Earth Day is commemorated on 22 April this year and gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our roles as citizens on this planet. In addition to the physical ways we can help to protect our environment, there are also various apps available for us, to make it easier to live more responsibly — these include a rewards app that honours and encourages our green habits, as well as platforms that minimise food waste and help us upcycle old items or recyclables. Here’s a look at some apps available for download.
TOP PICKS FROM CHARLOTTE MEI
What’s better than a list of useful apps? One that features these apps, tried-and-tested-and loved by Charlotte Mei, a nutritionist and host/presenter who has a passion for sustainability. Here, she shares some of her personal favourites, and why she loves them.
treatsure is an app that connects you to businesses with surplus and sustainable food that you can purchase at affordable prices, in an effort to minimise food waste as well as tackle the common issue of excess food from F&B establishments, hotel buffets, and supermarkets.
Charlotte: “ Food waste is a topic very dear to me, and treatsure is one of my favourite apps for that reason. I’ve been using it since 2019 and it’s incredible to find the type of food items you can get from it! It’s essentially an online marketplace for perfectly-edible food that would’ve otherwise been thrown out. In fact, I used to get my avocados from them on a weekly basis — they were even better than the ones I found at my usual grocery store! I shared this so passionately on Instagram that they ended up being sold out in subsequent weeks! Their buffet-in-a-box service is awesome too. It is a great way to snag a deal at your favourite hotels, all while saving food waste.”
You can download treatsure from the App Store here.
Redeem points for each sustainable action and convert them into planting trees! susGain is a rewards app that lets you earn points for your green habits as well as help guide you to a more sustainable lifestyle with ways to locate food bank donation points, water refill stations, cash-for-trash stations, and over 150 eco-friendly and socially-conscious stores.
Charlotte: “Talk about gamification, susGain is great at that! It’s essentially a Maps app that serves as a directory for all things related to the environment and rewards you for your actions. I use it to search for the nearest water coolers, e-waste bins, ethical stores, cafes that accept BYOs, and more. It even gives information on events happening nearby, such as waterway clean-ups. The amount of information they have on there is incredible and it’s very up-to-date too. A must-have for me!”
You can download susGain from the App Store here.
OLIO connects you with neighbours from all over the world to share, care and waste less. You won’t just have the ability to give away spare food or household items; you can also borrow from others and sell homemade food and handmade crafts.
Charlotte: “OLIO is a platform to give away or lend items (food and non-food) to people in your neighbourhood. You may even use it to request, or borrow items. It’s one of my most-visited apps, especially when I’m spring cleaning, or right after I’ve finished filming recipe videos and am left with too many ingredients that I know I won’t use up in time. I remember having given away quite a few tubs of unopened pineapple tarts over the Lunar New Year! It’s great seeing how you can save so much potential waste with this app. I’ve successfully requested and received items through the app too, so it works both ways! It also calculates your impact, which is a great way to receive feedback.”
You can download OLIO from the App Store here.
Pick up a better way to recycle with Upcircle, where anyone can contribute old items or recyclables to creators who will reuse, recycle or upcycle them. Discover meaningful initiatives by artists, communities and businesses or become a contributor to any project, all in a bid to keep trash away from landfills.
Charlotte: “Upcircle is a locally-founded app that promotes a circular economy through upcycling. Similar to OLIO, it is a platform to give away or request items. There are a number of crafters and small business owners on the platform so things like bubble wrap, poly mailers, glass jars, and deadstock fabric are commonly requested! I can’t bear to throw out glass bottles or jars so I wash them out, remove the labels and post them on Upcircle!”
You can download Upcircle from the App Store here.
FOR REPLENISHING THE FORESTS
Plant trees anywhere in the world in a transparent and engaging way with EcoMatcher. The app lets you virtually travel to every tree with satellite maps that features a unique photo of the tree, its precise location, the species that co-exist with the tree, the carbon sequestration of the tree, and a picture of the farmer who is taking care of the tree. You can also listen to forest sounds, send a message to the farmer, and even chat with a chatbot-powered tree!
You can download EcoMatcher from the App Store here.
Ecosia is an app that works as a search engine and allows you to search the web with private browning, dark mode and ad-blocking features. Unlike other search engines though, it takes the money that they make from search ads to fund climate action, with at least 80% of the proceeds going to tree-planting projects around the world. For every search that you do, you will be helping to remove 1kg of Carbon Dioxide!
You can download Ecosia from the App Store here.
FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
1. GreenDay: EcoFriendly Shopping
Get access to one of the largest selections of credible eco-friendly and sustainably sourced items from conscious and responsible merchants with GreenDay. The app acts as an eco-friendly lifestyle platform where you can shop from local merchants, connect with an eco-conscious communities, and learn more about sustainable living.
You can download GreenDay from the App Store here.
JouleBug is the easy way to make your everyday habits more sustainable whether you are at home or at work. It organises sustainability tips into actions that you ‘buzz’ in the app when you do them in real-life to receive points for various eco challenges. You will also be able to learn more about each tip with easy-to-understand impact stats, bonuses, how-to videos and helpful links.
You can download JouleBug from the App Store here.
Header image courtesy of Ecosia, Upcycle and JouleBug.