Apps chrome

8 apps for a more eco-friendly sustainable life

We’ve found several apps to help you live more sustainably.

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In recent years, scientists have repeated that being eco-friendly can only be a hobby. But while suggestions like improving energy efficiency and ecosystem restoration might seem like a daunting undertaking, there are ways to make a difference in your own corner of the world. For example, search for more ethical purchasing opportunities can help boost both the environment and small businesses. Eat less meatusing reusable bags when grocery shopping, unplug devices which are not used and reduce water waste are all ways to be more eco-responsible from home.

But thanks to technology, you’re not alone as you try to be more environmentally friendly. Here are eight apps and services that can help you live a more sustainable life every day.


A truffled box surrounded by clothes and accessories

ThredUp/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

One lasting change you can make is second-hand shopping. A good resource to help you get started at home is ThredUpa thrift store and online clothing consignment store as well as a style delivery serviceoffering lower prices on high-end items – new and used – from brands such as Kate Spade and Coach.

There’s a lot to explore on the site, but browsing through curations for inspiration or researching specific brands can make it a little less overwhelming. In addition to regularly reduced items, there is also a Sales section. You can also get a head start on spring cleaning (and earn a few bucks) by donating or selling clothes to ThredUp — just click the Clean tab.




Borrowing instead of buying is another green change you can incorporate into your life. With the Olio app, available on iOS and Android, you can help reduce food waste in your area. Simply take a photo of the item(s) you want to share, and all neighbors who also use Olio will receive an alert. Alternatively, you can browse for items your neighbors are willing to share, such as food, cleaning supplies, or other miscellaneous items. From there, log in and arrange a pick up time.

Too good to leave

A paper bag on a counter with ingredients for a meal

Too good to leave

Too Good to Go is a service that connects millions of people with leftover food from supermarkets, restaurants and cafes – saving thousands of meals a day and radically reducing the amount of food waste in every country, and providing meals at reduced prices to millions of people. If you live in one of the areas where it’s available, you can download the Too Good to Go app on iOS and Android.



Paperkarma/ Screenshot by Shelby Brown/ CNET

With the PaperKarma app, you can reduce the amount of paper junk mail reaching your home. Simply use the app to take a picture of mail you no longer wish to receive, such as catalogs, charitable donation requests, credit card offers, or mail from a former resident. Select the name or address to remove it from the company mailing list, then tap unsubscribe.

Ecosia search engine

ecosia seen on laptop


Before you dive down a rabbit hole on the internet, try the Ecosia extension for Chrome. Ecosia uses the profits (from advertisements) it gets from your searches to plant trees. During the Australian wildfires in 2020, Ecosia directed all research proceeds to plant trees there. To date, the search engine has funded over six million trees.

Ecosia works globally and publishes monthly financial reports for accountability purposes. Ecosia also states that it does not sell your data to third party advertisers and does not use third party trackers. You can also download a mobile version of the extension as an app for iOS and Android.


The word faucet

Tap / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Plastic pollution has become a monumental problem for the planet over the years and we only expect to get worse. Replace plastic bottles with a reusable water bottle is an ecological alternative. The Tap app for iOS and Android can help you find charging stations wherever you are. The Tap Refill Station network consists of cafes and restaurants, water fountains or filtered water vending machines. The app will show you a station’s location, fastest walking directions, and water details at a certain location. It will tell you, for example, if you can chill, strain, fizz or flavor it.

good cow

happy cow

Happycow/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Milk seems like a pretty innocent thing, but research has shown that dairy products can have three times the greenhouse effect of plant-based milk and require more land to produce. Sure, going vegan is not an overnight decision, and you should do some research before making such a big change to your diet. But if you’re already vegan or vegetarian, Happycow is an app for iOS and Android that can help you find welcoming restaurants around the world that might be open for takeout or delivery right now.

Simply download the app or use the website and search for your city, zip code or region. Happycow will make restaurants vegan, vegetarian or with veg-friendly options.

think dirty

The words Think Dirty in white capital letters on a black background

Think Dirty/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Think Dirty can help you find eco-friendly cosmetics and beauty products. The app helps you learn about potentially toxic ingredients in personal care and makeup products, so you can compare while you shop. Think Dirty rates products on the Dirty Meter, considering ingredients, certifications, and health impacts. You can also keep track of items you already own in my bathroom rating. Think Dirty is available on iOS and Android.

Greener applications

If you want to dive deeper into the world of planet-friendly apps, here are a few more to check out: