Support for sustainability is growing across the world. More and more companies are bringing sustainable practices into their business, implementing sustainable policies for their employees, and offering sustainable options for customers. While businesses may make a variety sustainable changes, it is still up to us as consumers to make informed choices and levy our purchasing power knowledgeably. So how do we do that in this age of technology, especially when knowing your farmer or producer is not always an option? Is there a way to make sure that our choices will lead to a healthier earth?
Well, there’s an app for that.
Actually, there are many apps that can be used to make ethical choices when it comes to picking where we shop. Environmental Working Group created a food ratings database and app, which, while focused on nutrition, also rates products on issues like organic certification, animal welfare standards, and environmental contamination. There is also HowGood, an app that rates food products on 60 indicators of sustainability, and Good Guide, a tool that rates food and other products on safety, health, and ethics.
There are even regional apps, designed just for individuals in certain cities like GreenStar NYC app, which can be used by both New York city consumers and businesses. Using the app, New Yorkers can find geotagged GreenStar Certified businesses, locally made green products, women- and minority-owned businesses, and a citywide green events calendar. The list hardly ends here; there is also Rippl, Joulebug, IRecycle, PaperKarma, and so on. In fact, sustainability apps are being created increasingly more often for reasons ranging from making smart purchases to encouraging good recycling habits.
The impact of these apps is yet to be seen; will they just be a tech fad, or a truly useful tool for consumers? Only use of the apps will answer that.