By Lillian Connors, Senior Content Developer, ACT-ENVIRO
Technology makes everything much easier than when you compare it to a few decades ago.
Nearly everything is within our fingertips. Everything is online these days, thanks to those applications that we tap on our smartphones. If you need food, you can just order online. If you need new clothes, you can shop online. If you need new kitchen equipment, yes, you can order them online.
On top of that, because of apps, traveling is made even simpler today. It even allows people to create an entire itinerary for their trip, including transportation, hotel stay, activities – everything is within the palm of your hands. However, tourism is not always good for the environment. As a matter of fact, the United Nations estimates that 4.8 million tonnes of waste is generated by tourism annually. That is nearly 14% of the world’s total waste produced.
Because of the staggering amount of solid waste, the recent recycling data suggests that recycling is now more important than ever. That is why environmentalists and app developers partnered to create easier ways for people to help save the environment. Today, there are amazing mobile apps that can do all that and more. There are apps like Ecosia, which uses 80% of its revenue to plant trees every time someone uses their search engine.
In line with this, the power to save the environment is within the palm of your hands. With that said, here are top five apps that make eco-friendly travel easy.
The Ecosia app is a mobile search engine just like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Aside from its mobile app, you can also use it when you are on your desktop or laptop.
As you already know, Ecosia helps in planting trees all over the world. It does so through the revenue it generates from the advertising that companies pay in order to be featured on their search results. On top of that, 80% of its revenue goes to tree planting. However, is it as powerful as Google’s search engine?
In all honesty, Ecosia does provide relevant search results for people who use its search engine. The only downside is that it uses the same search algorithm as Yahoo and Bing, which is not quite as advanced as Google’s. The bottomline, though, Ecosia is good enough for casual searching. And at the same time, it also helps in saving the environment, making it a win-win situation.
WWF Footprint Calculator
If you are just starting to be concerned about how much carbon footprint you leave, do not worry. There are more than a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. One of the best ways to get started is by using the WWF Footprint Calculator. This app was developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which is an international non-governmental organisation, established in 1961.
In its most basic sense, this mobile solution provides a set of questions regarding the lifestyle of the user, including their travels and their diets. After that, it calculates the carbon footprint set by the user, and then it shows you the results, so you can determine whether you are above or below average in terms of how damaging your lifestyle is to the environment. WWF Footprint Calculator then provides you with ways on how you can lessen your environmental footprint.
Air travel is one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gases. And with an average of 176,000 flights per day in the US in 2019 alone, it comes as no surprise. Fortunately, the TripZero web application is here. TripZero enables you to decrease the amount of carbon footprint you produce from your travels.
Basically, if you book your trip with TripZero, this website calculates your carbon footprint. After that, it offsets it for you for the price of zero dollars. On top of that, it not only calculates when you leave home, but it also calculates the environmental footprint up until you return. It does what the WWF Footprint Calculator does, except it only calculates your travel footprint.
Giki is your best friend when it comes to shopping anywhere. It provides a scanning tool where you are able to scan certain shopping items. After scanning that item, it then provides you results as to how eco-friendly they are or if they were made ethically. Giki then features a badge of approval, depending on these factors.
It also considers a few major factors when it comes to shopping. This includes its packaging, whether it was made from recyclable materials. Another factor is if the product was made with any harmful chemicals. And then it also informs you if the product was tested on animals. If Giki determines that this item does not pass its standards, it will provide you with eco-friendly alternatives right away, so that you won’t need to bother to look for one manually.
If your diet already consists of fresh produce, finding one when traveling to an unfamiliar place might be an enormous challenge. That is where you will find the value of the Locavore app. In its most basic sense, Locavore helps you find the best and most fresh ingredients wherever you are in the world. And on top of that, this app also informs you of the type of fruits and vegetables that are in season, depending on where you are located.
Locavore enables users to find the local produce markets, farms that are open to the public, and so much more. And you also do not need to pay a dime, since this mobile application is free for both Android and iOS devices.
Indeed, technology helps us get from place to place a lot easier than times of old. However, these do not necessarily provide the most eco-friendly solutions. Fortunately, there are apps today that can help you be more environmentally-conscious. It may seem miniscule at first, but will be a major game changer in the long run.