The number of apps that promise to “make your daily life greener” and “help to contribute to a less polluted planet” is astonishing.
Unfortunately, most of them are crap.
I have probably downloaded about 25 apps over the last two days in order to find five apps that actually do reduce your carbon footprint.
To help people use their phone to live a more convenient and more eco-friendly lifestyle.
In this article, you will learn about:
– Which apps that can help you to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
– Read about my personal experiences with some of the apps.
– Which apps I feel that’s missing out on the market.
– And if you have something to discuss, feel free to leave a comment below. I am also VERY happy for any tips related to new and innovative “green apps” that are out on the market. 🙂
Table of Contents
- In a hurry? Here’s a table of all the best eco-friendly apps on the market
- 1. iRecycle: Recycling made easy (in the USA)
- 2. JouleBug – “save the earth and save money!”
- 3. PaperKarma – stop junk mail with a photo! (also in the USA)
- 4. Too Good to Go – Reduce Your Food Waste (Europe)
- 5. GoodGuide – Instantly Know How Eco-Friendly a Product is (USA/Europe?)
- Key takeaways from this article
In a hurry? Here’s a table of all the best eco-friendly apps on the market
|App||What does it help you with?||Global/local?|
Too Good To Go
|Reduce food waste. |
Helps you to purchase "overstock food" from restaurants nearby.
|Europe + USA.|
The app helps you to locate recycling bins in your area.
|Helps you to understand the financial value of living eco-friendly.|
Some type of social media site.
|Reduce paper waste|
Helps you to stop any junkmail to your mailbox with a simple click.
| Identifies eco-friendly groceries |
With the app, you can scan groceries and it will tell you how eco-friendly they are.
|USA + some imported products in other countries.|
Want to read more?
Below, you can read about each and every one of them. Not only that: but also my own personal experiences. 🙂
1. iRecycle: Recycling made easy (in the USA)
By entering your ZIP code or geographical position, you will be able to instantly locate all the recycling options across the USA. Simple as that.
You can filter by types of trash in order to remove certain recycling spots that do not take a certain type of junk (e.g. batteries).
Very easy to use and very helpful.
2. JouleBug – “save the earth and save money!”
If I got two cents every time I heard of a company that would promise to make its users live a greener lifestyle AND save money at the same time, I would be so rich that I didn’t need to….save money. Seriously: this concept is quite old by now.
However, I would argue that JouleBug is pretty much the best app out there for this specific purpose.
The app doesn’t give you any money or credit that you can spend on things. However, it constantly reminds you that living an eco-friendly lifestyle also (very often) equals living cheaper:
– Bring your own bag to the grocery store instead of buying a new
– Use public transport instead of taking the car
– Going for a holiday? Use the train!
– And so on….and so on….
Unfortunately, I struggled to convince any of my friends to join JouleBug. They argument was: “we are already registered on enough social media sites!”, which, to be frankly, is a quite fair argument.
However, I believe that JouleBug can be quite nice. The app is easy to use, you don’t have to give away a lot of information to register and it saves you money. Win-win.
3. PaperKarma – stop junk mail with a photo! (also in the USA)
Something that annoys a lot of people is junk mail. Going out to the mailbox only to figure out that its filled with “discounted offers” on women clothes, printers, computers and mobile phones…NAH. Hate it.
If you recognize this problem and live in the USA, you should download PaperKarma. All you need to do is scan the barcode on the back of the spam post, simply click “unscubscribe” in the app and …. Woops – you are unsubscribed and will no longer receive any post from this company.
Unfortunately, the app is currently not free. All you have to pay is 1.99 USD in order to get one month subscription. As I live in Europe, that was sort of waste of money for me…but I don’t care. At least I got a new app to recommend.
4. Too Good to Go – Reduce Your Food Waste (Europe)
You can’t write such a list without introducing an app that helps people reduce food waste. “Too Good to Go” is the world leading app in this space.
How does it work?
Restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores throw out a disgusting amount of food every day. The app helps these businesses to alert people in the surrounding area about food that will expire at the end of the day. Needless to say, these items are very often heavily discounted. So if you are ready to grab some cheap dinner tonight, feel free to download Too Good to Go.
When Sustainability Matters Daily tested Too Good To Go – how did it go?
Well, I had several friends that recommended me “Too Good To Go”. Instead of writing an additional 1500 words in this article, I decided to write a complete review, which you can read by clicking here.
Unless you have three minutes to read it all, I can quickly give you a summary:
– The app is very easy to use.
– Great value for money. You can get BIG portions for nearly no money at all.
– In my area, there are loads of cafes and restaurants to choose from. By downloading the app, you get a map of all the restaurants that are enrolled in the program.
– The only bad thing is that you can’t really know what to get before you purchase it. For someone that might be a bit picky, this might be difficult to handle.
PS! The app only works in Europe at the moment with its largest audience in Germany + Scandinavia.
5. GoodGuide – Instantly Know How Eco-Friendly a Product is (USA/Europe?)
USA Today described this app better than I can do:
“With GoodGuide, you open the app in a store, take a photo of a product’s bar code and instantly discover information about how green the product is.”
I tried to download this app and scan it on some products in a Chinese supermarket. Didn’t work. Went to a supermarket that sold foreign imported products…and YES! I made it work. GoodGuide does not only tell you how green a product is, but it also (sometimes) display customer reviews. It’s like having your own Amazon Review App with you every time you shop groceries. Quite handy.
Key takeaways from this article
There isn’t too many apps out there that will make a super large change in how eco-friendly your life is. That’s at least my conclusion after working with this article for about a week.
– Too Good To Go is, by far, the app that helped me to change the way I lived. As of now, I eat at least one “Too Good To Go dinner” every week.
– Many of the apps have restrictions based on where you live. For instance, Paperkarma and iRecycle are only valuable for my American readers.
– Someone really need to make an app about eco-friendly traveling & a carbon footprint calculator app. There are some websites that have decent carbon footprint calculators, but I have yet to see a good app for that.
Ultimately, I believe that apps can be a good tool to live a more eco-friendly life. However, the real change must come from your own will. Downloading a recycling app will not make you recycle. It’s something that needs to happen because you really want to change the way you live.