When I first started to make the shift to a more sustainable life, I got overwhelmed very quickly. I’d read about an issue (food, toxins, social justice etc.) and I’d want to take action and make the change. But I found when I was out and about it was really hard to put that into practice as the information was not readily available to me at that moment.
On top of that, there is so much misleading marketing and green-washing on labels used by companies to convince us that their products are sustainable; it can be so challenging to cut through all the crap and find products that are in line with our core values.
Over the years, I have come to rely on a few really good apps. They have assisted me in making better choices and have even provided a bit of an education along the way, which is never a bad thing in my book.
So whether you need help in the grocery store or the drug store…these apps have got your back.
GoodGuide: By far one of my fav apps, because not only does it reveal if a product is safe, healthy and green, it also takes social responsibly and environmental impact into account. The bar-code scanning feature lets you access their science-based rating for over 170,000 products found throughout your home, from personal care to household to food and babies and kids. It’s a must have app.
Think Dirty: You can use this app to scan bar-codes on personal care products. They have a database of more than 65,000 brands. Once you scan, you will get a list of ingredients and their potential toxicity to the body. Their “dirty meter” is the score they give each product, based on certain carcinogens or allergens. It also offers alternatives to greener, cleaner products. It’s a great app to get started if you are new to non-toxic skincare.
EWG’s Healthy Living provides mobile access to their Food Scores and Skin Deep guides, providing on-the-go information on tens of thousands of foods and more than 72,000 personal care products. Healthy Living provides a simple, searchable on-the-go guide for those interested in making healthy, affordable decisions about food and personal care products that are good for people and the planet. This app also uses a bar-code.
BagIQ: This app has been described as being “like FitBit for Food”. It’s basically a health and nutrition app that uses data from the food you buy (nutritional info, price etc.) to source food choices to help you buy foods that are better for you.
BeeSmart Pollinator Gardener: When my husband and I bought our house a few years ago we wanted to ensure that we plant a garden that would attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This app is a comprehensive guide to selecting plants for pollinators in my area. There’s a database of over 1,000 plants, they give tips plating and more. It’s freaking awesome!
eEcosphere: This new app is a green social network. It helps users share, discover and adopt the best sustainable living ideas. It also provides tips on how to inspire and take meaningful action on causes you support. You can also share your ideas with friends on social media and upload pics of green action you have adopted and completed.
Buycott: What’s better than voting with your wallet? NOTHING in my book. This app lets you join crowd-sourced campaigns to get behind causes you care about, scan bar-codes when shopping to learn product history, make informed decisions and get your message across by notifying the product owners of your decision.
OpenLabel: This app allows both consumers and organizations to create their own labels and attaches them to a specific product instantly using their bar-code. The idea is to create as much transparently as possible around everyday products we buy. Once you create a label, everyone can see it and comment on it. There are over 52 million products already on this app. It’s important to use this app fairly if you know a company uses a toxic ingredient, point it out, the idea is not to harm a business but rather to create a platform where people can learn what’s going on “behind the label.”
Waterprint: Water is precious…we can’t live without it. Yet we waste far too much of it. This app helps you calculate just how much water you use on a daily basis, including what you wear, eat and drink. It tells you how much water it takes to make one t-shirt or brush our teeth and offers tips on how to make wiser water choices. LOVE this app so much.
Changers CO2 Fit: Like the water app this one tracks your carbon emissions by tracking each trip you take depending on what your mode of transportation is (car, bicycle, public transportation, train, or plane), it then calculates the amount of CO2 emissions generated (or avoided) for each trip.
All of these apps are available on IOS and Android. I hope they are as useful to you as they have been to me.
I’d love to hear from you, if you have an app that I missed, please comment below!