

  • Can’t stand shoulder details that prevent you from layering

  • Have white husky who’s hair gets on everything. (!) EVERYTHING (!)

ACTION ITEM! Pour yourself a glass of wine, beer, kombucha, whatever floats your boat and get serious about the things that drive you nuts, and the things you LOVE.

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

4. discover what flatters you:

Do you know your body shape? If you don’t, measure your bust, waist, and hips. With a quick google search you see what styles flatter your proportions. I’ve struggled a bit with ethical fashion because many of the shapes just aren’t flattering to my body shape.

I’m pear shaped which means that my hips are larger than my bust. If I wear a shirt that’s large and open at the bottom, it tends to exaggerate how large my hips are.

And, I love my hips and my booty! I’m not trying to hide or disguise them, but I do want to look proportional and balanced. I also want to show off and highlight my small waist. And, wearing shapeless shirts tends to hide the part of my body that I want show off.

Not necessarily literally showing it off, but accentuating it with the clothing that I’m wearing.

Knowing what I want to highlight, really helps me shop for clothing.

ACTION ITEM! Take some time to figure out what parts of your body you’d like to highlight. Maybe that’s your arms or waist or legs! Whatever it is, once you figure it out you’ll

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

5. color palette:

This year, I got really serious about a color palette. To make sure I was on the right track I went to see Donna Fujii who does color analysis.

It was such a fun experience, I went with some friends and left with a swatch book of shades that look best for my coloring. Thankfully, I was already on the right track color wise, but after that appointment I narrowed it down to my favorite colors.

  • Blush Pink

  • Navy Blue

  • Baby Blue

  • Wine Red

Now, when I go to the thrift store, I only look at these color sections. I don’t look at the green or purple sections because I know I don’t really reach for those colors and they won’t play into the color palette that I’ve already built for myself.

5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion

If you want to follow along with me building out my sustainable and ethical wardrobe please give me a follow on my other instagram account!

build a wonder wardrobe:

If you’re still struggling, my friend Daria from Wonder Wardrobe has created an awesome e-course to teach you how to make a flattering, coordinating wardrobe that works for you.

I just started the course and I’m really interested in learning how to make my pieces more interchangeable. She makes these wardrobes for YouTube and it’s absolutely fascinating! I LOVE her channel. Seriously, it’s mesmerizing to watch - check out this video.

 
5 Tips for Defining your Personal Style | Creating an ethical and sustainable wardrobe from www.goingzerowaste.com #sustainable #ethical #fashion #personalstyle #style #sustainablefashion