Conventional wisdom states running our lives largely via our smartphones is a bad thing, distracting us from the things that really matter. We beg to differ – we’ve found a plethora of apps and websites making it easier than ever for us to create a kinder, fairer, more sustainable future. Here’s our roundup of the best.
Fight food waste
Did you know that one-third of all food produced is never eaten? Even worse, wasted food is thought to account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Too Good to Go is an app designed to fight the problem. It works by allowing you to search for your favourite foods – and then directing you to local bakeries, restaurants, supermarkets and cafes which are offering ‘magic bags’ of their unused food, typically for under £4.
If you’re anything like us, you have plenty of unopened soaps, toiletries and makeup languishing in boxes and drawers. Beauty Banks collects your unused beauty products and redistributes them to women and men in need. Visit their website to find your nearest drop-off point, or you can buy products online on behalf of a woman or family in need via Easho.
Tackle carbon emissions
Last week, we looked at the work being done to make air travel more carbon-efficient. In the meantime, you can offset the CO2 emissions you generate from your flights via MyClimate – a non-profit which enables you to choose which carbon-cutting initiative your money is invested in, too.
Build a sustainable wardrobe
Shopping for pre-loved, rather than brand new products can instantly reduce your impact on landfill by giving new life to existing clothing. Apps like Vestiaire Collective, Hurr and Humm allow you to shop, swap or rent decades of immaculate vintage designer clothing and accessories, bolstering your wardrobe with unique pieces. Whether it’s tracking down an original early noughties Dior Saddle Bag, locating a one-of-a-kind Pucci dress, or trading a piece you’ve tired of for something new-to-you, it’s a fun, ethical way to shop online.
Throwaway water bottles are a huge plastic problem. If just one in 10 people in the UK refilled their bottle once a week, we would have 340 million less plastic water bottles a year in circulation, according to Refill. Via their app, you can fill up your reusable water bottle for free across the country. There are more than 20,000 refill points nationwide – from cafes to bars. Even better, each refill earns the charity 13p to fund its environment-saving campaigns.
Improve mental health
And because a better world is dependent on the positive actions of millions of individuals, sometimes contributing to a happier, healthier world starts with your own wellbeing. Mindfulness guru Terrence the Teacher’s (who also happens to sit on Positive Luxury’s Sustainability Council) suite of apps are a great way to start building the foundations for a brighter, calmer future both for yourself and others. Apps are tailored towards your specific needs – To Sleep, for example, is designed to help build natural, healthy sleeping patterns, while The Tranceform 3T app is all about strengthening your confidence and relaxation skills.