The 11 Best Apps for Greener Living in 2022

The Eco Experts
Lady on bus looking at phone

Transitioning to a greener lifestyle can often seem like a daunting task – where do you even start, and what’s the most important thing to focus on?

Luckily, there’s an app for everything these days, and we’re here to show you the best ones out there that can help you live sustainably.

So, whether you’re looking for ways to save energy at home, rescue food waste, shop sustainably, or help plant some trees, scroll down to find out more.

Lady looking at apps on her phone

1. Oroeco

Best for: Calculating your carbon footprint
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

Before you crack on with the rest of the apps on this list, it’s worth figuring out which areas of your lifestyle are contributing to climate change – which is where Oroeco comes in.

This helpful app estimates your carbon footprint based on your everyday decisions, including the items that you buy, your diet, how much energy you consume, and your method of transport/how much you travel.

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what your carbon footprint looks like, it’s time to crack on with shrinking it. To help, Oroeco offers 50 personalised tips that outline how you can cut back on emissions and save money at the same time.

2. OLIO

Best for: Reducing food waste
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

The UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a single year – resulting in around 25 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

Want to be a part of the solution to food waste? Start by downloading OLIO. This app connects neighbours with each other and local businesses, to share surplus food.

Whether you’ve got food in the fridge approaching its sell-by date, spare home-grown vegetables, or extra bread that might go stale soon – someone in the area will probably want it.

The app itself is really easy to use. All you have to do is list what you have available, take a photo of it, and share your location with other users.

3. Good On You

Best for: Sustainable fashion advice
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

Fast fashion is wreaking havoc on the planet, which is why more people are exploring sustainable fashion brands.

Want to get involved? Good On You can help you find the best ethical clothing companies out there. Simply search for a brand name, or the type of product you’re after, and see how the app rates it.

Ratings are based on the brand's labour, environmental, and animal rights practices. This way, you can make sure you’re buying from companies that look after the planet, wildlife, and the people making your clothes.

And if you don’t have a brand or product in mind, you can browse through the hundreds of guides that Good On You offers, dissecting different aspects of sustainable fashion.

4. JouleBug

Best for: Making it fun
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

JouleBug makes green living fun. Not only does this app encourage you to make more sustainable decisions in your day-to-day life, but it also rewards you for them.

By noting down different actions that you carry out, such as biking to work instead of driving, or bringing a reusable shopping bag to a store, JouleBug will award you with different amounts of points.

You can even use the app as a way to help you save money at home by syncing it up to your utility bills.

Want to add a little friendly competition into the mix? Ask your friends to join the app to compare your sustainability journeys.

5. WhenToPlugIn

Best for: Reducing energy bills
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

Since being launched in 2021 by the National Grid, WhenToPlugIn has helped homes across the UK consume electricity with the planet in mind.

The app tells users when the electricity in their area will be cleanest – which is particularly useful for people who are now working from home more often.

This means you’ll be able to plan out when to use energy-intensive appliances, such as a tumble dryer or washing machine, at the ‘greenest’ times of the day.

To give you a heads up, you can check the carbon intensity forecast, which lets you know when the electricity in your home will be cleanest over a 48-hour period.

And, if you’re interested to know how your home is being powered, the app also offers a full breakdown of the energy sources powering the electricity in your region. It also provides live updates as new clean energy records are broken!

6. Happy Cow

Best for: Cutting back on meat
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

Livestock rearing and meat processing are responsible for around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and more people are beginning to cut meat out of their diet to try to reduce this figure.

But, for many, going vegan or veggie can be difficult – especially when it comes to dining out. Thankfully, Happy Cow can make it a million times easier.

This foodie app helps users find vegetarian and vegan restaurants in their area, as well as food trucks, cafes, and juice bars. It even gives users a chance to connect. Each recommendation comes with what the venue has to offer, user reviews, photos, opening hours, contact numbers, and directions.

Want to get the most out of the app? Try planning your next getaway by exploring Happy Cow’s recommendations for vegan-friendly holiday destinations.

7. Ecosia

Best for: Eco-friendly web search
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

We all spend a lot of time using search engines these days – if not for work, then for browsing food recommendations or just finding the answer to that question that’s been bugging you all day.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that some search engines can produce a lot of CO2, because each time you search for something, your request is sent to several different energy-intensive servers.

However, you can avoid these emissions by downloading Ecosia – the search engine that runs on 100% renewable energy, whilst also using its profits to plant trees. All you have to do is use the Ecosia extension for Chrome, and you’ll be one step closer to a green lifestyle.

The Ecosia blog suggests that, since it uses its profits to plant trees, every search with Ecosia actually removes about 1 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. This means that, if Ecosia were as big as Google, it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions.

8. Etsy

Best for: Sustainable shopping
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly, it’s time to ditch Amazon and get unique bits and bobs from Etsy.

This shopping platform hosts thousands of products from independent companies, which means users are able to support local businesses whilst also avoiding fast fashion and mass-produced items.

To further boost its eco-credentials, Etsy has become the first major carbon-neutral online shopping platform. One of the key ways it has done this is by partnering with 3Degrees – a certified B Corp that offers environmental consulting – to offset 100% of its emissions from product shipments.

According to 3Degrees, its partnership with Etsy includes investments in forest protection, clean energy, and more eco-friendly automotive manufacturing.

9. ReGAIN

Best for: Reducing clothes emissions
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS

Fashion production currently makes up 10% of carbon emissions, which is why a number of major retailers, such as Missguided, Boohoo, Asics, New Balance, and Superdry, have signed up to reGAIN.

Although ReGAIN is only a couple of years old, it’s already taken the fashion world by storm. The app offers discounts on new clothes, in exchange for shoppers’ unwanted old items. The old clothes will then be reused, recycled, upcycled, or used as combustibles for energy production.

All you have to do is download the app, and you’ll be able to pack up 10 items of clothing you don't want, find the closest reGAIN drop-off point to you (there are over 20,000), and recycle your clothes.

10. My Little Plastic Footprint

Best for: Reducing plastic waste
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

It’s difficult to avoid plastic these days – after all, it’s wrapped around almost every product in the supermarket. But My Little Plastic Footprint can help you cut back.

The app divides plastic into six categories: bathroom, kitchen, travel, leisure, household, and garden. Users can take quizzes to learn more about the impact of each type of plastic, and can also scroll through more than 100 tips on how to reduce their plastic footprint.

Users can also check out the Plastic Mass Index (PMI), which ranges from 0 to 100 – the closer you are to 0, the better you are doing with your ‘plastic diet’.

11. Brightly

Best for: A bit of everything
Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android

Brightly is a supportive community for anyone wanting a greener lifestyle. With a keen focus on low waste and sustainable living, this helpful app offers interesting articles on plant-based foods, zero-waste options, eco-friendly beauty products, and much more.

Users can also explore Brightly’s own marketplace, where they can check out some of the best eco-friendly products available, or buy gift cards for friends and family.

To heighten the community vibe, this nifty app also allows users to like, comment, and share posts, so you can connect with other Brightly users and share your favourite posts with friends.

Summary

Changing your lifestyle is no easy task. If you’re only just starting your eco-friendly journey, we advise taking one thing at a time – try not to overwhelm yourself.

There are thousands of apps out there that can help you transition to a greener lifestyle, and hopefully these 11 will give you a good head start.

Beth Howell Writer

Beth has a real passion for green living. She’s been absorbed in eco research for over three years, and has become quite the expert. Whether you’re after a new set of solar panels, a home energy improvement, or you want to catch the latest eco news, she’s got your back.

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