Save the planet using just your phone

Being a student is tough. There’s deadlines to remember, commitments to societies and trying to survive on a student budget. With all of this, it is difficult to remember to be eco-friendly all the time — who has time to read the small print on packaging to find items that don’t contain palm oil? However, there have recently been numerous apps and websites that make saving the planet a whole lot easier and less time consuming.

OLIO: According to the UK Food Standards Agency, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink in our homes each year. Something that may help cut down on this, is an an app called OLIO. OLIO describes itself as the “food sharing revolution”, allowing users to list their leftover food on the app that would otherwise go to waste. All you have to do is snap a photo of your leftover food and give it a short description. Users are able to scroll through listings of nearby food that they arrange to pick up from the user. The best part is that all the food listed is free!

BlaBlaCar: Everyone knows that more cars on the road equals more pollution, leading to increased climate change. Well-known alternatives to this are either paying a hefty price for a train fare, or taking a very slow and overcrowded bus. However, BlaBla Car manages to solve both of these problems through the concept of ‘carpooling’. With this app, you’re able to get a cheap ride in the comfort of a car, with the knowledge that you’re cutting down on fossil fuel use. The website lets members of the public list their planned journeys so that users can book a lift with them and pay a small price. Just make sure you choose drivers with good, trustworthy reviews.

Ecosia: Instead of searching all of your questions using Google, you can easily make the switch to Ecosia, an environmentally-friendly search engine. The profits that are generated by the ads on the search engine are then used towards planting more trees. Because of this alternative to Google, already over 21 million trees have been planted. One project the company is working on, is using the ad revenue to fight the growth of the Sahara desert so it does not expand into populated areas.

TooGoodToGo: Although this app is still to reach Durham, it has already become a hit in Newcastle. Once you’ve downloaded the app and created an account, you’re able to see if any nearby restaurants are selling any leftover meals for a cheaper price. The app prevents restaurants from throwing away perfectly good meals. What could be better than getting YoSushi for a quarter of the price and saving the planet at the same time?

Good guide: If you want your weekly food shop to be more environmentally conscious, then be sure to check out Good guide. You are able to search the website for a product that you would like to buy, and then it provides you with a list of products and then a rating of how ‘green’ they are. This means that you won’t have to waste time scouring the supermarket shelves for the best product — this website does all the hard work for you.

Oroeco: This app helps you track your everyday decisions and analyses how much of an impact they’re having on the environment. We all know that leaving the tap on whilst brushing your teeth has an impact, however this app encourages you to evaluate more of your everyday activities. Whilst impossible to completely eliminate greenhouse gases from your life, it can help you pick out a few little things each week, which could have a big impact overall — was your last takeaway really worth those air miles?

Featured image by Sozialhelden via Flickr Creative Commons.

Images in post (in order) by Allen Watkin and odwalker via Flickr Creative Commons.

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