We all know the importance of being environmentally friendly and living sustainably, however it can be really hard to turn this into action when life gets busy. Recently I’ve been exploring simple ways to pursue a more environmentally friendly life. There’s the usual ‘don’t use straws’, ‘get a keep cup’… but there are also APPS. They’re easily accessible and quick to use. My journey has brought me to the 7 apps listed below.
Ok, this app is ‘app’-solute GOLD (oh yes I did). It provides information on how to best dispose of products and is specific to the council area you live in. I’ve been wondering how to dispose of my old laptop so I used this app to find out the best way to do this. It turns out these can’t be disposed of in a bin as computers in landfills are toxic… good thing I checked. RecycleSmart provided the details of a place near me that I could drop off my laptop for recycling! How great!
2. Make a meal
Free for basic access, about $1.50 (AUD) for premium.
There are actually quite a few apps to help you manage leftovers and minimize waste. Personally, I preferred this one because it’s easy to use and there are plenty of recipes. You simply list what ingredients you’d like to use up and the app provides meal suggestions. If you’re after a more complex yet detailed app that creates a weekly meal plan and adds items to a shopping list for you, then ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ is another app to check out. Let me know which one you prefer.
This is a brilliant idea! Essentially you add shopping list items to the app and then you are sent a reminder before the food expires. Never again forget the contents of your fridge! If you combine Foodkeepr and Make A Meal then you have the ultimate food waste reducing strategy!
4. Energy Rating
This is really helpful if you’re buying appliances. It’s a database of different products and provides the energy-rating, amount of energy used per year and a comparison of running costs. As an additional motivation, being energy efficient saves you money on power bills!
5. Refresh and Go Green
Costs $2.99 (i.e. less than a cup of coffee)
I know it isn’t free but this app is worth it. Refresh and Go Green provides small, achievable goals that are relevant to daily life and will make a difference. Examples include anything from using organic fertilizer because synthetic fertilizer is made using fossil fuels to suggesting reusable food wraps rather than plastic wrap. It’s been a learning experience. They’ve made the app fun by getting you to tick off the changes you make. Everyone loves a sense of victory.
Joulebug is another app that makes being environmentally friendly into a game and it’s free. You are rewarded points for actions such as having shorter showers, using keep cups or not using the dryer. There are local challenges to participate in and a way to follow your friend’s progress. It could be useful if that type of thing inspires you. I personally found that I would be more likely to use the Refresh and Go Green App. It seemed more achievable for those who live a busy life.
6. Sustainable Seafood Guide
The environmental impact of fishing is significant. It’s not something I’d really considered but it makes sense. Fishing techniques can cause habitat destruction and overfishing can result in depletion or extinction of species.
This app allows you make informed seafood choices and help reduce the impact on our oceans and sea life. It’s easy to understand with the ‘green means good’ and ‘red means bad’ rating system.
7. Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping
How does palm oil have anything to do with the environment? WELL, let me summarise what I’ve just learnt. Palm oil production leads to destruction of forests, loss of habitat for many endangered species (e.g. orangutans) and a whole lot of pollution. In summary, it’s not good.
The ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping’ is another app that leads to informed choices. You can search specific products or even scan item barcodes to find the sustainable palm oil rating. My simplified explanation of how the rating system works is the more committed a company is to producing palm oil without deforestation, the higher they score. In excellent news, Cadbury chocolate rates well! What a relief for all of us.
Let me know what you think of the apps and comment below if you’d like to suggest any others!