At this week’s World Economic Forum, one of the hottest topics (pun sadly intended) to be discussed is the role new technologies can play in averting the effects of climate change.
With so many of us attempting to make a difference by recycling our waste or saving energy, an area overlooked by many is the difference a phone can make in the struggle against climate change. Being eco-friendly can start with just simply downloading an App. Here are 5 trending apps that will help save money AND the planet.
1. Fat Lama
As the UN have recently warned, we are currently producing around 50 million tons of electronic waste per year that is highly toxic and (most gallingly) completely reusable.
Enter Fat Lama: the brainchild of a group of East-London Entrepreneurs. Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer marketplace where personal belongings, be it the ordinary or the outrageous, are available to rent from your local area. In its most basic form, it is an efficient way to circulate both commodities and capital within communities. In its most eccentric, it’s a challenge to try new things by providing access to weird and wonderful items that might be otherwise unaffordable.
Started in 2016, the company began with a vision of making short-term rentals easy for suppliers and affordable for consumers, however has developed into something much more lifestyle orientated. As far-reaching as it is simple, you can now rent anything from campervans to cameras, hot tubs to high-heels, barrel barbecues to bikes – and all without ever having to put down a deposit or a credit card.
On the other side of the arrangement, you can boost your income with items you seldom use. That Canon 1300D DSLR doesn’t have to just sit collecting dust while you’re at work; it can become an asset in its own right. What’s more, Fat Lama will fully insure lenders for every rental, so you don’t have to worry about your camera coming back in splinters.
Most importantly, nothing is wasted. Turning your living room into a home-cinema, or taking the perfect photo of your best mates wedding doesn’t have to involve any needless purchases. In renting rather than buying you are investing in an ever-growing circular economy that stimulates re-distribution, rather than mass production. Encouraging consumers to step away from the production line and towards a sharing economy is at the forefront of our environmental battle plan and companies like Fat Lama are leading the charge.
(Available on IOS and Andriod)
2. Carma Carpooling
It may sound old school now, but Carpooling is due a comeback. Maybe some of you have considered it but finding a co-worker that lives next door was easier said than done.
Using much of the same technology as Uber, Carma Carpooling allows you to arrange lifts with other commuter’s near-by without having to ever approach anyone personally. It’s all done through GPS location services and your share of the fuel is charged to your bank account so you don’t have to count out coppers at the end of each journey.
The journey will cost you around $0.20 per mile and is a great way to spice up the mundane commute to work. It’s more flexible than taking the bus and you save on highway tolls. Right now Carma is limited to a handful of cities but the company is committed to expansion and will work with local governments to bring the app to your city.
(Free, IOS and Andriod)
3. GoGreen: Carbon Tracker
We all talk about our carbon footprint but how many of us actually keep track of it? With travel having become such an integral part of modern life it is now more important than ever to understand the impact our lifestyles are having on the planet.
GoGreen’s handy app is designed to provide data-based analytics of exactly what your carbon emission is per-day, where that ranks within your location and offers advice on how it can be reduced. This is done by identifying trends in your usage and providing alternatives. More importantly it gives you points for being green! If there’s one thing we all feel we deserve, it’s a pat on the back for separating the recycling.
4. Ethical Barcode
It’s all very well separating your plastics from paper but when shopping, are you investing your money in sustainable companies? We all look for buzzwords like ‘sustainably-sourced ‘or ‘free-trade’ but how much do we actually know about such terms?
Ethical Barcode is the answer to this issue. Launched all the way back in 2013, the app considers the environmental, ethical and social impact of supposedly any product found in your pantry. More than just a simple good or bad rating, Ethical Barcode will provide you with a statistical breakdown of categories ranging from employee welfare to company’s environmental policy, sourcing its information from 20 different Non-Profits and hundreds more external sources.
The aim is to instantly transform users into ethical consumers in a way that makes shopping responsibly easy and straightforward. The detail that is provided means that corporations can no longer ‘green-wash’ products without scrutiny.
Water usage is an aspect of the environment we tend to downplay; yet in Britain each of us uses on average 150 litres of water per-day. This means that 17 billion litres of water needs to pass through the UK mains water supply every day; that’s 70 times more water than the Thames river holds!
It was the absence of these hard numbers concerning water consumption that inspired founder Robb Barnitt to develop Dropcountr. Designed to prevent water wastage, the app connects itself to your utilities and helps monitor your daily usage. Similar to GoGreen the idea is that the app will provide you with data based analytics that help build a picture of how you can make your household less wasteful. For instance, if you’ve always toyed with fixing that leaky tap, Dropcountr can show you just how much water per-month you are wasting.
On average users can cut their mains usage by 9%, cutting the cost of monthly bills and saving water.
(Free, IOS and Andriod)