Krista Kurth, Ph.D.
Climate Action at Your Fingertips
10 mobile apps that make it easy for you to support the planet
Do you feel moved by recent news, like the latest IPCC report, to take climate action, but don’t have enough time in your day to do as much as you’d like?
Are you looking for easier ways to live a greener daily life?
Do you wish you could join others in making your voice heard from home?
Well then, you’re in luck. While you may not have time to devote your life to working on climate solutions, you can use your mobile phone to help you take climate action more regularly. Many apps now make it easy for you to make climate action a part of your everyday life. They offer a range of help, from educating about climate, to tracking carbon footprints, to taking civic action, and ways to consume less. Some of the apps are designed for those just starting to reduce their carbon footprint, while others support you in making your voice heard. None of them are perfect or fully comprehensive, but they provide a great platform for taking a lot of action.
Below, I provide information on ten of the many apps available; three for those who want to make their voices heard more, and seven for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. See which ones from my alphabetized list resonate for you. Then download a few of them and try them out.
Apps For Climate Advocates Who Want to Make Their Voices Heard
The first three apps aggregate climate actions and solutions from a variety of leading climate organizations to make it easy for you to take regular climate action. I don’t know about you, but I get many emails from various organizations each day, asking me to act. I signed up for the Climate Action Now app and am loving how I can access many actions in a short time without having to read long emails.
This app, which connects with your Twitter or Facebook accounts, helps you discover and share meaningful global climate change actions. The goal of their platform is to amplify tangible solutions from the leading climate groups with the most thoughtful, impactful influencers.
2. Climate Action Now (Android and IOS)
This app makes it very easy to take meaningful, recommended national and local climate actions in just a few minutes each day. Each action earns points that lead to them planting trees on your behalf via Eden Reforestation Projects. You can also sign up for a paid subscription to plant more trees. And they also provide resources like Shop (less) principles that help you shop smarter and reduce emissions, and an eco-friendly marketplace.
3. We Don’t Have Time (Android and iOS)
This app, developed by a Swedish company, provides a social media network and a review platform to help individuals collectively hold politicians, decision makers, and companies accountable for climate change solutions. Using the app, you review company climate initiatives, send climate action suggestions and/or petitions calling for a halt to damaging practices. The app also has a news tab that provides global climate and energy news.
Apps to Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Although the oil industry created the idea of reducing your carbon footprint to push their responsibility onto the public, there is still some merit to looking at how we can reduce the emissions created from our daily lives. There is a profusion of apps that make it easy for you to assess and track your carbon footprint, as well as take actions to reduce it and drawdown CO2 emissions. The seven apps listed below are each similar in their goal but have differences too.
4. The Capture Club (Android and IOS)
This app helps you calculate your baseline emissions and then sets a monthly target for you to reduce it by 7.6 percent/year, the amount needed to meet the 2030 1.5 degree warming goal. Using GPS tracking, the app automatically predicts emissions from your daily travels. It also helps you track emissions from food. The app keeps track of your emission reduction progress and provides information and tips to help you reduce your footprint, including verifiable offsetting options.
5. Changeit App (Android and IOS)
This app says it’s for “busy people that want to fight climate change.” It provides small actions you can do right away to reduce your carbon footprint, which over time helps you adapt your daily habits.
6. Carbn (currently only IOS, waitlist for Android)
This app helps you simply and quickly calculate your footprint, using information from leading climate researchers. Then the app creates a personalized list of climate actions that help you adopt ten high-impact, green habits. Once you commit to these habits, it supports you in sustaining them through earning trees and rewards of sustainable products and connecting you with other users and friends via leaderboards.
7. Earth Hero (Android and IOS)
This app helps you calculate your carbon footprint based on your daily habits. It then helps you track and reduce your personal carbon footprint via actions and carbon offsets. You can set emission-reduction targets for yourself, browse suggested actions based on IPCC recommendations, and track your progress. It supports your ongoing action by connecting you to a global community of others wanting to create a carbon neutral world.
This app helps you understand how your lifestyle creates emissions and pinpoints the amount of CO2 to offset each day to reduce your carbon footprint. Once you determine your footprint, you then build simple, sustainable habits that fit your lifestyle. The Eco-Habit Tracker helps you track your progress. The app also has a resource and products section that provides articles about climate change and products that let you “vote for Earth with your wallet.”
9. Good Empire (Android and IOS)
This is a social app whose mission is “to gather, unite, and empower an empire of good humans to save the f**king world.” It features challenges with actions you can take to reduce both carbon emissions and plastic waste, address hunger and poverty in your community and around the world, and empower women and girls. The actions they provide have measurable impacts, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. They also engage companies in taking actions in alignment with their 17 missions.
10. JouleBug (Android and iOS)
This app is designed to make sustainable living more fun by engaging in challenges along with your friends. The platform lets you see how your friends’ carbon footprints stack up to yours. Their aim is to make taking climate action more approachable, accessible, and fun for all ages. You get awards and trophies when you complete tasks. You can also share accomplishments with friends.
Which of these apps are a best fit for you?
I encourage you to join the groundswell of people working to create a zero-carbon future. Choose the ones you like the most and start using them today. I think you will find that committing to taking regular climate action is not as hard as it seems when you’ve got the right support.
As the manifesto for action on the Climate Action Now website says, it’s time for us to embrace our individual and collective responsibility, “to use the power, in our hands, to take a thousand actions. That add up. And make a difference. We can do this. We will do this.”
I wish you all the best in taking climate action every day!