COP28 reinforced the message that we need to act fast on climate change or face disastrous consequences.
However, while there is much to be done by countries, big businesses, and banks, there are also lots of ways we can help in our own day-to-day lives. Imagine what could be achieved if we all made ONE change for the better this new year.
Thankfully, technology means it’s now easier than ever to do our bit to help curb climate change. Here are six free money-saving apps that will benefit not only the planet, but your personal finances too. Here’s how to start 2024 off on a good footing:
Save food waste: OLIO
The OLIO app connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared rather than thrown away.
This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. OLIO can be used for non-food household items too. To make an item available, simply open the app, add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up. To access items, just browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up via private messaging.
OLIO says: “We believe that small actions can lead to big change. Collectively – one rescued cupcake, carrot or bottle of lotion at a time – we can build a more sustainable future where our most precious resources are shared, not thrown away.”
OLIO not only helps those in need, it also helps those on a budget – instead of buying food from the supermarket, why not take it off someone else’s hands for free.
Track your investments’ carbon footprint: Sugi
Carbon analytics app Sugi (a Good With Money ‘Good Egg firm) enables you to track and compare the carbon footprint of your personal investments. The free app calculates the yearly carbon impact of individual investments as well as of a portfolio as a whole. Investors can easily see how they are doing by comparing these figures against industry benchmarks.
Sugi also provides carbon impact data for similar investments, helping investors to build a greener portfolio in line with their values.
Investors can link up their portfolios, including individual savings accounts (ISAs) and self-invested pensions (SIPPS), to the Sugi platform using open banking technology provided by Moneyhub.
Save clothing waste: Save Your Wardrobe
According to fashion app Save Your Wardrobe, 80 per cent of us only wear 20 per cent of what’s in our wardrobes. The free app aims to change this by helping you “know what you own” so you can make more of the clothes you have and enjoy them for longer (and ultimately buy fewer new clothes – a win for the planet and your pocket).
Via the app, garments are scanned, identified and stored virtually. Then it can remind you of everything you own, with the hope of getting unworn clothes back into use. It can also connect you to local services such as a dry cleaners, places where you can donate unwanted items, and repair and alteration shops to extend the life of your clothes.
Choose ethical fashion: Good On You
Supported by actress Emma Watson, Good On You helps you choose fashion brands that have a positive impact on people, the planet and animals.
Its aim is to connect customers who want to make better choices when buying clothes – whether it’s to have a lesser impact on the planet or to make sure the company they’re buying from is kind to animals – to the companies that are committed to sustainability and ethical practices.
The free app ranks each company’s labour standards and environment and animal conscience, explaining how and why they have graded each company. It also has articles suggesting sustainable trends you might want to invest in, like “Power Dressing: Our favourite Ethical Blazers”.
Use clean energy: Whentoplugin
Powered by carbonintensity.org.uk, a carbon intensity forecasting tool built by the National Grid, Whentoplugin helps you make smarter energy choices at home – to benefit you and the planet.
The app gives you a live “carbon intensity forecast” so you can see when the electricity in your home will be cleanest over the next 48 hours. It also gives a breakdown of the energy sources powering the electricity in your region, providing live updates as new clean energy records are broken.
Reduce your personal carbon footprint: Giki
Giki (short for ‘Get Involved, Know your Impact’) is a B Corp company that helps you understand your carbon footprint and then find steps to reduce it.
Giki Badges is a shopping app that allows you to scan supermarket products to see how sustainable they are. You simply scan the barcode on the app, see which of 15 badges (covering sustainability, health and fairness) the product has, and check out the alternatives Giki offers.
Giki Zero is an online eco-planner that calculates the impact your individual lifestyle has on the planet, finds ways for you to reduce it and celebrates your successes along the way.
Giki Zero Pro helps businesses support their employees to reduce their carbon impact.