BE THE CHANGE – Here’s five apps to help you live a greener life

Kelsey Coburn

We all want to do our part to make our neighbourhood look great and to help our city and country to prosper, but being environmentally conscious isn’t always the easiest or clearest of choices.

These five apps can help our readers reach their personal sustainability goals while helping our community to become more eco-conscious. Supplied Photo

These five apps can help our readers reach their personal sustainability goals while helping our community to become more eco-conscious. Supplied Photo

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you navigate your green path ahead! For residents of Old Ottawa East, the following apps can help you reach your personal sustainability goals while also helping Ottawa to achieve its climate change objectives. Try them out!

1. Up your recycling game

When it comes to composting and recycling, keeping track of what goes where can be confusing and even overwhelming. Can dirtied pizza boxes be composted? Is aluminum foil recyclable? Are receipts considered to be paper?

Find the answers with the City of Ottawa’s Collection Calendar app. Use the waste finder feature to check what is recyclable according to the city’s waste management program and also keep track of the garbage and recycling schedules for your home.
Find it here: https://ottawa.ca/en/garbage-and-recycling/recycling

2. Reduce your footprint

Estimates suggest that globally, we will need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 to avoid brutal consequences to the planet. In an effort to help, many are trying to reduce their carbon footprint as best they can, but results can be hard to measure. Enter RePrint — here, you can set goals for yourself and track the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of each one of your activity and lifestyle changes. The app compares your progress against the national average (U.S. data) and estimates your cost savings.
Find it here: getreprint.com

3. A wrap on food waste

The impact of food waste on the environment is staggering, creating roughly 56 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions each year in Canada. Moreover, food waste puts a big dent in your wallet: the food rescue organization Second Harvest says households lose up to $1,766 in food waste each year!

NoWaste is a food inventory app that allows you to keep track of the food in your pantry, fridge and freezer, helping you reduce your food waste by keeping track of expiration dates. You can also use it to make shopping lists and meal plans based on the food in your home and track your monthly food waste and cost savings.
Find it here: nowasteapp.com

4. Become brand-aware

It is no secret that the fashion industry is a major polluter, producing astronomical amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and millions of tonnes of textile waste every year. And while some companies are open and transparent about their efforts to operate as sustainably as possible, others not so much.

Good on You is an app that gives you the power to search over 2,000 brands to see how they stack up when it comes to their impact on people, animals, and the planet. With Good on You, you can rest easy knowing the clothes you buy are ethically and sustainably made.
Find it here: goodonyou.eco

5. Trade and save

In a consumer culture, finding ways to reduce consumption and reuse items can be difficult, but as the old adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Bunz, a trading platform, has really taken this message to heart. Through the Bunz app, traders can offload unwanted items for other goods and services. By giving your items a second life, you can help reduce waste with the added bonus of saving money.
Find it here: bunz.com

Honourable mention

Although not an app, Savour Ottawa deserves a shout-out for its online map of the region’s local food and farms. Using the map, users can search for local producers, breweries and wineries, retailers, restaurants, and farmers markets. At a time when buying local has arguably never been more important, Savour Ottawa makes it easier for Ottawa residents to support local businesses.
Find it here: savourottawa.ca

Be the Change is a regular column in The Mainstreeter about climate change and sustainability in OOE. Residents wishing to contribute a column are encouraged to contact Sustainable Living Ottawa East (SLOE) at sloe@ottawaeast.ca

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Filed in: Environment, Front Page, News

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