By 2030, our planet will have reached the point of no return
Climate change is affecting every person on every country in every continent in the world.
With emissions growing more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades, is it too late for us to make a difference?
With the United Nations bringing together countries from across the globe to reduce their impact on our environment, the Paris Agreement has seen over 175 countries pledge to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees centigrade.
The UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action, focuses on finding these solutions through things like renewable energy, clean technology and reduced pollution.
While there’s no doubt it’s the governments and international brands that can make the most difference, surely there’s something I can do that will contribute to the cause?
We have worked with some brands to produce applications that can be used to help combat climate change, such as the Global Forest Watcher deforestation app and the LUSH Lens app for use in the world’s first package-free cosmetics store. But what other tools can individuals like myself do to become more sustainable day-to-day?
Here are a few areas of our everyday lives that are impacting our environment, along with the apps empowering us to be more sustainable.
1. Reducing food waste & needless plastic packaging
When we think of climate change, food waste is often one of the last things we consider in ways to reduce our impact. In fact, 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions from the food industry could be reduced if we stopped the food waste the world produces.
While there are a number of ways to stop wasting as much food at home, it’s restaurants, cafe’s and retailers who end up throwing away the highest amounts.
FoodCloud connecting restaurants with charities
The FoodCloud app works around the idea of making the most out of food waste, providing a platform that connects shops and retailers with charities to stop food waste and provide those in need with food when they need it the most.
The app lets shops upload images and descriptions of food products before they’re thrown out at the end of the day or the products lifetime. Charities are then able to search through the food waste close to them and buy the products at a fraction of their usual cost.
2. Adopting renewables & reducing our energy consumption
Over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to only 10 companies. Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is arguably the biggest challenge the world is facing when it comes to sustainability.
While brands and energy providers shift their focus towards more sustainability, mobile apps are being used to empower consumers by knowing which energy suppliers are eco-friendly and providing a tool for people to use in reducing their carbon footprint.
Bulb helping people adopt renewable energy
Founded by two individuals who previously worked in the energy industry, Bulb prides itself on being an energy provider focused on disrupting the current industry through simpler, cheaper and greener energy.
From keeping track of your energy usage to submitting meter readings and checking on your current balance, the Bulb mobile app empowers individuals in their every-day lives to become more sustainable and reduce the amount of energy they consume.
3. Using green transport & clean technology
There’s no question that the impact transportation has on our environment is second to none, with over 15% of man-made CO2 emissions being produced by cars, lorries and public transport.
Although walking or cycling to work is an obvious solution, it’s the apps that are empowering organisations to integrate eco-activity into their processes and culture that really stand out as being able to have the most impact.
Changers app helping people use green transport
A gamified experience that’s being used to reward employees, individuals and communities for living more sustainably, the Changers app is creating a custom programme that tracks, measures and compares efforts to become more sustainable.
Whether it’s by carpooling, planting trees or volunteering with environmental charities, the platform is putting climate-change at the forefront of companies health, wellbeing and employee development programmes.
4. Discovering sustainable brands, products & services
While, as individuals, we can do a whole lot to become sustainable and reduce our impact on the environment, it’s needless to say that the biggest impact is being made by the international brands and organisations that don’t focus on sustainability.
There are a number of brands that have moved away from tradition and become completely sustainable themselves, whether it’s becoming plastic-free or planting a tree to offset their carbon footprint.
The issue is, how can we find them?
HowGood rating brands on their sustainability
The HowGood app defines sustainability with data, taking information on thousands of different products and giving them a sustainability rating so that consumers can ensure we only supporting environmentally-friendly brands.
The scores are rated based on a number of factors including if items are environmentally-friendly, minimally processed and ethically produced. Taking everything from the origins of ingredients to the efficiency of production into consideration.
5. Understanding the best ways to recycle
Recycling is obviously a ‘must-talk-about’ when it comes to living sustainably. With new innovation shaping the way we recycle and process plastic packaging, what can we do as individuals to ensure what we can recycle, we do.
Going beyond the what is recyclable and what isn’t to provide a quick and easy way to keep on top of home recycling and find out more information about the items and products we’re unsure about.
A virtual coach keeping on top of our recycling
In a move to make recycling easier and more convenient than ever, Recycle Coach is helping people get organised, educated and updated on the best ways to recycle products in their own homes.
The app gives you a personalised calendar so you never miss recycling day again, as well as providing information on thousands of products around how to recycle them and giving the community a platform to run recycling events in cities all across the country.
70% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to only 100 companies
It’s facts like these that really disheartens me and make me think that no matter what we do as individuals, it’s the big brands that hold all the power in reducing the impact humanity has on our environment.
What can we do then?
For me, it’s so, so important that we adopt more sustainable values and become more climate-conscious, as no matter how much money or influence these big brands have, it’s their communities that they’ll listen to when it comes down to it.
What's next in our fight to combat climate change?
We’re not, and will never pretend to be, experts in climate change, renewables, recycling or plastic alternatives. What do we know a thing or two about? Digital transformation and sustainable app development.
That’s why it’s our core belief that to truly harness the power of tech for good, we need to collaborate with industry experts like LUSH, Global Forest Watch and the American Red Cross to combine our technical know-how with their decades of experience in sustainability.
So if you know a thing or two about sustainable living, let’s save the world together.