The apps and websites helping save the planet in 2020

There are very few tasks that you can’t complete from your smartphone or tablet in 2020. You can buy virtually any product from around the world and get it delivered to your home within days, sometimes even the next day if you’re using apps like Amazon. You can compare flights from hundreds of providers on one page, book the cheapest within minutes and then even check in on your phone and use your touchscreen as your boarding pass. You can even get a cup of takeout coffee delivered to your door whilst it’s still piping hot thanks to apps like Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Whilst all of these are making it easier to complete several day to day tasks, and some experts suggest that this convenience is having a negative effect on the environment. Parcels are wrapped in a lot of cardboard and single-use plastic, much of which goes straight in the bin. The increase in competition is lowering the cost of flights, meaning more people are boarding planes and increasing the harmful emissions they pump out into the atmosphere. Luckily, whilst many apps are encouraging these bad practices, there are lots of apps being developed to help protect our environment as well. Here are some of the apps and websites you can access from your smartphone that are helping to save the planet in 2020.

Cycle hire

One of the most noticeable ways many people are damaging the environment can be found on the roads of our towns and cities. Whenever you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you can’t help but notice the number of cars surrounding you. Whilst the number of electric cars on the road are increasing, the vast majority of those on the road will be powered by petrol or diesel. Both of these fossil fuels damage the environment when they’re produced and when they’re eventually consumed in your car. Unfortunately for many, a car is a necessary evil. An increasing amount of people have to commute big distances to work every day. Whilst using public transport is sometimes an option, it can end up adding hours to your travel time every week and can also be very unreliable. Even if you don’t commute a great distance for work, you might need a car for taking the kids to school, seeing friends and family and even just traveling to the supermarket.

Whilst it’s essential that some journeys are completed by car, some short trips could be achieved by other means. In fact, in busy capital cities like London, you could find that it’s quicker to take another form of transport than sit in heavy traffic for hours. That’s why so many companies now allow you to hire a bike from your smartphone at many different points around the city. App users can not only locate the nearest bike and pay for the hire, but they can also be used as the key to unlock the bike. Rather than having to be given a key to unlock a bike manually, these devices can often be unlocked by either entering a code, scanning a QR code or even hovering the device over a wireless sensor. By completing some journeys by bike or even on public transport, you could dramatically reduce the amount of pollution you’re responsible for putting into our atmosphere.

Energy Comparison Websites

The energy we use at home and work is one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint. Whilst burning coal is now virtually a thing of the past, the ways we produce most of our energy in 2020 are still having a damaging effect on the environment. Whilst solar panels and wind turbines have increased in popularity over the last decade or two, only 30 percent of the US energy is produced using these clean, renewable forms.

While many people want to use energy that has been produced with the environment in mind, it’s often one of those things that people often forget about. By the time it arrives at your home, there is no difference whatsoever between green electricity and electricity produced by more traditional methods. When you switch your computer on at the wall, both kinds of energy power your computer in just the same way. Unless there’s a solar panel on your office roof, there are no visual clues to whether the energy has been produced in an environmentally responsible manner. That’s why it’s so important to consider how your energy is produced when selecting your energy provider.

When switching providers, use a website that will find you the best renewable energy prices by comparing a large number of deals from the country’s biggest providers. Not only will websites like Utility Bidder let you know which provider is the cheapest, but it’ll also inform you on which providers are doing the most to make sure they’re limiting the damage they’re causing to the environment. Whilst this might all sound complicated, and it might be tempting to just stay with your current provider, the process can be completed within minutes and just a few taps of a smartphone or tablet. You could find that you save yourself a lot of money as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

Food sharing websites

When you do a big food shop at the store, or even make a big order from your local takeaway or fast food restaurant, you have every intention of eating every single piece of food you’ve bought. Nobody would spend more money than they need to on their weekly shop or dinner order. Whilst this is the case, the reality is many of us still end up throwing out lots of food, either because we bought too much, or it’s simply gone out of date before we had the chance to use it. Research suggests that we throw away over 4 million tonnes of household food waste every year, much of which goes straight to landfill.

Whilst you might think you have no option other than throwing away your unwanted food, there is an app that can help you find it a home where it will be used. Apps like Olio allow you to take a photo of your food, write a short description and then share the details with people near you. If someone thinks they can use the food, they’ll notify you through the app and then arrange a time to come and collect it. Some apps even allow businesses and restaurants to give away or sell surplus products for a reduced price, meaning they don’t have to throw away good food at the end of the day just because they can no longer sell it in store. It also means that all of the energy preparing and then heating those meals hasn’t gone to waste.

Not only are these apps cutting down on waste, but they’re also doing great things for the community. Many of these apps are used by homeless centres and food banks to help feed those who are unable to afford food themselves. By downloading these apps, you won’t just be helping the environment, but you’ll also be helping people less fortunate than yourself.