The goal of the initiative of #MyYearOfAction is not only for you to find your passion, but to learn about those little things that we can all do to add up to make a huge difference. One of the ways that we can take action is through using technology for social good. You can start a blog or use social media to get loud about things you care about or invent a new product that will help people do things better, safer or faster. But you can also do something as simple as getting an app on your mobile device.
I did some research and I have downloaded some eco-friendly and world-changing apps to share with you. These make it easy to change the world.
Joulebug is such a great app and is definitely one of my favourites. Joulebug has all different kinds of goals, that challenge you to be eco-friendly in many different ways. In the app you buzz in when you complete a goal and you get a pin. When you have 5 pins, you earn a badge. Also, on each challenge you finish there is a video about that act you just did and how big your impact was. Sometimes it’s about saving money and sometimes it’s about saving the earth. It also gives you information like the yearly impact and suggests websites so that you can learn more about the issue. You also have points that you get with all your actions you do, and you can see how many you have in your profile. When you sign up you create a personal profile where you can also see your badges, points and pins and the impact you are making. Another awesome thing about Joulebug is that you can see how other people are making a difference. You can see how many badges and pins other users are getting and you can like and comment what they have been doing. Isn’t this app so cool?
The challenges can be either so simple or something kind of difficult to complete. Each challenge is still great, because like I say, little things add up to make a huge difference. Here are a few challenges that I have completed on Joulebug:
1. Bin To Win – this one is all about recycling. When you put something in the recycle bin, buzz the challenge and you get a pin! Something cool that I found out about recycling and trash is that every year, each family throws out about 207 pounds of garbage.
2. Bottle Rocket – this one focuses on using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles because it helps the environment and reduces the garbage from the landfill. Whenever you fill your reusable water bottle, buzz it on Joulebug! The average american drinks 21 gallons of plastic bottled water a year.
3. Shower Sprinter tries to get you to conserve water by taking less time in the shower. Did you know that every minute you shower costs $8 a year. Time yourself in the shower, when you shower for less than 5 minutes, buzz the app.
4. Washing Smart – Buzz the challenge every time you wash 1 full load instead of two small ones.
Joulebug does have a website that lists all the pins and challenges, but you just cannot buzz and complete challenges on anything except a mobile device. What is really cool about the app’s website is that there is a blog that includes updates, eco-friendly tips and people and places that have really stood out for the environment.
2. Ocean Wise
On the We Create Change Tour in Vancouver, my mom and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium and learned about an initiative called Ocean Wise. Ocean Wise raises awareness about sustainable seafood and has made partnerships with resturants, grocery stores and catering services to make ocean-friendly decisions. The Ocean Wise app makes it easy for you to find resturants and stores that offer sustainable seafood. With your location entered, Ocean Wise can find lots of resturants near you that is ocean-friendly. You can also browse different sea food resturants which has a link to the resturants and stores website. Ocean Wise is great because they are helping animal welfare and making fish catching more sustainable.There is also an Ocean Wise website with blogs for contests, events, recommended resturants and stores and tons of sustainable lifestyle tips and also eco-friendly tips.
Whenever you want to eat seafood that is sustainable for you and the environment, look for the Ocean Wise sticker in grocery stores stores and resturants. Here is the sticker:
There are many things that we need to dispose of that should not go in the garbage, recycling blue bin or green bin. Batteries, cell phones, ink and toner from printers or styrofoam, are all examples of things that can be recycled or need to be disposed of in a safe way. These things should be taken it to a recycling center so it can be put in the right place and be taken care of properly. Sometimes, it can be hard to find a recycling center that takes what you need to throw out near you, but iRecycle does that for you. When you enter your location, you can choose what you are getting rid of and there will be a list of places specially for that near you. iRecycle also has a blog on the app about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle that you can read straight from your device. Cool, huh?
4. Good Guide
When we buy food or cleaning supplies, you want to make sure that they are not hazourdous to the environment or your health. With an app called Good Guide, you can find a product within seconds. There are different catergories where you can see eco and health-friendly products. You can search it up and Good Guide rates it by health, environment and society and a overall score of it. You can also scan the bar code with your device and it pulls up all the info about it. The Good Guide website also shows all the non-hazourdous and eco-friendly products, it also shows the popular products! This is a great way to insure that the products you are buying are good for you and the planet!
We365 app the creation of Free The Children and Telus and helps inspire and motivate people to make a difference. It is kind of like Joulebug, but it focuses on all issues. Environment, Human Rights, Bullying, Health, Happiness, Education, Global Poverty, Animals, It All Adds Up and Community. There are challenges that are all about the issues that people care about. What is really cool about it, is that YOU can make challenges and find more about other changemakers and their opinons on issues. You can also accept challenges and share your feelings and pictures about the challenge. You can even connect your challenges to a cause that you care about and you can even join causes that you are passionate about. People also create groups for organizations and issues that you can join. You can like or comment things too. When you make challenges, complete challenges, like, comment or make posts, you can get pins, which really show off how you are a changemaker. You also have a profile with all of your challenges, posts and pins!
If you are under 13, you would have a private account on the app. You can still complete challenges, like and comment things and post on your profile, just it would not be public. When people see your profile, they wouldn’t see your posts. When people try to follow you, it would just be a follow request. If you accept it, then they can see everything that you have posted. Then, We365 is a safe community.
We365 is awesome because you can be changing the world 365 days a year! You can also find other changemakers in your community and get involved and interact with them.
So, what are you waiting for? Go download these 5 free apps that can help you change the world in a tangiblle and meaningful way. Once you have tried out an app(s), comment below to let me know what you thought of them! I would love to hear it! If you have apps that you want to recommend to me, I’d love to hear that too!
This post originally appeared at: http://www.callmehannah.ca/2014/10/23/5-apps-that-will-help-you-change-the-world/ on October 23, 2014.