10 Apps to Support Your Sustainable Lifestyle
The Committee on Climate Change’s report earlier this month set out its recommendations for the UK to achieve the ambitious target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, everyone needs to contribute by making changes in their day-to-day habits – for some these will be small tweaks, for others, the changes will be heftier. As a business owner, juggling everyday tasks and mindful living can get pretty exhausting, so if there’s a tool to help us stay on track while finding more ways to live sustainably, we’re all for trying it out.
Luckily there are a host of handy tech solutions to keep with you on-the-go, and we’ve listed ten of the best, all tried and tested, for everything from researching ethical brands, to sharing tools, to reducing food waste. Although the apps on this list are mainly aimed to improve our lives as consumers, entrepreneurs take heed! Keeping informed of the latest tools on the market is an important part of staying ahead of the game.
Good On You
Fashion brand directory with ethical ratings and news and offers
You may remember our fabulous video interview with founder Sandra Capponi, Good On You is a handy brand directory listing over 2,000 fashion labels. Search the brand, and its credentials are pulled up in seconds. Ratings are scored using data from certification schemes, like the Global Organic Textile Standard or Fair Trade, NGO investigations and brand statements. It’s an excellent tool for doing your research by comparing and contrasting brands across the industry, or for discovering new and up and coming designers. Download here.
Fighting waste through food-sharing
Shopping for food and consuming responsibly when you’re busy is hard. If you have too much food in the fridge and no time to eat it, then take a picture of unwanted items and upload to OLIO. Local app users can then claim the product and collect it. Connect with like-minded folk in your neighbourhood and with local businesses too. Seeing the items that get shared is an eye-opener in itself to what often goes spare (according to the UN, a shocking one-third of food around the world is wasted) and raises awareness of more sustainable buying habits. Download here.
Vegan food locator for sustainable dining
Vegan eateries are popping up everywhere, but if you’re new to the area, tracking down a good one makes for hungry work. It can be even trickier when you’re dining with non-vegan pals, but you’re unsure of a restaurant’s plant-based menu options. Vanilla Bean maps vegan restaurants and menus in the UK and major cities around the world. The results may surprise – we found out our local fish and chip shop offers a yummy vegan option! Check out Vanilla Bean’s crowdfunding campaign for a fab packaging-free delivery service too. Download here.
Pick your groceries based on your values
A directory of over 250,000 products with badges that tell you how they perform in ethical ratings. Say no to standing in the supermarket aisle, hopelessly scanning the tiny print on misleading packaging, or ending up in a Google black hole, trying to find out if your shampoo contains palm oil. Scan products using your phone camera and find out which badges they’ve been awarded, covering everything from the carbon footprint, to how good they are for you, to animal welfare. This straightforward app enables you to choose, based on your values. Download here.
Fill up your bottle on the go
It is fantastic to see more and more reusable water bottles being used instead of disposable plastic, but an often-frustrating challenge when you’re out and about is finding somewhere you can fill it up. This app locates nearby drinking fountains and cafés where you can fill up your bottle, hassle-free. Download here.
Watch your time and productivity grow
The irony of using an app to cut down your screen time is not lost on us, but Flora’s smart and, quite simply, delightful design makes it a great productivity management tool. It tracks the time you spend offline by setting a timer when you sow a virtual seed – the more time you rack up, the bigger your plant grows! You can also pay to plant real-life trees as a further incentive. Download here.
Take action on animal welfare campaigns
The largest animal rights group in the world has an app that provides a way to learn about current animal welfare campaigns from around the world. “Take Action” with just a tap, by sending one of the pre-drafted emails addressed to local politicians and change-makers. Download here.
Sustainable grocery shopping
The verdict’s still out on whether online shopping is better for the environment than brick and mortar retail, but if you do need your groceries delivered to your door, then Farmdrop is one of the best options. The firm specialises in produce from farms and local producers who are paid fairly, they ensure animal welfare and use compostable packaging. We also love the time-saving recipe feature, meaning you can shop directly from the ingredients list – simple! Download here.
Crowdsource your next waste collection
Need to get rid of old furniture or garden waste? Moving house? Instead of renting a van or paying for a specialist service, connect to your peers in the area and find someone to lend a hand. Users must take a photo when they deposit waste at a recycling centre, ensuring everyone adheres to proper disposal methods. Download here.
Stop buying, start renting
Looking for a top-spec camera for some beautiful product shots? In need of a power drill for a couple of hours to assemble your pop-up? Instead of shelling out thousands on new gadgets, hire from locals who list the items they are willing to share on daily rates. The app’s ethos is based on a desire for sharing culture, cutting back on waste, excessive expenditure and the need for storage space. Download here.