Want to make your life greener? These eco friendly apps can surely help!
By Renee Nat
Making time to consider the environment in your daily schedule isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s just simpler and less time consuming to ignore your better judgment and throw that tuna can in the garbage or pick-up that cheap, drugstore lip gloss.
Luckily, 21st century technology can help ease your way into better, environmentally conscious habits. A number of eco apps for smartphones have been designed to inform and advise overwhelmed consumers who are looking to make smarter choices.
We’ve picked our top 6 eco apps that we think are truly are changing the way we buy and think when it comes to beauty products, clothes and sustainable living.
5 Essential Eco Friendly Apps To Download Now
1. Think Dirty
What toxins are lurking on your bathroom shelf? This is one of the best eco friendly apps to encourage you to start scanning barcodes and discover for yourself how many harmful ingredients are hidden in your beauty products. Think Dirty rates products from one to ten, with ten representing those with serious long-term health impacts. It also breaks down items by ingredient, listing health risks thanks to sources like the David Suzuki Group and the Environmental Working Group.
A quick search of few of my skincare products made for some unpleasant revelations. For instance, I was shocked to learn my Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil scored an 8. Not exactly what I was expecting from the self-professed natural brand. It turns out two chemical ingredients linked to the lip balm’s fragrance were the problem.
Even more shockingly, my Satsuma Body Butter from The Body Shop scored a terrible 10 due to the fact that it contains a known hormone carcinogen – I guess Eluxe was quite right in listing the Body Shop as one of those stores you think of as being natural – but really isn’t!
Needless to say, after reading the lists of nasty ingredients I am ready to make some changes. The nice part is that ‘Think Dirty’ helps you with that too: after evaluating your product, it offers a list of more eco-friendly alternatives. There are just over 14,000 products listed as part of the app’s database, and while it may not be all encompassing, you’re also invited to submit new products to be rated.
Perfect for: Clean beauty addicts – even those who think they’re already in the know!
An important part of a healthy beauty regime is knowing what you’re putting in your body. In recent years, there’s been a push for more organic, regionally grown food. Looking locally for your dinner ingredients often has the benefit of reducing your pesticide intake, as well as eliminating the pollution caused by packaging and transporting products around the world.
Locavore uses your location to help you find farms, farmer’s markets and local sellers near you. It also has a feature that explains what foods are in season, accompanied by a few recipes. There’s a social aspect to the app that lets you connect and share your favourite places with the people in your city or town.
Looking for one of the best eco friendly apps specifically for vegans? Check these out!
And if you want an app to help identify GMO foods, this article is for you!
Perfect for: Foodies with a conscience
This is one of those eco friendly apps that makes it impossible to find an excuse not to recycle. Can’t figure out what to do with used hair colouring kits? Batteries? Or coffee grinds? iRecycle tell you where to go and what to do.
For example, I needed to get rid of my old computer speakers and the app quickly provided me with the phone number, address and list of accepted materials of a few different locations nearby where I could donate or recycle them. For things like hair spray aerosol cans or hair dyes, the app advised me to head for my local household hazardous waste drop-off centre.
On occasion, unable to find somewhere close by, the app would suggest a service in a different country. Clearly, jumping in a car and driving for hundreds of kilometers is not an eco-friendly option. So while I may not always be able to recycle all of my garbage, this handy app is a reminder that, in most cases, it can and should be done.
Perfect for: Those who love recycling EVERYTHING – the right way!
You may have tried saving water by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers. But what about by changing what you eat? It takes 84 gallons of water to get 1 pound of apples to the grocery store aisle when considering cultivation, collection and delivery of the fruit. Wow, right?
‘Waterprint’ is one of the best eco friendly apps for teaching you about your real ‘water footprint’. It provides fascinating factoids about individual water use in categories such as food, beverages, products and household items. This includes a few fashion staples, too. Warning: your blue jeans require nearly 2,900 gallons of water to make!
The app determines the hidden costs of water and by laying it out in a convenient way that really makes an impact on how you think about water.
Perfect for: Those who really care about our oceans
If, like us, you believe that Google is evil on a stick, then you need to download Ecosia!
Ecosia is a search engine that gets you the info you need, just like Google. The difference is? It doesn’t spy on you. It’s not funded by the Pentagon. AND it uses its profits to plant trees!
That’s right — by searching the web like you always do, you can help plant trees which sequester carbon and benefit the environment.
It’s a brilliantly simple concept, and the company has already planted tens of millions of trees. Download the app, then go ahead and make Ecosia your default search engine (and maybe even your homepage). Once you’ve made the switch, something as simple as web browsing can become an eco-friendly activity!
Perfect for: Tree lovers who want to make the world a greener place – without even trying!
What are some of your favourite eco friendly apps? Let us know in the comments, below!