BY EMMA HAWKINS, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST & OCEAN LOVER
It’s not easy living green. Sometimes it’s tough. And sometimes it’s damn hard. But, luckily for us, a few clever people have made some apps that make it a lot easier!
THE SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD GUIDE
Putting sustainable eating in your back pocket
Fisheries worldwide are in trouble. Overfishing is the main culprit of the dilemma, and while it’s not always possible, there are ways to eat seafood more sustainably. A scientific assessment looked into a range of issues such as fish stocks, sustainability of fishing, farming methods, impacts on natural ecosystems, and how quickly the species will reproduce.
Now, all this information is easily accessible and free in an app!
Pull it out next time you’re shopping or perusing a menu. The app gives you the information to ask the right questions (Is it local? Is it farmed or fresh?) and helps you find some go-to sustainable options wherever you are. Phew!
Your guide to greener shopping bags
The Shop Ethical! app is your one-stop ethical shopping guide for clothing, food, appliances household items, cosmetics, and more. Search the app by product or brand, or scan the barcode of an item to access how green and ethical it is, and check it’s Shop Ethical! ranking.
Shop Ethical! is based on 5 principles, which we love!
- Every purchase makes an impact
- Ask: “do I need it?”
- Learn about the issues
- Seek out a best buy
- Make lasting change
Your recycling companion
Throwing stuff away is not always that simple. We have co-mingled, organic, green, e-waste – the list goes on. And to make it more confusing, the rules change depending on where you live!
The Recycle Smart app, created by Planet Ark, can help you navigate your waste disposal easily. Just select what you want to recycle and the app will tell you which bin to put it in. And, if it can’t go in your home recycling bin, the app will offer you ways to dispose of the item at facilities near you! You can also quickly jot down any issues you’re experiencing and email your council about it. There is an option to select your council and get council-specific information.
Check out our article 'Recycling 101: Navigating Your Bins Like A Boss' for more tips.
Now you can compost without a compost bin!
If you hate throwing food waste into your bin but don’t have room for a compost bin, or a garden, then ShareWaste is here to help. ShareWaste connects people who have organic food waste, with those who have compost bins worm farms and chooks. So now you can reduce your own food waste and feed your neighbours’ worms!
“Australians are the world's second-largest consumers of textiles, buying on average 27kgs of new clothing and other textiles each year.” (choice.com)
GOOD ON YOU & RANKABRAND
Your new personal stylists
The tough truth is that our wardrobes play a big role in our carbon footprints. The materials and energy that go into making the fabric, the waste produced along the way, and the fuel used to get it from the factory to the wardrobe all contribute a huge amount to greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of finite resources.
Luckily for us, there are some amazing people out there working to clean up the textile and fashion industries, with some even going as far as dragging used fishing nets from the ocean and turning them into bikinis and boardshorts!
Good On You and RankaBrand help you understand the sustainability of the brands you’re currently wearing, and find more sustainable options that not only look great but have great stories to match.
Finding your local wardrobe
For vintage and handmade masterpieces go to Etsy. Try to find sellers nearby to minimise the CO2 emissions related to transporting your item.
Your new, green party planner
Paper invitations use paper (trees) and ink (chemicals) and take a few days to get where they are going, and are very much last century! Online invitation apps let you create beautiful, funny, funky, and cute invitations and send them to your people in an instant! Some are set up to incorporate your own photos so you can really personalise them.
And don’t worry, you can also order printed copies for any one (e.g. your Nana) who isn’t on line.
Emma has degrees in Environmental Science and Social Science. She has 11 years experience working in government and consulting roles in the areas of sustainability, climate change, life cycle assessment, water management and biodiversity. She is passionate about protecting our environment, raising awareness around sustainability, and the ocean. She spends as much time in or near the ocean as she can.