If this year’s Global Recycling Day (18 March) passed you by, you’ll be pleased to hear that Earth Day 2022 is just around the corner (22 April).
The theme of this year’s event is “Invest in Our Planet” and there are plenty of ways that you can get involved, either by registering or joining an event.
With our understanding of environmental issues at an all-time high, many of us are giving up unethical brands, turning to veganism, or simply being more aware of the choices we make.
If you’d like some technological help to ensure you’re living sustainably this Earth Day, then look no further than our rundown of seven of the best apps (all available on iOS and Android) to improve your eco-friendliness.
1. Happy Cow
A recent YouGov poll confirms that veganism is on the rise, with 63% of British vegans having made the lifestyle change in the last five years.
If you’re new to a plant-based diet and need help to find the vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafes near you, then Happy Cow can help.
The app will provide you with all the information you need, from menus and opening hours to contact numbers and directions. The community of users also means you can take photos of your favourites and share them with likeminded people.
In collaboration with the British Red Cross, Regain is the perfect way to recycle your unwanted clothes.
Simply use the app to find the closest designated drop-off point to you and leave your packed-up clothes there. Your pre-loved wardrobe will be up-cycled and re-worn, while you’ll receive vouchers to redeem at selected retailers.
Giving your old clothes new life means that they won’t end up in landfill and someone else will get to enjoy them.
Taking its name for a Hawaiian word meaning “aiming high”, Ailuna dares you to make better choices.
Using cutting-edge knowledge of behavioural science and the latest thinking on global sustainability issues, the app uses a dare system to help you focus on a simple task that could make a huge cumulative difference.
You might be dared to buy nothing new for a week or to conserve energy in your home by turning off lights when you leave a room or taking shorter showers. Take up the dare and track your progress over a week as new habits form.
New dares are added monthly so you can pick the ones that align with the areas you care about and there’s an online community, accessible through the app, which means you won’t need to go it alone.
Join the “food waste movement” by downloading the Too Good to Go app, which can connect you to “magic bags” of food that are otherwise destined to be wasted.
A third of our food goes to waste, with nearly 7 million tonnes wasted each year in the UK alone, and with a catastrophic impact on CO2 emissions.
The app, which has over 32 million users, will find the supermarkets, cafés, and restaurants near you that are signed up to the scheme. You can then purchase a lucky dip selection from them, containing the perfectly good food they were about to throw away. Each bag saves an estimated 2.5 kg of CO2.
This free app can be added to your mobile phone or internet browser to help offset the carbon footprint of the products you buy.
Once the app has been added to your device, each time you shop with certain retailers including eBay and Amazon, the app makers receive a fee that they use to plant trees.
There are over 40,000 shops signed up worldwide.
6. Good on You
Fast fashion has been making headlines over the last couple of years, thanks to its poor environmental credentials.
Understanding the true ethical standards of the companies you buy from isn’t always easy. And that’s where Good on You comes in.
The app rates companies out of five based on its track record in several areas, from supply chains to animal welfare and working conditions, helping you to make choices that align with your values on sustainability issues.
The AWorld app was created in conjunction with the United Nations’ ActNow Campaign, supporting the 27 goals of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
You can use the app day-to-day to track the small changes you make – by switching to energy-saving bulbs, cutting down on the single-use plastics you buy – and then calculating the positive impact your actions are having on the planet.
Used over time, the positive affirmation of the app’s logging system (and its bank of information to help inform the choices we make), can lead to new habits forming and to lifestyle change.