Sending an email, using search engines, storing data pollute. A few studies say that the web generates today 2% of the CO2 emissions of the planet. There are some technological tools and Apps that can help you reduce your carbon footprint and balance the CO2 emissions of your digital activity by helping you to plant trees, reduce your plastic usage, buy eco-friendly clothes and products and avoid food waste.
I have been using some of these apps and tools for a long time now, and I think they are a great tool for guidance towards being more sustainable while making use of the modern technologies. They are not organised by most loved to less, I just have divided them into some categories: Plant Trees, Avoid Food Waste, Sustainable Shopping, Zero Waste, Plant-based, In the Nature, Avoid Paper Waste, and Informative.
Ecosia is a search engine (like Google) that plants a tree for every 45 searches. Your searches will plant trees in some of the harshest places on Earth, and those trees will benefit people, environment and the local economy where its needed most. Ecosia is completely transparent (they publish their monthly financial reports, so you know where the income from your searches goes), more than CO2 neutral (their servers run on 200% renewable energy, and every search request removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere) and privacy friendly (they don’t sell your data to advertisers, have no third party trackers and anonymize all searches within one week). And powered by the same ecosia: TreeCardTM is a free payment card that reforests the planet with your everyday spending. 80% of profits go straight to reforestation.
Cleanfox is a free service that unsubscribes you from all the emails that you no longer want to receive and enables you to delete your old emails with one click. Cleanfox app allows you to display your newsletters based on your rate of opening them and the number of emails received. Then you can unsubscribe, keep your subscription and the old emails or stay subscribed and delete the old emails. A plus for using this Cleanfox app is that they have decided to reward its most loyal users by helping them commit to reforestation. For every new customer you introduce to Cleanfox, you can plant a tree in Zambia.
3. Forest App
Forest is an app that helps you stay focused on daily activities and turn hard work into a virtual forest and virtual coins. When Forest App users spend those virtual coins, the Forest team donates to their Tree Planting partner “Trees for the Future”, and creates tree planting orders. So whenever you want to stay focused, you can plant a virtual tree with this app. Your tree will grow while you focus on your work and stay away from your smartphone, but be aware, leaving the app halfway will cause your virtual tree to die.
Avoid Food Waste
4. Too Good To Go
Too Good To Go is the number one App for the Anti Food Waste fight. Each year, 1/3 of food produced in the world goes to waste, and it is responsible for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. You just have to download, log in, and get saving perfectly good, surplus food and meals from your local stores and restaurants. It’s always a surprise, at a sale price, and an instant good treat for the planet. We should definitely empower more stores and restaurants to partner with this App!
5. Olio App
Olio is also an App for avoiding food waste. In this App, you’ll find millions of people giving away food and other household items to their neighbors, all for free. You can add your items to share them and/or request others that you might need.
Codecheck is your shopping assistant for a conscious lifestyle. It helps you gain full transparency over the ingredients in your food, drinks and cosmetics. It is so easy to use: scan the product barcode, see the ingredients and their ratings based on scientific sources and discover cleaner and healthier product alternatives. For the UK community: check Giki App. This one is centered directly on the UK supermarket products.
If you want to know if your food is sustainable, wholesome and honest, HowGood will help you find foods you can feel good about with simple ratings made out of extensive research. Search or scan product barcodes to quickly access the HowGood database of over 200,000 food product ratings. Each product in the database undergoes a rigorous research by the HowGood team and their ratings will show you which items are environmentally friendly, minimally processed, and ethically produced, helping you choose the products that meet your standards and align with your values.
Vinted is the number one App for selling and buying second hand clothes and accessories online. It is super easy to use, you just have to create an account and upload pictures, description and price of your items to sell them. Vinted is also focused on maintaining a high standard of personal security. They work proactively to create tools and policies that help their community thrive. I want to add that, personally, I have never had any problems with Vinted in Germany when I bought a few dresses for special occasions. [Read my previous article: 8 Ways To Have A Sustainable Wardrobe].
9. Replace Plastic
Replace Plastic app allows you to scan products that you use or buy to indicate that you would like plastic-free packaging for those products, then the app will forward this feedback to the company. Basically with the help of this app, you can tell manufacturers that you would like them to change their packaging. Hopefully with this action, companies will start caring about environmentally friendly packaging and support the development biodegradable materials.
10. My Plastic Diary
My Plastic Diary is an App that helps you track and reduce your plastic footprint. It allows you to record all plastic packaging you get with your daily shopping, you can measure your progress and set goals for plastic reduction and share your successes with friends on social media, exchange tips and tricks
and help your community to fight its addiction to plastic. The founders believe that to change the world people need to start with themselves. By recording plastic we get with our daily shopping, we can understand our footprint, and then reduce it.
11. My Little Plastic Footprint
My Little Plastic Footprint is also an app that helps you reduce your plastic footprint. You can choose one or more of the following six areas: bathroom, kitchen, travel, leisure, household, and garden and with every item of those areas that you add to your list, you will discover a sustainable alternative that you must achieve. To calculate your progress they have a system called PM- Plastic Mass Index. [Read my previous article: Plastic Free July To Reduce Plastic Waste]
“The only thing that bottled water companies actually produce is plastic”. Have you heard this sentence before and have the same opinion? Tap helps you find the nearest place to refill your reusable water bottle and helps you track your hydration and calculate your plastic reduction.
13. Refill App
Similar to Tap, but Refill App isn’t just about free water refill. It actually goes further and connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. You can use the free Refill app to refill your coffee cup, lunchbox, groceries and even your cleaning products and toiletries. Anyone can download the free Refill app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill.
14. Go Zero Waste App
With Go Zero Waste app you can find Zero Waste products, services and stores near you and learn tricks and tips for a waste-free life. You can also add or suggest businesses on the map to help them grow the Zero Waste community.
15. Happy Cow
We all know how hard it is to find places and restaurants that make vegetarian and vegan options for their meals and when traveling to a foreign region or country. It is so annoying to be checking out where to eat. Happy Cow App makes it easy! Their purpose is to make healthy food easy to find and more accessible and assist travelers and people everywhere to find plant-based / vegan options and healthy food. Today, their online community has grown to include members from around the world who are passionate about the vegan lifestyle as a healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable way of living.
16. iHuerting – Urban Farming App
iHuerting/Urban Farming App will help you take care of the plants in your garden or on your terrace in a simple and entertaining way. Your smartphone or tablet will remind you of the tasks that you must perform on each floor at the right time. You just have to select which plants you have, and this app will remind you when to water, fertilize and apply pest prevention treatments to each of your plants. It will also recommend a plant to add to your garden according to the date you consult. This app will help you identify and cure the pests that affect your plants. You should only indicate one or two visual symptoms, and when identifying it, it will suggest organic remedies to “cure” your plants. This is a great App if you plan to grow your own food!
In the nature
AllTrails makes getting outdoors easier and safer than ever. You can see the latest conditions with real-time map overlays, stay on course with off-route notifications, and download maps to your phone so you know where you are when there’s no data signal. This app will help you discover and enjoy nature in a safe way. The beauty of nature doesn’t need to be hard to find. Alltrails builds the largest collection of hand-curated trail guides, so you can explore the outdoors with confidence. Whether at home or on the road, it allows you to find your perfect hike, bike ride, or trail run. Filter by length, rating, difficulty level, dog or kid-friendly. This App will definitely help you get out and discover the world!
Avoid Paper Waste
DocuSign is an application designed to collect and manage digital signatures for the most important documents to your business — including contracts, budgets, purchase orders and partnership agreements. Since 2003, they’ve helped hundreds of millions of people around the world to replace over 20 billion sheets of paper with digital processes that do not require paper. They have preserved over 2.5 million trees required to make paper. Saving paper saves so much more. They also saved over 2.5 billion gallons of water needed to make that much paper, plus over 140 million pounds of waste. And because that paper was not made, our planet was spared over 2 billion pounds of additional CO2. Through the DocuSign IMPACT initiative, their employees have volunteered thousands of hours at organizations promoting healthier forests, including urban forests in the communities where we work and live. (I am really happy that SheSapiens is using this method for our agreements!)
19. GoodNotes (Apple) and FiiNote (Android)
GoodNotes and FiiNote are an alternative to hand written notes on paper. With those you can make your notes digital but with your own handwriting. I love to have my notes on paper but with this apps is definitely not necessary anymore as I have them written by my own handwriting. You can effortlessly write out equations, draw mind maps, mark up PDFs and more. Handwrite all over the page and experience limitless note-taking on the your digital devices. After that you can create folders to save all your notes well organized, and always fast to find and reach.
20. SDGs in Action
SDGs in Action App will help you understand the 17 SDGs, get news on your favorite goals, find out what you can do to achieve them, create your own events and invite others to join you in sustainable actions and events. [Read my previous article: How To Contribute To The SDGs Individually].
There are a lot of Eco and Sustainable apps on the market to help you on your conscious journey. Those are definitely my 20 TOP recommendations and here comes an extra one that is super new to me but I am really proud of having: If you are using Linktree or Link in Bio for your social media you can easy change it to Maelt, it is similar to the ones mentioned before with the plus of being able to plant trees all along the way. Here is mine so you get an idea of how it looks!
Other apps to check out but not in my top 20 list: TreeAppUK, Brightly, Horizon, CoGo, ReGain, GoodOnYou, iVegan, Oroeco, JouleBag, EartReward and PaperKarma.