Do you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle but don’t know where to begin or are you already an ethical guru but want to do more? Here are our top innovative, convenient apps that have helped us become more productive and informed whilst also positively contributing to our planet and its inhabitants. What more could you want from an app?
Ecosia (Free) – surf the web and plant trees
Swap out your Safari or Google Chrome for this alternative web browser that plants trees while you surf the internet. Ecosia is B-corp certified and makes their revenue from search engine ads. Over 80% of profits are invested in conserving the environment by planting native trees. Although the browser design is a little less user-friendly than Chrome, the servers run on renewable energy and they are committed to providing greater transparency and data privacy than your traditional browsers, so it’s well worth the trade-off. We know this sounds too good to be true. And no, the desktop and mobile browser is not a scam and will not give you viruses.
Good On You (Free) – large sustainable shopping app
This brand rating app makes shopping ethically way too easy by connecting consumers to sustainable fashion labels around the world. The versatile app also doubles as an educational tool, informing us of the human, animal and environmental impacts of unethical clothing manufacturing practices. What’s more, it provides tips, interviews and guides about how you can better utilise your purchasing power.
Charity Miles (Free) – get fit whilst raising money for charities
This fantastic app encourages you to get fit while raising money for charity. You simply choose from over 40 recognised charities to support, then the app tracks your movements when you are walking, running or biking. Companies, friends or families can sponsor you through the app and you can also challenge friends to fundraising goals.
Flora: Focus and Study in Forest (App Store) (Free) ; Forest – stay focused (Google Play) – reduce your screen time and plant trees instead
This is a productivity app that really works. Whether you are a student trying to fight procrastination, or you’re in a meeting at work and easily distracted, or maybe you just can’t help constantly checking your phone. Flora actually incentivises you to stay off your phone by planting a virtual seed that grows into a healthy adult tree once the timer is up. If you check your phone before the timer is over, the tree will die. You can also choose to contribute some real money which really incentivises not checking your phone. But don’t worry, even if you did kill the tree, the donation goes towards forest restoration, so it’s a win-win. The best aspect of the app is that you can link up with friends, allowing you and your friends to stay off your phone and be present with each other. And if they don’t, you can guilt them for killing a tree. Nothing beats some healthy competition!
Think Dirty (Free) – understand what’s really in the beauty products you use
Learn what you are really putting on your skin, by scanning the barcode for a breakdown of the ingredients in your cosmetics and toiletries. This app has a huge encyclopedia of all your usual beauty items and allows you to minimise unwanted chemicals in your products and ensure there is transparency in your shopping basket. Not only does it provide you the science behind the products in the aisle, it also gives you alternative suggestions of similar products that are cleaner and greener.
Happy Cow – global food directory for vegans and vegetarians
This app is an absolute essential for vegans, vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions. With a huge global online community, the app helps you locate, review and rate vegan and vegetarian restaurants, grocery stores and health food stores nearby. There are also many filters allowing you to refine what you are looking for or what your dietary requirements are. This app is especially handy when you’re travelling in a different country and unclear as to where you can eat locally. There has not been a place I have visited where it has not provided many great suggestions. The app is $5.99 but it’s seriously worth the one time payment.
Recycle Smart (Free) – comprehensive recycling guide covering every council in Australia
Are you confused about how to recycle difficult items such as batteries or CD’s or did you forget what day of the week green waste is collected from in your area? This useful app streamlines everything you need to know about recycling. The extensive directory covers how to recycle over 200+ items in your area; where your closest recycling centre is, and get reminders on waste collection schedules through the calendar function on the app. A real life-saver when it comes to recycling. There still hasn’t been once where this app hasn’t come through with what to do with those odd miscellaneous items.
Olio (Free) – share food and stop waste
OLIO connects individuals and local businesses to each other so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. Pick up some good food on the way home from work and keep it from being wasted. Our pantries have definitely benefited from delicious Indian tea and spices, home grown vegetables and the occasional meal as well! To make an item available, simply open the app, add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up. To access items, simply browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up via private messaging. It’s that easy!
Got an ethical app you love and want the world to know about it? Share the love and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.