Although there’s still more work to be done, technological advancements like wind and solar power are making climate change mitigation possible. Technology has also made it easier to combat climate change and protect the planet all from the comfort of your own home. Take Ecosia, for example — it’s a browser extension that allows you to fight desertification and plant trees right from your desk!
This Earth Month, and each month hereafter, try challenging yourself to do more for the planet. Reduce your water and energy usage, organize a trash cleanup, or carpool to work. You can also utilize technology to help create social and environmental change around the world! From reducing your carbon footprint to purchasing products that are sustainably and ethically produced, there are a plethora of mobile apps available that can help you save the planet one download at a time. Here are five green (and completely free!) mobile apps to download STAT to help get you on the path to eco-friendly living.
One of the best mobile apps to use if you want to vote with your dollar, Buycott encourages you to join campaigns you care about (like “Say No to Monsanto,” “End Animal Testing,” and “End Factory Farming”) and then allows you to use the app to see how a particular company’s products match up against your principles. Using Buycott’s nifty scanner, you can easily scan the barcode of an item prior to purchasing it to see what campaigns it supports. For example, I scanned a bag of rice at my local supermarket and learned the parent company behind the product has enormous CEO-to-worker pay ratio gaps and utilizes prison labor! Pass. Another great feature of this app is that if a product isn’t up to par with your values, it will suggest alternatives if they are available. You can download Buycott for free on iOS, Android, and Chrome.
If you’ve ever been unsure of how to properly recycle items like electronics, glass, or paint, then iRecycle is your #1 absolute go-to for all things recycling. With recycling information on over 350 products, iRecycle allows you to select an item you’re in need of disposing (such as clear glass containers, grass clippings, and cell phones) and then uses your location or an address you specify to find locations in that designated area that will recycle or reuse that product. Currently, the app only includes recycling locations within the United States. To get started on making the world a little cleaner, download the app today on the App Store or on Google Play!
Similar to Buycott, GoodGuide makes mindful shopping easier by allowing you to scan products prior to purchasing them to see whether or not they’re socially responsible, eco-friendly, safe, and healthy. Based on certain criteria — such as if they’re non-GMO, how committed they are to their local community, and how they contribute to climate change — GoodGuide scientifically rates various products on a scale of one to ten. The app also gives you insight into how the products stack up nutritionally and lists potential health hazards of household cleaning products or personal care items.
4. PIPs Rewards
PIPs Rewards is an interactive app that rewards your sustainable decisions with “a currency of good” that you can redeem for deals on food, fitness classes, etc. You can score PIPs, or Positive Impact Points, by shopping responsibly, using a refillable water bottle, recycling, volunteering for NGOs, the list goes on! Sounds easy, right?! The app allows you to track your PIPs Rewards, and once you’ve earned enough PIPs, you can redeem them for great deals and discounts from a list of both local (Colorado-based only) and national brands (like a $25 gift card to Whole Foods or a 50% discount on a Lyft ride!).
Not only does Oroeco help you reduce your carbon footprint in an interactive and easy way, it can also help save you money and rewards you with real-life prizes for every climate challenge you complete! To get started, you first create your climate impact profile so the app can better identify your current carbon footprint. This includes questions like how many people live in your household, how many vehicles you drive, what’s your total share of your household’s energy usage, etc. Next, Oroeco analyzes your impact across the various impact categories of Move, Live, Eat, Shop, Play, and Work. The app then details fun ways you can take action to reduce your climate impacts and includes exactly how much money you would be saving by completing each action. For example, you could take a speedy shower (eliminating 200 pounds of CO2 emissions and saving you $20 annually!), pledge to support the slow fashion movement by wearing vintage clothes (eliminating 110 pounds of CO2 emissions and saving you $200 annually!), or hang-dry your laundry (eliminating 441 pounds of CO2 emissions and saving you $50 annually!).
Have you tried any of these amazing apps? Are there any other planter-forward apps you would add to this list?
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Photos: Respective Brands, Pexels