Forming sustainable habits takes time, patience, and sometimes a little help from your phone. I’ll fully admit, I have a love / hate relationship with my little pocket computer. Yes, it can draw me into hours of doom scrolling, but it also has plenty of apps that make my life more efficient. There are even some sustainability apps that the eco side of my brain couldn’t imagine living without.
From keeping me organized, to making secondhand shopping a breeze, to turning my steps into trees, my phone is full of sustainability apps that help me live a more planet-friendly life everyday. Continue reading to get the low-down on all of my favorites!
9 Sustainability Apps That’ll Make You an Eco-Friendly Living Pro
With Sadu you can reduce your carbon footprint simply by being active. All you have to do is sync your smartwatch or enter your activity into the Sadu app. From there, you’ll earn virtual “trees” every time you get moving, which translate into real trees that are planted through a resforestation project of your choosing.
Did you know you can actually help the environment while searching “when does the next season of You come out on Netflix?” It’s true. All you have to do is search the web like you normally would, but use Ecosia as your search engine instead of that competitor. What’s it called? You know, the one that sounds like “Foogle”? Anyways, not important. When you search on Ecosia, the ads generate income for the company which is then used to plant trees.
3. Buy Nothing Group
A Buy Nothing Group isn’t exactly an app. As it’s name would suggest, it’s a group, that you can usually find through the app everyone loves to hate, Facebook.
In these groups you can give away items you no longer need and search for things you do. Everything from food to furniture to random decor is eligible. They’re a great alternative to dropping a box at your local Goodwill since many items in those shops go unsold and eventually end up in the landfill. A Buy Nothing Group ensures your item is going to someone who will give it a good second life.
To find one near you, simply search for “Buy Nothing Group your city name“. Most major cities will have one and even some large cities, like Chicago, have them broken down into specific neighborhoods so you’ll never have to drive too far to pick up or drop off your goodies.
4. Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp
These apps have changed the secondhand furniture scene forever. No more tirelessly combing through thrift stores for a nightstand only to come up empty handed. With these apps you can type in exactly what you’re looking for and find options within driving distance. Plus, new listings pop up every day. It makes finding your dream emerald green accent chair so much easier on you and the planet.
There are a lot of secondhand clothing apps out there, but Poshmark is my favorite. Unlike competitor, ThredUp you can see photos of the clothes on actual people instead of just on mannequins. I also enjoy the personal experience that Poshmark provides. You can communicate directly with the seller, ask questions, get measurements, and even ask to see additional photos. It makes buying clothes secondhand so much easier and more accessible.
Pro-tip: make sure to “like” any garments you’re interested in and then wait about a day before buying. In many instances, sellers will send offers to all their “likers” with discounted prices and shipping.
6. Too Good to Go
Too Good to Go is an app that helps prevent food waste by connecting customers to restaurants and stores with food surpluses. Simply sign up for a “surprise bag” at a local restaurant and you’ll be the recipient of perfectly good restaurant food for a fraction of the price.
What? How? Well, here’s what happens: restaurants have excess food at the end of the day that they haven’t sold. Instead of throwing it away, they’ll offer it up on the Too Good to Go app. Customers can then pay $4-$5 dollars for the surplus, pick it up, and enjoy an affordable meal. The catch is, you won’t always know what you’re getting since it is truly whatever is leftover at the end of the day. But it’s affordable and helps the planet, which are two big boxes to tick in my book.
If you’re a sustainable living enthusiast who missed the green thumb gene, Planta will likely become one of your favorite sustainability apps. It helps you identify the light conditions in each room of your house and will create an individual care schedule for each of your plant babies. Plus if your plants aren’t feeling too good, Planta can help determine what’s wrong and come up with a treatment plan.
On the surface, Notion doesn’t appear to be a sustainability app. Rather, it’s a productivity app, but its uses stretch far and wide.
I use it for content planning, journaling, brain dumps, vacation planning, to-do lists, and more. By keeping me so hyper-organized, Notion gives me more time to be thoughtful about sustainable living. I find when I’m less stressed I’m less prone to making impulse purchases. But not only that, I have more capacity to do some of the “time-intensive” parts of sustainable living, such as researching eco-friendly products or experimenting with new plant-based meals.
Plus, I find it’s great for keeping track of wishlists for new clothes and home decor, which is also a major help when it comes to reducing consumption.
When it comes to food, I find all my recipes through Pinterest. It has a seemingly endless selection of vegan and vegetarian recipes. I organize them into different boards based on main ingredient, so I can quickly access recipes based on what I have in my pantry.
For instance—got a leftover box of pasta? Straight to the pasta board I go. It helps me use up the food I already have and makes it easy to pick planet-friendly meals more frequently.
Now, fashion. Pinterest is where I find my style inspiration. It’s a bit of a visual wishlist. It helps me visualize looks and narrow down exactly the types of clothes I need to search for when I hit the thrift stores. And to take it a step further, it also provides me with creative ways to style the clothes I already have.
If you enjoyed learning about these sustainability apps and are craving more sustainable living tips, then sign up for The Eco Edit! You’ll be joining hundreds of other pro-planet enthusiasts who are passionate about bettering the world through small, sustainable steps.