We live in an advanced age of technology. Applications for your phone have been developed to make our lives easier with every day tasks such as driving, finding restaurants, and have even altered the way we shop. Bottom line: if you are looking for a way to make any task easier, there’s an app for that. As we continue growing into a more advanced way of life, why not use it to help us become more sustainable! We have conjoined a list of five free apps for your smartphone that can help you live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
OLIO: Although this app is still at a young stage, OLIO is an innovative food sharing network that is on the rise. The sound of a food sharing app can be off-putting to some at first, but it is a step in the right direction if you are trying to eliminate your food waste. Once you sign up for an account, you are able to enter your location on the homepage of the app and it will show you what food items are available near you that are (usually) free with pickup. You can post your food (there is even a section for non-food items) that you would otherwise throw away and it becomes a free for all for those in the OLIO community. OLIO provides a community message board to ask questions or strike up a discussion with other food sharers. You are also able to message a user directly if you see food or other items that you want to make your own.
JouleBug: Do you love getting affirmation when you do something good for the environment? Or maybe you need a little more motivation and inspiration to live a more sustainable lifestyle? JouleBug gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside when you complete eco-friendly activities or challenges. This app allows you to create an account and log each eco-friendly activity you complete such as using reusable silverware, spreading mulch around your trees, or turning off your lights. With each activity completed or “Buzz” as they have named the action, you gain points, badges, and medals as you climb the ladder to becoming an expert environmentalist. On your personal profile page, you are able to track your impact and progress by looking at how many pounds of CO2 you have saved, pounds of waste diverted, and gallons of water saved. You can follow other JouleBug users as well, so grab a group of your friends and challenge each other to a waste elimination battle!
iRecycle: This app directs you to all of the right places to recycle your unwanted items that once again, would’ve been destined for the landfill had you not decided to find a recycling center for them. After entering your location, iRecycle does the work to find places where you can conveniently recycle items such as batteries, electronics, glass, plastic, etc. You can even search where to recycle more specific items such as bicycles, gift bags, plastic furniture, and more! You are able to view recycling locations via list or map style; whatever is most convenient for you. This app will have you sorting your “trash” like a pro in no time!
GasBuddy: Out and about and need a fuel up? Find your closest 7-Eleven store by using GasBuddy. This app allows you to search for gas stations near you and rate them based on things like gas price, bathrooms, and customer service. This ties into being more eco-friendly because when you search and fuel up at 7-Eleven locations, you are able to participate in the RENEW program! This means with every gallon you pump, you are planting trees in your community and reducing your tailpipe emissions by up to 30%! GasBuddy enables you to find your closest 7-Eleven when you are on the go!
Literrati: No one likes a litterbug! If you are passionate about your city and eliminating litter, join the Literrati. When you see trash on the ground, take a picture of it and post it on your Literrati account. Geotags all over the world are then used to discover areas where there is an excess amount of litter. The data is shared with local organizations and companies to find more sustainable solutions and to help with clean-up. There are almost 2 million tagged litter items with Literrati and you can increase that number and be a community hero by tagging litter that you find within your community!
Use your smartphone to its full potential by using apps to go green! They are efficient, easy, and will help you on your journey to improving your carbon footprint!