Sustainability? There’s an app for that
Our busy lives can get in the way of good intentions to help the environment, but help is at your fingertips in the form of green apps. There are several handy phone apps that offer shortcuts to net zero by helping you reduce your energy use, food waste and plastic consumption. Here’s my selection of handy sustainability apps that help you cut your carbon footprint.
Single-use plastics are a huge problem, especially when it comes to drinks bottles and food containers. Refill have made it easy to use less plastic with their global network of 300,000 refill stations, which offer refills for water, food and coffee. Pop your postcode into the app and they’ll show you all the local shops and cafes that allow you to top up your water bottle for free. You can also find places to get a coffee refill and buy plastic-free groceries in your own containers.
With energy costs going through the roof, there has never been a better time to cut your electricity usage. Loop connects to your smart meter and monitors your electricity so you can see exactly when you’re using the most energy thanks to the easy-to-understand graphs in the tracker. The app offers tips on cutting your bills and carbon footprint and helps you identify your ‘phantom load’, which is electricity that is used in the background and unnecessarily pushes up your bills. A useful way of cutting your carbon footprint and energy costs.
The UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food every year, which is a huge waste when 8.4 million people are in food poverty. Olio connects neighbours and local businesses with each other to ensure that spare food is shared instead of being thrown away. You can upload your own surplus food or browse what’s on offer nearby. It’s a great way of helping the environment and your local community too.
Plant a tree every day. For free! Yes, seriously. All you have to do is view an advert for an eco company and select where in the world you’d like to plant your tree. The more trees you plant, the more countries become available. Every tree you plant takes you closer to net zero and you can follow your progress in the app. There’s also a Treeapp marketplace where you can shop for the eco products in the ads, so it’s a good way to discover new sustainable alternatives.
Scan a product and this app will tell you how sustainable it is. Impact Score assesses items by awarding them with badges, which include hero product, low carbon footprint, no chemicals, organic, animal welfare, no animal testing, responsibly sourced, better packaging, plant based and more. These badges help you to judge the product’s credentials and view more sustainable alternatives. An invaluable way of making more ethical choices when you shop.
This is more than a carbon footprint calculator. Initially, it allows you to work out your footprint, then it gives you challenges that help to lower your impact. You can take up an eco challenge, such as running a cold wash, having a meat-free day and swapping screen time for nature time and update your progress as you go. This WWF app is an engaging and easy way to find new ideas for reducing your carbon footprint.
National Grid ESO
This clever app helps you to switch on when the electricity in the grid is clean and renewable. With National Grid ESO, you can look at the predicitions for the day ahead, which clearly show the best and worst time to use appliances such as washing machines. If you use most of your energy when the grid is green, this lowers your carbon footprint. You can also discover detailed information about different energy methods and regions, which you might find interesting.
Got a question? Get in touch at email@example.com