10 sustainable smartphone apps that will help you live a greener lifestyle

Author: Jordan Borg

Read Time:   |  9th February 2022

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 sustainable apps to complement (or even kick-off!) your sustainability journey. From refurbished deal hunting to gamified sustainability challenges, there’s something here for everyone.

It’s no secret that we love our smartphones – maybe even a little too much. To get a bit more specific, the BBC recently reported that people spend an average of 4.8 hours a day on their mobile phones.

Put Wordle down, and nobody gets hurt.

While it is never a bad idea for our health and wellbeing to reduce screen time, being more intentional about the time we do spend on our devices is a great first step.

Instead of reaching for social media the next time you pick up your phone, why not try downloading one of these sustainable apps for a breath of fresh air – for you and the planet?

Let’s dive in as we show you 10 of our favourite sustainable apps for smartphones we use every day.

1. Back Market

Back Market

In 2019, the UK generated the equivalent of 23.9 kg of e-waste per person. To put this into terms we can all understand, that is the weight of 5 domestic cats.

If you like cats, but not e-waste, consider browsing for your next tech purchase on Back Market. Buying refurbished can save you well over 50% off the list price.

Back Market also tells you how many grams of e-waste you prevent with each purchase.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

2. Cleanfox

Clean Fox - sustainable apps

Even the most sustainably savvy people may not know about the carbon cost of their email inbox. Sending email (in particular with attachments) generates multiple grams of CO2 per message.

But the worst offence? Never deleting or opening emails in the first place, which are stored in data centres powered by fossil fuels.

Luckily, Cleanfox is here to help! Their easy-to-use app can not only delete unwanted email from email lists but unsubscribe you at the same time, putting an end to the problem on the spot.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

3. Fat Llama

Fat Llama

Marketers and retailers have strategically conditioned us so that our reflex is to buy new when we want something.

But this behaviour comes with a huge cost to the environment (and isn’t exactly wallet-friendly either).

Blockbuster may have been ahead of its time (R.I.P.), but Fat Llama is right on schedule. This curiously-named sustainable app allows you to rent “almost anything” to or from people in your area.

Renting is inherently sustainable and can both save and earn you money (depending on how you participate).

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

4. HappyCow

HappyCow

This wouldn’t be Vegan Food & Living if we didn’t recommend at least one vegan app! If you are reading this, it’s probably because you know to some degree that taking animal products off our plates is crucial to reducing our carbon footprint.

But unless you live in London, finding vegan food may not be so straightforward.

HappyCow helps you find vegan-friendly options wherever you are, complete with ratings, reviews, opening hours, and maps.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

5. JouleBug

JouleBug

Sustainability meets friendly competition with JouleBug. Join and create challenges, hit the buzzer every time you perform a planet-friendly action, and climb your way up the leaderboard.

There is also an enterprise version of the app adapted to workplace environments that you’ll want to let your boss know about ASAP. May the odds be ever in your favour…

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

6. Love Clean Streets

Love Clean Streets

While you may worry that reporting fly-tipping to your local council sounds a bit “Karen”-ish, everyone is entitled to enjoy clean and safe streets sans rubbish.

The Love Clean Streets app helps you report overflowing street bins, fly-tipping, and other waste-related nuisances on both public and private (in certain circumstances) property directly to your local council.

Cleaning up our neighbourhoods is a community effort!

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

7. Olio

Olio app - sustainable apps

Olio is the quintessential example of how a truly good idea can skyrocket. Originally launched as a closed WhatsApp group for 12 Crouch End residents back in 2015, Olio now boasts 5 million users worldwide.

The sustainable app brings neighbours and local businesses together to share food and household items.

It has sections for free items, items you can borrow, items made locally for sale (namely homemade food and crafts), and wanted items.

If you’re curious to learn more about the sharing economy, this one’s for you.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

Find more tips on living an eco-friendly lifestyle here:

8. Scrapp

Scrapp App

Because recycling rules differ from council to council, ensuring you are recycling properly can be a massive headache at best, and contaminate your recycling at worst. That’s where sustainable apps can come in handy!

Scrapp makes recycling both intuitive and participative by enabling users to scan barcodes to obtain locally-accurate recycling information, and log new items to help other users recycle better.

Earn points for each item you scan and redeem them on eco-friendly products and services in-app!

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

9. Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go

Steeply reduced-priced food, saved from landfill, that supports local restaurants and businesses – what’s not to love?

The concept is ingenious: rather than tossing unsold food at the end of the day, cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels assemble their leftover food into mystery “Magic Bags” which app users can reserve and pick up for a fraction of the price.

Vegans, fear not: you can filter your dietary preferences within the app.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

10. Vinted

Vinted - sustainable apps

While you may be familiar with London darling Depop for buying and selling second-hand clothes from your phone, its Lithuanian counterpart Vinted offers a more casual approach to buying and selling second hand.

Unlike Depop, which is more side-hustle oriented and takes a cut from sellers, Vinted charges buyers a variable fee on each item, encouraging sellers to clear out their closets en masse.

Vinted also has a nifty swap feature, which can add a nice touch of community to the whole experience! If you’re curious about the differences between the two sustainable apps, read this detailed comparison.

Get It On Google Play / Download On The App Store

A friendly reminder: you don’t need to be an eco-warrior or download all ten apps to make a difference. Sustainability is not one-size-fits-all, and everyone’s interests will be a bit different – yours included.

Just look at the UN Sustainable Development Goals – they cover water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanisation, transport, science, and technology.

As with most things in life, we are more likely to keep making the effort if we are keen in the first place. Trying a variety of sustainability apps is an excellent way for you to get your foot in the door, and keep the momentum going.

Be sure to Pin this post for later if you decide to try some of the other apps in the future and until then, happy apping!

Reducing your carbon footprint is key to preventing climate change.

Find out how to reduce your carbon footprint in 10 simple steps.

Written by

Jordan Borg

Hailing from sunny California, Jordan is a budding entrepreneur and environmental advocate. Having originally trained to be a professional musician at New York University, she began a career in marketing and communications before moving to Europe in 2017. She is passionate about sustainability, plant-based living, and anything related to food!

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