5 free apps that will help you to live a more sustainable and ethical life

Did you know that your smartphone can help you to be a more sustainable person?

Check out these awesome free apps, or suggest your own favourites in the comments below!


Described as "Australia's most comprehensive recycling app", RecycleSmart uses data collected by Planet Ark to help you get the information you need to be a better recycler.

While some local government areas have their own apps, the Planet Ark app provides information for every council area in Australia and "enables residents to search for both kerbside and drop off services for a huge range of materials on their phone or tablet."

The app will also keep you up to date about recycling dos and don'ts, as well as interesting facts about how you can reduce your environmental impact.

For those outside of Australia, try iRecycle.

Apple | Android


If you've ever spent 10 minutes at the supermarket shelf trying to work out which products are sustainable, and which are not, then this is the app for you!

HowGood gives products a score based on criteria such as safety, health, social good, and environmental sustainability, making it easy to compare multiple items.

The app uses a massive amount of data, such as the product's manufacturing process, where ingredients have come from, how the company's employees are treated, and how much waste the product's packaging produces.

With over 137,000 products in the database, this is a great app to demystify the shopping process, and will hopefully help you to be a more mindful consumer.

Apple | Android

Sadly, HowGood is not available in Australia, so use an app such as Shop Ethical instead (Apple |Android)

Wildlife Witness

Interested in animal rights and conservation, but don't know where to start?

The Wildlife Witness app lets you report illegal trade and animal rights abuses. By letting you know what to look out for, the app guides you on how to report abuses, which can then be actioned by local conservation organisations.

By getting informed about conservation, you can engage with your environment wherever you are in the world. Particularly useful if you're travelling overseas (say to Thailand or Africa) and want to be a sustainability-conscious traveller.

Apple | Android


Think you're an environmental superstar? Want to engage in sustainability in a fun way?

JouleBug is an interactive app that helps to develop planet-strong habits that encourages you to "save money, have fun, and be a little kinder to the planet." By earning points for actions, you can engage in playful competition with friends, family members and colleagues.

Even if you're an eco novice, the app has helpful videos explaining how and why to complete the challenges.

Apple | Android


Sick of junk mail? So are we!

Junk mail makes up an astonishing six per cent of Australia's total paper usage, amounting to 240,000 tonnes of paper annually. The water needed to produce a year's worth of catalogues could fill 8,640 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

PaperKarma puts a stop to unwanted mail: Take a picture of your junk mail, press submit, and PaperKarma will contact the mailers and remove your name from their distribution list.

The app works for magazines, catalogues, coupon Books, fliers, credit card offers, and White and Yellow Pages.

Apple | Android

BONUS: Check out the Palm Oil Investigations app for Apple and Android to learn about how you can support ethical palm oil companies (and avoid the unethical ones)

What's your favourite sustainability-themed app? Let us know in the comments below!

[Banner image: Shutterstock]

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