Today I wanted to share with you three apps that I have used many times over the last couple of months/years. We all know the feeling when you download an app, use it a couple of times and then delete it because you don’t use it as often as you thought (or you just need the storage space). Well, not with these ones. It is exactly why I made this list so short. Of course there are many more sustainable apps out there, but if we are being honest, you are probably not going to use all of them. So let me introduce you to the apps I actually use.

1. Happy Cow

I started using Happy Cow almost 2 years ago in Asia, around the time I became a vegetarian. It saves you the struggle of looking up restaurants and then checking their online menus, searching for a veggie/vegan option available. With Happy Cow you simply type in your location and it searches for restaurants/café’s with vegan/vegetarian options nearby. It shows you the opening hours, the exact location and experiences from other Happy Cow members that already visited this restaurant. That is why I love using Happy Cow so much. There is a whole veggie/vegan community that is helping each other find good restaurants by rating them and sharing experiences. It is different from reading “regular” reviews on Google. Have you ever been to a restaurant that got so many good reviews but their only vegan option just straight up sucked? Now you know why you need Happy Cow. Because here, everyone will review the veggie/vegan dishes, and it will not get clouded by reviews about dishes with meat/fish.

In one blink of an eye you can see which restaurant is rated best, the general food options they offer (no explicit menu), pictures of the food that members uploaded etc. When you have the app you can contribute to this yourself, by rating restaurants and leaving reviews. And now you also have a valid reason to make pictures of your food (my boyfriend hates when I do this haha, who else?).

Definitely give it a try if you are looking for restaurants with veggie/vegan options!

Cost of the App:
– App Store: €4,49
– Google Play: Free
– Website: Free

2. Forest

Forest is an app that increases your productivity by helping you stay focused AND fights deforestation. Let’s admit it, we are all a bit phone addicted and we let it distract us from our daily activities. Forest helps you stay focused during your work, but you can also use it during any other activity you want to stay focused on like meditating, reading or studying. You can set a timer for an amount of time up to 120 minutes. During this time you are growing a virtual tree in the Forest app. But if you touch your smartphone and leave the app, the tree will die. And trust me, you don’t want this to happen, because for every tree you have successfully created virtually, you earn coins. If you have collected 2500 coins, you can plant a real life tree! How’s that for some extra motivation!

Forest partnered with non-profit organisation Trees for the Future and donates money to this organisation to plant real trees for users who earn enough coins in the app. There is a limit for 5 trees per user though, but it will take you many focused minutes before you earn so much coins. So I still think it pays off!

Some other benefits of the Forest app:
– Allows you to use The Pomodoro Technique
Popular time management technique: 25 minutes of focus, followed by a 5 minute pause.
– Allows you to focus together in a Together Mode
If you are studying/working with others and use the app together, you hold each other accountable. Because if one tree dies, all the trees will die.
– Allows you to play sounds like “Forest Rain” to help you stay focused.
– Allows you to track the time you have focused through the app per day/week/month/year.

Cost of the App:
– App Store: €2,29 (Premium version)
– Google Play: Free (Uncertain if this has the same features as the premium (paid) version, and I don’t know how they would make planting real life trees a reality without a small payment? Maybe in-app purchases?)

3. Good on You

A big step in my sustainability journey was becoming aware of the negative impact of fast fashion. The shops I used to go to regularly, like Zara and H&M, are one of the biggest contributors to this negative impact. So it suddenly did not feel right to buy my clothes in these stores anymore, knowing the environmental pollution, the safety & health hazards for the garment workers and the toxic materials being used were unacceptable.

Fortunately, there are other brands that DO have sustainability in mind. Brands that work on lowering their environmental footprint as much as possible, are transparent about their supply chain, pay their garment workers a living wage, use natural fabrics or recycled fabrics etc.

So how do you know which brand strives for sustainability and which brand still refuses to? That is why I started using Good on You. This app gives you the information you need to make a choice that aligns with your values. It rates brands on three aspects:
– People
Looking at the impact on workers: child labour, forced labour, worker safety, payment of a living wage.
– Planet
Looking at the impact on the planet: energy use, carbon emissions, water use, chemical use and disposal.
– Animals
Looking at the impact on animals: use of fur, angora, down, feather, exotic animal skin, wool & leather.

The brands are then rated from 1 (We avoid) to 5 (Great), and you can read their summarized report on which this rating is based.

Searching for sustainable brands has never been easier. It gives me a good feeling that I am supporting sustainable brands with my money, instead of unconsciously contributing to the impact of fast fashion (I will soon make a blog post that goes more into detail about fast fashion and its impact). I hope we can all agree that paying garment workers a living wage is NEEDED. And as you can see in the picture above, Zara (like many other brands), does not. If you want to check if the brands where you shop at do, this app is for you.

Cost of the App & Website: Free

Let me know if you are already using one of these apps and what you think of them! Or if you have other apps you would like to share, you can leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.