Earthy Apps

Download, click, save the world

As spring arrives in Fayetteville and our beautiful campus comes back to life, many of us find ourselves desiring to switch to more earth-friendly habits.  But, if you are anything like me, despite your warm and fuzzy feelings towards our planet-home, the actual process of becoming more sustainable seems far too complicated.  You don’t even know where to start.

Well, CONGRATULATIONS! It is your lucky day, because I, your humble servant, have already done all of the work for you! Check out these 5 simple to use apps that will help you start living a more sustainable lifestyle today!

1. JouleBug  JouleBug logo


What it Does: Gives tips on how to make everyday tasks more sustainable in the form of challenges

How it Works: Make an account. Read through the recommended habits and start tailoring your life to use less resources. Keep track of your daily achievements and level up. Create a Joule Bug Community with your friends and shame all of them with how much more sustainable you are.

What I Like: All of it. JouleBug seems to be an Everything-In-One app.  It gives tips on how to live a more responsible life and rewards you with in game points for doing so. It keeps track of the impact your actions are having on the earth by measuring energy saved and your pocket book by measuring cash saved.  It even allows you to create communities with your friends and family so you can challenge each other to follow through on your new habits. Honestly, with this app it would be difficult not to start living in a more sustainable way.

Get the App:  Android, iPhone

Want to compete with a real life Sustainability Intern (AKA me)? Just search my name, Linden Cheek, on JouleBug and follow my profile.  You can monitor my stats and brag when you score higher than a Sustainability Minor’s!

2. iRecycle  iRecycle logo


What it Does: Finds the nearest location(s) where an item can be recycled

How it works: Use search bar or find the item you want to recycle under built in categories. Input your location.  Pick whatever center you want to use.  Revel in your newly discovered knowledge.

What I Like: iRecycle is the guru of recycling.  It can show you where to recycle almost anything – from tin cans to hazardous waste, toothbrushes to office furniture – iRecycle knows all.  The app also provides you with tons of info on the recycling location, including a list of all of the items a given center will take and directions on how to get there!                                   

Get the App: Android, iPhone

3. HowGood how-good logo


What it Does: Rates food products on their sustainability according to 7 criteria

How it Works: Type in the product name or scan the bar-code.  The rating (Good, Very Good, Great, or Nilch) will appear, and you can tap it to read more about each of the criteria. Buy high rated food and feel great about your sustainable purchase.  Or don’t and feel guilty.  Your choice.

What I Like: Unlike many similar apps, HowGood’s criteria cover a variety of elements, including health and equity, giving a more complete picture of the sustainability of the product.

Get the App:  AndroidiPhone


4. Paper Karma  paperkarma-logo 

Paper Karma

What it Does: Eliminates junk mail.  Forever.

How it Works: Using the app, take a picture of the junk mail you want to stop receiving. Done. Seriously.  The app does the rest.

What I Like: This app is ridiculously easy to use and works great, making it easy to eliminate the paper waste that comes from disposing of annoying junk mail.

Get the App:  AndroidiPhone

5.  EcoChallenge  EcoChallenge logo

EcoChallengeWhat it Does: Educates the user on various sustainability issues and provides tips on how to lessen their personal impact

How it Works: The app provides “green facts”  on weekly changing topics, a calculator to keep track of your own contribution to sustainability issues, and challenges to improve your personal habits. Check in at least once a week to find yourself educated and motivated to make a positive change.

What I Like: Many times, apps and articles that address sustainability issues present problems in a way leave me feeling defeated and confused.  EcoChallenge takes broad and sometimes scary sustainability issues and reduces them to a couple challenges that are not only possible, but practical.  This app makes “going green” accessible to even a poor college student.

Get the App:  iPhone

So there you have it.  Download these 5 apps, and start living more responsibly today!