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These days a lot of us rely on smartphones to do various tasks and chores. We can use apps to get a ride, order food, act as a translator, even turn off the lights at home. But beyond mundane tasks, apps can also keep you environmentally aware and encourage you to live more sustainably.

Below are several apps that help you to do just that. Keep in mind, though, that the tech marketplace is always changing. Some apps are free, while others are not. And not all may be available for both iPhones and Android phones.

be informed

Many apps give you useful information. For example, if you own an electric vehicle, the PlugShare app helps you locate public charging stations where you can plug in your car. (Kudos for cutting down your carbon emissions!) Its charging map shows stations close to you, with user reviews. Plume Air Report keeps you informed about air quality in your city, with live and forecast air pollution information.

what seafood to eat

Seafood Watch.org, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, helps you choose sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood, with recommendations on types of seafood to be avoided, as well as good sustainable choices.

where to recycle

Developed by Earth911, iRecycle allows you to look up locations near you where you can recycle 350 different kinds of materials. RecycleNation also provides local recycling information.

environmental advocacy

If you’re interested in advocacy, #climate helps you discover lots of climate change actions you can take. You can share them on social media to let people know what you’re doing to stop climate change, track your impact, and build public awareness.

don’t throw it away — give it away

Another app that helps you to take action is Freecycle + trash nothing!, which facilitates the recycling of used items. Give your unwanted or unneeded (but still usable) stuff a second life to people in your community, instead of sending it to the landfill. You can either post items to give away or request specific things you are looking for. Olio is a food sharing app in the same vein that connects people living nearby who have surplus food they want to give away, in order to avoid food waste.

track your sustainability

Finally, there are apps that help you incorporate sustainability into your life by tracking your habits. Joulebug essentially turns sustainable living into a game by encouraging you to take small, positive daily actions. You get points each time you use a reusable mug, take public transit, or brush your teeth without running the faucet, for example. The more actions you take, the more points, badges, and medals you rack up. You can compete with friends or participate in challenges. It helps you develop a greener lifestyle by encouraging good habits in a fun way, one step at a time. There are lots of apps out there to help you go green!


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