5 Apps to Help People Live a More Sustainable Life

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By Jessica Oaks

Technology has provided society with countless ways to gain information and take action toward a sustainable lifestyle. With global warming being a hot topic and constantly inconsistent extreme weather patterns taking place all across the globe, it is now more apparent than ever that, regardless of any debate, awareness has been raised.

People may feel helpless when taking on the task of trying to save the planet, but that’s where technology comes to save the day. Thousands of useful apps and increased knowledge have become very accessible. The killer combination of technology and sustainability has led to the creation of the following apps that help people live a more sustainable life.

1. iRecycle

Reduce, reuse and recycle with iRecycle. This application is a go-to resource for recycling. It tells you how, where and when to recycle using your current location. Additionally, iRecycle is an educational platform that provides information on what can be recycled, especially for items that have specific requirements such as electronics. You can share your enthusiasm for recycling through the app’s social feature. Spread the word because recycling is an activity everyone can participate in — peace, love, recycle.

2. HowGood

You are what you eat, and the food you choose to buy not only affects how you personally sustain your life, but the process of how it was made also affects the environment.

HowGood is an app that lets you scan a product’s barcode at the store or search for its name to find out product info. It literally tells you how good something is for your health and the environment, and projects socially-based ratings for over 100,000 products. Ratings reflect a combination of factors including community impact, ingredient sourcing, growing practices and food processing. Using the application is a great way to stay proactive and well informed about the sustenance of the world.

3. Zero Carbon

To hold yourself accountable for doing your part in saving the planet, you can download Zero Carbon. The app works much like a fitness tracker, but instead of solely tracking your exercise and nutritional intake, it records your daily tasks that impact your total carbon emissions. It’s a personal carbon footprint calculator that adds things like meat intake, thermostat temperature and driving mileage, and then generates a list of CO2-reducing tasks to complete.

4. Green Tips & Tricks

At this crucial point in time in society, “going green” is in, or at least should be. Green Tips & Tricks is an app that helps users live an eco-friendly, healthy and sustainable lifestyle by providing just what the name says: “tips and tricks” for going green. You can bookmark your favorite newfound knowledge and pass along useful info to friends via social platforms and email.

5. JouleBug

Working toward the goal of a sustainable lifestyle can be fun with the JouleBug game. Each time you do something that shows you made an effort toward sustainability, the app rewards you with badges, points and pins. For instance, if you remember to use a reusable coffee mug versus paper cup, points for you! The bonus feature of JouleBug is the option to sync up to utility bills to see just how much is saved each month. Users showed an average savings of $200 a year with the app, a big feat toward change for the better.

If there’s one thing you can do in this tech-filled world we live in, it’s to use new innovations for creating a better world. There are so many apps to choose from when trying to build a more sustainable society. Even if it’s just one person, collectively, we can make a difference, so let’s leverage what the great tool and power technology has given us to reduce our carbon footprints and ultimately save the planet.

Image credit: Flickr/Japanexperterna.se

Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.

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