Technology makes our lives easier. Why shouldn’t it also make your new zero waste life easier too? I’ll collected a list of the 10 best sustainability apps that cover a broad range of subjects and purposes to help make going green easy and fun.
I switched over to Ecosia a few months ago during the huge fires in the Amazon. Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees using ad revenue. They post monthly financial reports that show you how much money they made and where it is being spent. For instance, in February 2020, they invested about 57% of their earnings in tree planting projects (over $1.6 million!).
They say it takes about 45 searches to plant a tree, meaning I’ve planted 20 trees! Ecosia also has a browser plugin so typing in the address bar makes an Ecosia search (download here for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari). Because it’s so easy to start using instead of Google and does so much good, it’s my favorite sustainability app!
There are many fashion resale apps out there, but I recommend Poshmark because that’s who I’ve used. Unlike ThredUp, Poshmark items are shipped directly from seller to buyer. This reduces transportation emissions by cutting out the middle man. You can also see where sellers are located to reduce emissions even more.
Having an easy access to a wealth of secondhand clothing will make transitioning your wardrobe a breeze. You can also become a seller to clean out those items you no longer wear (or never wore at all) to reduce clutter.
This sustainability app is on a mission to reduce food waste by connecting neighbors and businesses to share items. They also go beyond food by allowing users to list household items like cleaning products, furniture, and more.
You can browse listings, request an item, and arrange a pickup all within the app. As a seller, posting is as easy as snapping a photo. Check out their website for more info!
4. American Farmers Markets
Want to shop local, but just don’t know where to go? American Farmers Market is the sustainability app for you! They provide a huge database of local markets so you can find one near you. Just search for your location, and they’ll provide an interactive map with pin-pointed farmers markets in the area. They also provide schedule details and a contact website (if available).
American Farmers Markets allows you to “check in” to a market and makes it easy to share with your social media to encourage others to shop locally produced goods.
5. Freecycle + Trash Nothing!
In addition to sustainability apps for secondhand shopping, check out Freecycle. Browse for just about anything, and everything is offered for free! You can use this app to declutter your home or fill it up with secondhand items instead of new ones.
Don’t see what you need? You can also post a request, asking those in your community if they can help you out. Freecycle also allows you to share listings on social media to spread the word.
6. Vegan Maps
Changing your diet is one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint. But eating out and being vegan often mean limited menu options that mainly include salad. Vegan Maps provides you with an interactive map of restaurants marked with either a “vegan”, “mostly vegan”, or “vegan and raw” location pin.
Select a pin to learn more about that restaurant, including hours, phone, website, and reviews. You can also favorite locations to save them for later. Never settle for a side salad again!
Earth 911 created the iRecycle app to help users find recycling locations in their area. You search by item, and the app will provide the contact information and location of companies/towns that will take that item.
This sustainability app also links you to Earth 911’s latest articles about recycling, green tech, and green living.
Hoopla is an online library. Your local brick-and-mortar may be partnered with Hoopla to offer a huge variety of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and more. (Other library apps are Overdrive and Libby, but I personally use Hoopla). These partnerships give you access to many titles you wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy for free.
Hoopla gives you 10 borrows per month, which never bothers me since I prefer real books to a screen, but it may be an issue for others. Ebooks and audiobooks are borrowed for three weeks. You can borrow music for one week, and movies/videos for just 3 days. You can also use your computer to borrow items from their website.
Would it really be green living if we stayed inside all day instead of enjoying the outdoors? My husband and I have been using AllTrails for a while now to research new hikes when we go on vacations. They have running and biking trails too.
AllTrails lets you sort by difficulty level, length, or other criteria like dog-friendly. Many trails have frequent reviews which are very helpful for assessing a trail’s current condition (icy, washed out, how well marked, etc.). AllTrails even provides GPS directions to trailheads.
You can save trails to different lists, track your progress while on the trail, and share your adventures with social media. I included AllTrails in my top sustainability apps because not only does help you enjoy Mother Nature, but it also makes sure the only energy you’re burning is calories.
So you’ve downloaded some sustainability apps, but you still need some motivation to stick with zero waste? JouleBug helps you record all your daily green actions by “buzzing”. Then it puts them into perspective by telling you how much carbon, waste, or water those actions have saved.
I tried out ecoCRED, which is a similar sustainability app specifically for motivation, but JouleBug offers a way bigger list of actions, runs much smoother, and offers a social aspect. You can follow friends, like or comment on other people’s “buzzes”, and join local challenges and events to boost motivation even more!
I hope you download some of these sustainability apps to help you make eco-friendly living an easy, everyday part of your life. What other apps do you use to help you reduce your footprint? Leave a comment below!