In the past few years, environmentalism is not showing signs of slowing down. The number of individuals, corporations, and governments that are jumping on a “green train” grows at the fast pace.
Cutting emissions, saving energy, buying and investing in clean and renewable energy resources while saving money is becoming an integral part of strategic mindset for everyone. Governments are offering various incentives to companies for going green in different forms: UK government offers a variety of environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses, while US government offers incentives the form of tax incentives, such as tax credits and rebates with many others.
Companies don’t only have governmental incentives, but they realized that going green has the potential to save millions of dollars in long-term, reducing the operational cost. Apple claims that in 2015, 93% of their energy came from renewable sources, while GM says it has saved more than $80 million from green-energy purchases and investments since 1993.
Apps for environmentally aware and app loving millennials
However, huge role in the going green has been played by us, customers. By becoming eco-minded, and increasing the demand for environmentally friendly products, companies can postpone going green, but they cannot ignore it. The Nielsen Company study, from 2015, states that millennials are willing to spend more for products that are environmentally friendly.
To make a positive impact on our planet and engage the millennial audience in the ecology movements, organizations started making apps. While the environmental apps cannot be an instant solution, but in a few clicks on our smartphone, everyone can take small steps towards a cleaner environment on a daily basis. Environmental apps can help us to start creating a habit of making more eco-friendly choices and switching to a “green mindset”.
We picked and reviewed 7 environmental apps that say it will help you go green.
How we tested?
We graded three aspects of each application: its design, information quality, and usability. The overall score is a combination of the average of the three scores, and the general look and feel of the app. All environmental apps were tested on both iOS and Android devices (#climate and GoodGuide apps are available only on App Store) with an iPhone 6 and Samsung S5. So let’s roll out the first contender.
#climate helps you discover and share climate change action with the greatest environmental impact. You can subscribe to different climate interest and receive only those actions from selected organizations and topics.
The app has a solid welcome wizard for users to learn how to use the app, filter topics, organization and set when to receive push notifications (as updated, daily and weekly basis). However, the app’s design is outdated, but even that wouldn’t be a problem if the app wasn’t cluttered with the content, pushing the readability to a very low level.
Using the #climate, we desired to redesign its clumsy navigation app, but also to help them improve the user engagement. At the moment #climate is redirecting users to the smartphone browsers, so they land outside of the app each time they click on a link Instead, app’s child browser would increase time spent in the app and the user engagement. The app can be downloaded from the App Store.
Dropcountr’s main goal is to help water utilities and people to save the water. The app connects the user directly to his water utility company which can then send messages about water budget, alert you of leaks or send customized drought. The app allows you not just to track water consumption, but also helps to set better water budget and to compare your use with others.
The app is designed to show you the date, charts and comparison tables in a beautiful, easy-to-understand and intuitive way. Navigation through the data is so easy and simple that makes a difficult task, as reducing water consumption, a fun game. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
Ecoviate is trying to build a community around environmental sustainability and promises to plant one tree for every app download. The app includes environmental friendly tips to help you conserve water and save energy. It also includes elements of gamification with “Eco-Points” and rewards.
The app has some major bugs; after login, the app crashed and we needed to open it again. No matter how much time we tried and waited, both Home tab and Eco-tips cannot be loaded – this is probably due to the fact that the app hasn’t been updated for over a year.
Also, design and UX feel outdated and in combination with poor performance, the app won’t last long on users’ devices – poor UX and technical issues are among top 3 reasons why users delete mobile app. Maybe it’s the right time to rethink app’s UX and design a great digital product. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
GoodGuide allows you to find safe, healthy, green and socially responsible products based on scientific ratings. Ratings are done by GoodGuide’s scientist who rates both companies and products for their environmental, social and help impact on the scale from 0 – 10.
The app has a nice, simple wizard on the first opening to understand how the app works and how to use it which makes users’ onboarding as simple as it gets. From the design standpoint, the app is very user-friendly; super easy to use and navigate with straightforward and clean navigation, we loved it.
Filtering and sorting products works perfectly, while a number of information you can get for a specific product is huge; from the lists of stores where you can buy product, ingredients, alternative products and much more. The app can be downloaded from the App Store.
Oroeco offers fun and rewarding path for everyone to help solve the climate change and reduce their impact on the planet. You can choose to track your life activities – what you eat, how you live, transportation you use – and see how much climate impact do you have. With friendly competitions, you can compete with other users in a fun way to reduce your impact; you’ll even get a badge!
Oroeco app mastered the onboarding process with step by step tutorial on how to use the app. After you choose your country, you are automatically rewarded with ORO points and introduced to gamification part of the app. To fully use the app, you should complete the general survey (you have the option to fill it later) and from there, magic starts.
Data of your progress and impact is beautifully displayed, app’s navigation is intuitive and users can clearly see how strong was their impact on the environment. If more developers followed the Oroeco and build apps in the same way, app stores would be a better place. 🙂 The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
JouleBug mission is to make everyday habits more sustainable and environmentally friendly. From outdoor activities, energy and water preservation, the app encourages you to learn more about each tip, its impact with How.to videos and Helpful links and share the activities with your friends.
JouleBug is an absolute winner in the environmental apps that we tested. Tips and tricks, video tutorials and additional helpful content for every environmentally friendly action you take is an awesome set of data that will help users better understand the importance of the actions.
Connecting, following, competing and sharing your actions with other users is done in an interesting and fun way, while the perfectly executed gamification adds a cherry on top. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
PaperKarma will help you to get rid of the unwanted paper mail and cut your paper waste. The concept is simple; if you don’t want to receive catalogs or magazines, pull out your phone, snap a photo of it and PaperKarma will do the rest – unsubscribe you from receiving it.
We liked the app, but we feel something’s missing. Although the process is as easy as described to stop receiving printed promo materials and emails, the app doesn’t provide any additional value to users.
There’s no incentive to go back in the app once you took a picture of unwanted mail nor does the app even tries to engage with users with, for example, curated environmental content, statistic data how much paper waste has been reduced, etc. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
From our test, we can see that majority of environmental apps are interesting both to developers and users. Developers have found a way to make apps that will help you pay more attention to the environment, while users now have a fun and simple tool that will help them change everyday habits and become more aware of their impact on the environment.
Regardless of our scores, if one of these environmental apps is making you think more about your own environmental impact and starting to change your habits, then the app has succeeded.
But why stop there – why not try to make a great environmental app yourself and make an impact on others? Start building your very own environmental app without coding today with our app builder. Maybe you’ll end up on one of our lists in the future. 🙂