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I started trying to become a more conscious consumer several years ago, but before I could just jump in and start making purchasing decisions that have less of an impact on the environment, I had some learning to do. I had to learn about the impact that plastic has on the environment, what brands and sources to trust, and about my own buying habits so that I knew where I could improve.
All of this information can be daunting when you first decide to start shopping for what you need while also considering what goes into producing that product. It helped me to remember that there are many other people that have also jumped on board to a more sustainable way of life that are trying to educate others about how to have less of an impact on the environment. Many of these people have provided resources to use so that we don’t get that “I’m in this alone” feeling. Some provide information in the form of social media content or blogs, some try to teach others in a classroom setting, and some have developed apps for easy access to information that helps us in making decisions on the go.
Many of these apps have proven to be very useful in making many of my decisions day-to-day, but who actually wants another app on their phone?! Those gigabytes are precious! When the app actually works and helps me accomplish a task though, there is a spot for it on my phone. Who doesn’t love being more efficient, especially if you’re helping the environment at the same time? So what are some of my favorite apps?
Let’s dive in…
1. Plastic Score | @plasticscoreco
The Plastic Score app is one of the first resources I reference when people ask me what I use to help me maintain and grow into a more sustainable way of living. I believe it’s because their vision is so closely related to the goal of my blog; it’s the belief that many people creating small actions can lead to big change. In the case of the Plastic Score app, the small actions that we can all take is in how we dine out; specifically how we as consumers can encourage restaurants to reduce the amount of waste they produce. This app encourages us to look around at the restaurants we frequent and rate them with Turtles. Yep, I said it; turtles instead of stars. You simply search for the restaurant on the app, answer a series of questions about the restaurant and their plastic use and waste production at the end of your visit, then the restaurant is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 turtles. Not only does this help the restaurant see where they can improve in terms of the amount of waste produced, but this app also helps people like you and me looking to go out on a friday evening. It’s helping us all become conscious consumers when we eat out, which is an area that I find is often overlooked when it comes to cutting back on waste and helping the fight against plastic pollution.
Download the PlasticScore app HERE to start giving out Turtles and encouraging restaurants to incorporate more sustainable practices into their procedures.
2. Good on You | @goodonyou_app
The fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to sustainability. As a consumer, it’s hard to know where to shop for ethical fashion options without researching a brand first. Let’s be honest though, most people won’t do that. The app Good on You helps to fill that gap. The team behind the app has done the research for you as to whether or not the brand is ethical and worth purchasing from. Now all you have to do is go pick out which dress you think will go with your new favorite sandals. You can rest easy knowing you are shopping more consciously with the help of this app before you press the checkout button.
Download the Good on You app HERE to start shopping for ethical fashion options.
3. MLPF (My Little Plastic Footprint) | @plasticsoupfoundation
If you’ve ever wondered how you can measure your plastic use on a daily basis, this app does that for you. Not only does it help you understand where you can make changes in your daily life to reduce your plastic use, it also gives you tips and product suggestions for making those changes. It’s helpful to understand where you currently stand so you can make a plan for where you’re going… which is using less plastic daily!
4. GoodHuman | @get_goodhuman
When you need to shop for apparel or household items, this app has you covered. If you are new to purchasing products with sustainability in mind, then an app like this is a good place to start exploring brands and products that share the same goal. It’s a consolidated space to learn about brands and products that have less of an impact on the environment, then you can purchase those products on the brands website. Instead of searching the internet for hours, this app has done all of that work for you.
5. Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping
This app doesn’t have anything to do with avoiding plastic use, but it’s mission is incredibly important for sustainability nonetheless. “Palm oil is in nearly everything – it’s in close to 50% of the packaged products we find in supermarkets, everything from pizza, doughnuts and chocolate, to deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and lipstick. It’s also used in animal feed and as a biofuel in many parts of the world.” So what’s the problem then? It’s sounds pretty useful!
The problem with palm oil is that it’s cultivation and processing destroys habitat and contributes to a lack of diversity among ecosystems. Picture this, a rainforest has many different types of plants and animals that contribute to a circular and healthy ecosystem; if you replace a diverse rainforest with one crop that is harvested consistently, it cannot sustain the thriving ecosystem that once lived there. The production of palm oil also has been known to exploit workers and use child labor.
This app, developed by the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, allows you to scan the barcode of a product and it will tell you whether or not 1) there is palm oil used, or 2) if palm oil is used, is it harvested sustainably?
If you need more convincing to avoid palm oil, watch this orangutan trying to fight off a backhoe because it’s habitat is getting destroyed >click HERE.
That’s all for now…
I don’t know if you are like me at all, but sometimes compartmentalizing tasks helps me stay organized. Using an app to accomplish some of my sustainability goals helps me stay on track. These apps also help remind me that there is a team of people on the other side of my phone that are trying to live their best sustainable life, as well. We’re all in this together and we can collectively make a difference.
So what do you say?? Maybe using an app to help you stay on track to live more sustainably is in your future too?
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Until next time,