RESET Special: Small Steps, Big Impact – Five Quick Tips for Climate-Friendly Living: Day 1

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Anna Yukiko Bickenbach

If we work together, we can put more time towards rubbish separation, seek fresh air in our cities or create new conservation areas. Want to know where to start? This week, we will be providing simple tips to start building a more climate-friendly life. Whether you're just getting started on the green path or you're a pro, there's tips for everyone. Today we look at green apps. Let's go!

Author Laura Holzäpfel, 12.15.14

If we work together, we can put more time towards rubbish separation, seek fresh air in our cities or create new conservation areas. Want to know where to start? This week, we will be providing simple tips to start building a more climate-friendly life. Whether you’re just getting started on the green path or you’re a pro, there’s tips for everyone. Today we look at green apps. Let’s go!

Protecting the climate and the improving the environment don’t require to give up your yearly holiday. How about we get started with a green app? Test yourself and turn your normal weekday into a green app challenge! What would a typical day look like? Let’s start with tomorrow!

Your Day with Green Apps

Not long after getting up, our list of tasks for the day starts to strecth out before us: shower, teeth brushing, hair brushing, shaving and more. Already in the first half an hour of our day, we use a lot of cosmetic products. Whether or not these contain hormone-disrupting chemicals is often difficult to ascertain.

The Think Dirty app catalogues over 60 thousand cosmetic products available in North America and Europe and lists information about whether the ingredients contained in a certain product could be toxic, allowing customers to make informed purchasing decisions about their favourite shampoo or scrub.

Now that you are ready to go, it’s time to think about how to get to work. Other than walking, cycling is the best way (even in winter) to get around, get the circulation pumping and tie in a little incidental exercise into your day. If you don’t have a bike yourself, you can easily rent one. A number of apps list where you can find bike-renting stations in the EU.

CityBikes collects and displays bike-sharing info for over 40 cities worldwide, including nearby rental stations and the number of bikes available at each.

Once at work, you need to concentrate on your tasks. But here, too, small changes can have big impact such as replacing Google as your search enegine of choice with Ecosia, a search engine that donates 80 percent of its advertising revenue to reforestation program in Brazil. Ecosia is also available as an app for smartphone, so can search on the go, shop and plant trees.

Once you arrive at work, you should concentrate devote your tasks. But here, too, small changes already have a big impact. So you can replace Google in no time by the green search engine Ecosia. Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80 percent of its advertising revenue to a reforestation program in Brazil. Ecosia is also available as an app for your smartphone, so you can search on the go, shop and plant trees.

After work, it’s time to look forward to going home. Were it not for the annoying trip to the supermarket for groceries. However, this trip can also be an exciting challenge if you use a mobile shopping assistant that helps you figure out the environment and ethical track records of some of the biggest brands on supermarket shelves. The Good Shopping Guide app is the digital, portable version of the eponymous best-selling book and provides information about a company’s environmental, animal welfare and human rights backgrounds. 10 percent of all net revenue from the app goes to Friends of the Earth who help create and manage the app.

  • The Good Shopping Guide for iPhone

For the hardcore challengees among you: Our RESET item 1 x Weekend Shop = 4 Hand Grenades shows that, sometimes, even a sustainable procurement could unfortunately finance parts of our defense industry, further evidence that making smart, conscious choices can be tricky and that transparency on the part of companies is a must.

So, with that, the day is almost done and you’ve done a lot along the way for you and your environment. Great! If you want to keep going, you can! With the smartphone app Ecotastic, you can collect points for environmentally-friendly behaviour, for example by carpooling or using a thermal mug for coffee-to-go. These can then be exchanged for rewards like vouchers from partner companies.

What else can you do? Find more quick tips from our editorial special here: Small Steps, Big Impact

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