Making small changes to our lives to help become more environmentally friendly is encouraged, but sometimes we need a little prompting or help. We took a look at some free eco apps that are out there and asked parents to try some of them out and review them. Find out what they thought, and see if you think these free eco apps can change how you shop, save and splurge?
Don’t miss the chance to have your say! We’re looking for parents to get involved and give their feedback on all aspects of family life. Find out more here.
For many of us, making better and sustainable choices isn’t always second nature, especially when it comes to bigger and less familiar decisions. These varied eco apps, while all free, offer something different to help us learn more about our carbon footprint, food miles, waste, sustainable fashion, deforestation and more.
Take a look below at the eco apps that caught our attention, including parent reviews for what worked – and what didn’t!
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Hands-On Review of Eco Apps
We wanted to know how these eco apps performed in real life, so used our panel of parents for feedback.
Each participating parent was given a free eco app to download and try out for a few days, before reporting back on what they thought about the app, what they liked, what they didn’t like, how easy it was to use, and how they would rate it overall.
Good On You
Good on You App Description
The Good On You app gives you the power to easily check the impact of your favourite fashion brands on the issues you care about. Use the app to discover better alternatives, learn more about ethical fashion shopping, and get exclusive offers from the best brands.
Browse over 3,000 brands, all assessed against our comprehensive rating system. Each brand receives an easy-to-understand rating out of five, from ‘We Avoid’ (1) to ‘Great’ (5), and individual scores for its impact on people, the planet, and animals.
On first impression, I liked the look of the Good On You app – the visual colours and images were clear and easy to view. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me from the app what the app’s function was, but this became clearer as I used the website.
The app was easy to use. The content was of significant interest, really good articles particularly around the areas of sustainability and how ethical some brands are. I learnt some really good ways to repurpose old clothes. I certainly would return to the app again for more information on sustainability, and it’s something I am eager to learn more about.
I don’t feel I would buy from the app though, not only is it very American based but prices are very expensive for my budget.
Overall rating: 3/5
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Giki Badges App Description
Scan thousands of supermarket products to see whether they are sustainable, healthy and fair. What is it you care about? Climate change, eating healthily, sustainable palm oil, avoiding toxic chemicals, animal welfare, or less plastic?
Whatever your priorities, Giki will enable you to understand the true impact of your products and help you to buy from brands which share your beliefs.
The Giki Badges app is a really nice idea in theory. You go shopping and you scan the product you are thinking of buying and it will give you a rating based on 8 badges. So thinks like Healthier option, Free from additives, Better packaging etc. It will also show you alternative products that might be more sustainable or eco friendly.
The main problem I had in practice was that I shop mostly in Lidl and buy their products not branded products so when I scanned those they don’t show up in the app’s list. I think it’s too focused on branded products.
The app was very easy to use, you just pressed Scan and then lined up the scanner box over the bar code and it would scan the product code. I liked that it gave alternatives as well but honestly at the moment I wouldn’t have browsing time in the shop so standing trying to see what alternative I don’t think is very practical.
The fact that it was rating products on things like it having a Low carbon footprint or being Responsibly sourced does make you think whether your favourite products are really that “responsible”.
I didn’t learn that much because I wasn’t able to find products in my shopping on the app. And I don’t think I would continue to use the app. But I did notice on their website that they have a thing called Giki Zero which is step by step guide to a lighter footprint on the planet. It helps you to understand, track and reduce your carbon footprint and build your personal path to Net Zero. So I will definitely give that a go.
Overall rating: 1 out of 5 – it would have scored more highly if it had Lidl/Aldi products included
Ethicart App Description
EthiCart is a user-friendly app that gives quick, accessible and easy to understand information around the sustainability and ethical standards of food products. They suggest more sustainable alternatives where possible so it’s easy to switch over and make an informed purchasing decision.
If you want to shop more sustainably but lack time to research and a place to get the information you need, EthiCart enables and empowers you to buy products that align with your values.
I loved this app! It was very easy to use, the articles are very interesting and helpful, and I will definitely keep using it.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
For Good App Description
For Good is the best guide to a more sustainable lifestyle! So you know that taking the bike is more environmentally friendly than taking the car. But how does eating beef compare to eating chicken?
For Good is the first app to measure your total ecological footprint and show exactly what you can do to live more sustainably. And if you need some inspiration, the app is full of interesting tips.
Before downloading an App I always check the specs and reviews just to see if anything rings alarm bells or unusual permissions requested for the App itself. So first thoughts were the app looked good, user friendly, clear concise graphics. I was looking forward to giving it a try. Then I read the reviews, not so promising, but I always take them with a pinch of salt as it is entirely down to user experience and expectations.
I downloaded the app with no issues at all and began the registration process which was simple and easy. I filled in the questionnaire about our household. The first thing that irked me was that when completing the questionnaire, there was no consideration for rural dwellers who have no access to public transport. The wording almost made you feel you should feel guilty for using your car.
Then came a grant permissions section which let to a dead end with no guidance as to what they wanted from you. The major negative for this app is you need to have your GPS on all the time for it to log your movements. Unfortunately that is not a feasible option as it decimates my battery.
If you don’t switch on your GPS, this app won’t interact with you, there is no draw to go and have a look by way of notifications to remind you it’s there. To be honest in such a short space of time there was very little content to even peruse. There is a challenges section with no guidance as to what it’s there for.
I had a good trawl through the app but there were no redeeming features that would entice me to keep it on my phone. There was one little handy tip about covering saucepans when cooking that I will take on board but that’s about the only positive I have.
Overall rating: 1 out of 5
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Eco Life Hacks
Eco Life Hacks App Description
Eco Life Hacks offers you simple ecological tips to help you save or even earn money.
- Evaluate your current carbon footprint, then reduce it, thanks to our 100% ecological life hacks
- Learn easy ways to change things
- Discover how to stop wasting money
- Easy to access reports on important information about ecology and our planet
More than 300 ecological and economical life hacks have been selected for your everyday life. Eco Life Hacks has made a compilation of the best ecological everyday methods and tips used all around the world, for kids and adults alike. You will learn how to unclog a sink without using toxic products, what to do with your trash, or what are the advantages of ecological buildings, and even your tax returns.
This app is great for beginners who want to know where to start with making eco-friendly
changes. It provides a wide range of information on subjects such as food, travel and energy.
It’s broken down into user-friendly sections that are quick and easy to read. It backs up their suggestions with concrete facts and sources, which is fantastic. Seasoned eco-warriors may find that they know the majority of the tips available, however, they’re able to contribute their knowledge with the “Write a Tip” function.
The app’s layout is very clear, user-friendly and within a couple of clicks the information is at your fingertips.
The variety of tips within categories made the app interesting. It allows you to focus on one area of your life at a time to make big and small environmental swaps. The app is inclusive and has something for everyone, from advice on aluminum foil to picking your next car.
Being at home meant my dishwasher was working overtime. I have learnt that hand washing dishes uses about 30 litres less water than your dishwasher. It made me think twice about my reliance on it.
Therefore, I will be investing in some good quality rubber gloves to wash the dishes more often. Additionally, I will be watering my plants in the morning, reviving my daughter’s felt tip pens with white vinegar and breaking up with my fabric softener.
I would use the app again. They had great information about chemicals to avoid, I would double-check it before purchasing products. It’s also a great way to keep my eco-friendly knowledge topped up.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
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More Eco Apps to Try
Choose which reforestation project around the world you would like to help, then get your tree funded by discovering products & services from the app’s business partners. Plant the tree at the touch of a button, and follow through with a look at your global imprint and carbon footprint.
Treeapp partnered with international NGOs to plant trees where they are needed the most, recreating the habitats of wild animals and hiring local communities to plant these trees.
Easily update your progress with the receipt scanner. Photograph your food shopping receipt from any Irish supermarket and get a sustainability and climate impact score for the products you’ve bought. Find out which food products to buy more of and which to buy less of to improve your sustainability score.
Make your food shopping climate neutral by using the offset feature to plant native Irish woodland directly through the app.
With lists for your freezer, fridge and pantry, you can easily check what food you have left, see what food you need to use first, plan your meals, create a shopping list, avoid unnecessary purchases, reduce food waste and save a bunch of money.
No Waste is available on iOS
Ecosia is a free browser extension that allows you to plant trees every time you search the internet. More than 15 million active users are contributing!
Simple add the browser to Chrome (or by mobile app), look something up online, then the search ads generates revenue for Ecosia. This revenue is then used to fund tree planting around the world. At the time of writing, more than 116 million trees have been planted on over 9,000 sites worldwide.
Try new ways to go green with JouleBug’s achievements. With each Buzz, you’ll help the planet, your community, and your wallet.
You can also join local and national Challenges to see who’s the greenest. When you compete, we all win!
You can easily keep track of your daily carbon emissions and understand their source. Set goals and form new climate-friendly habits to reduce your carbon footprint. Become carbon neutral by planting trees that offset your unavoidable emissions.
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Have your say! Have you tried any of these eco apps? Or any others you’d recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!