The future of our planet is a hot topic. Increasing concerns have been raised around environmental threats such as climate change, pollution and waste disposal. In March this year, the head of the Environment Agency reported that “A combination of population growth and climate change could leave the UK with severe water shortages in the next 20 to 25 years”. With information like this in mind, the Positive People staff are forever searching for ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Positive People strives to be an environmentally sustainable project and we encourage our participants to be part of this. For this reason, members of our sustainability steering group have created an action plan to address and counter environmental threats. This plan encourages ‘greener’ working through car sharing, reduction of paper printing and the use of reusable plastic as quick wins to reducing our carbon footprint. To involve the project’s participants in the process, we have also provided them with opportunities including beach clean ups, woodland management and community gardening. In late 2017, staff and participants on the project also planted trees to help off-set the impact of the pollution caused by the car journeys we must make to do our jobs.

There are plenty of everyday changes we can make to improve the situation of our planet. Some of these changes can be made easier with the use of technology. As digital partners on the project, Cosmic staff are always looking for the latest tech and gadgets to help improve the lives of those they work with. Today, there are hundreds of apps that are designed to make greener living easier than ever. We have reviewed some of those apps and created our top 5 list to share with everyone on the project. Here they are:

GoGreen (Free – iOS and Android)

This app is a great one to get started with if you need some inspiration for helping our planet. It is easy to use and gives you simple tasks you can complete immediately and long-term tasks to help you live a greener life. You can track your progress, earn leaves for each task you complete and receive helpful information on environmental issues to improve your understanding of how your actions matter.

My Little Plastic Footprint (Free – iOS and Android)

With this fun app, you can learn how to reduce your plastic usage with daily tips and information. To start making a difference, agree to personal ‘pledges’ (challenges) and share them with your friends to earn extra points. Depending on your lifestyle, you can choose between a ‘family’, ‘sea lover’ or ‘urban’ category, which will adapt the advice and challenges for you. Over time, the app also tracks your ‘plastic footprint’ to show how much your actions have impacted the environment.

Refresh and Go Green (£1.79 – iOS and Android)

This beautifully designed app was created by The Refresh Project. If you don’t mind spending a £1.79 for the purchase, the app allows you to customise your level of difficulty based on how much you want to commit to completing challenges. Like the other apps, you receive challenges. With each challenge you will be guided on how to achieve the goal. It also provides you with information on the ‘why’ – explaining the impact your actions will have on various environmental factors such as energy, chemical, water, waste and biodiversity. With each accomplishment you will receive rewards such as a rise in your level, more leaves on your virtual tree and a tracker to show how many consecutive days you have been ‘green’.

Giki Badges (Free – iOS and Android)

Ever wonder where your food has come from and the impact this has on the environment? This app allows you to scan the barcode on food products to see how sustainable, healthy and ethical they are. The app will show the impact of the products you buy, allowing you to make more informed choices when shopping. Each food product can hold up to 6 badges: healthier, sustainable palm oil, low carbon footprint, better packaging, free from additives and organic. The more badges, the more sustainable the product, giving a quick and easy visual to making better shopping choices.

Too Good To Go – Fight Food Waste (Free – iOS and Android)

The app allows you to source local stores such as bakeries, restaurants and supermarkets that provide meals for reduced prices from £2 – £4, that would otherwise have gone to waste. The app uses your location to find places near you and gives you a collection time to receive the food. You simply need to order the food and pick it up at the given time. Currently, you may find the app only tends to show sources in larger cities, but as this fantastic idea catches on, we have high hopes that more businesses will join in.

This is just a selection of many apps that have been designed to help you live an eco-friendly life. With access to these apps in the palm of our hands, it is easier than ever for us to make the right choices and be more aware of the impact we have on our planet. If you have any app suggestions of your own, please send them to us at [email protected]

Positive People is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.