When it comes to preventing climate change, every little thing helps. Especially when you have limited financial resources like me, anything you can do to help raise money for charity is helpful, and gaining information on reducing your impact is too. With that in mind, here are seven free apps and extensions that can help you save the planet.
Ecosia is a search engine which plants trees. To date, they have planted over 48.2 million trees with their ad revenue. You can change your browser’s default search engine to Ecosia–which is powered by Bing. You can also use the Ecosia extension to change your new tab page in chrome to a search bar for Ecosia.
Tab for a Cause is a new tab page which uses its ad revenue to donate money to charities which you select. For every new tab you open, you earn a “heart” which you can donate to a charity organization of your choice. As an added bonus, it’s a very attractive home screen and includes notes, to do, and bookmark sections. It also includes a search bar, which you can configure the search engine for–including Ecosia, for maximum impact. This influences the amount of their ad revenue given to each charity. There are several charities, I donate to Conservation International, a four-star charity according to charity navigator. If you use my link to get Tab for a Cause, I will gain 350 extra hearts to donate to Conservation International. I don’t gain any personal benefits, aside from the joy of donation!
Using Amazon Smile allows you to donate 0.5% of your Amazon purchases to a charity of your choice. A great many charities now use it, from conservation groups to small local projects. Admittedly, 0.5% isn’t much, but if you’re spending the money anyways there’s no reason not to take advantage of this program. It’s even better if you use an extension to automatically redirect you to Amazon smile, as it’s easy to forget to use the website! I donate to my state’s branch of 350.org, a grassroots organization with four stars on charity navigator. However, there are many very effective charities who accept Amazon Smile donations, including The Environmental and Energy Study Institute, another four-star charity.
Charity Miles uses money from its advertisers to raise money for different charities as you walk, run, or bike. You can even log other actions or stationary workouts using the indoor modes. You can earn up to 10 cents per mile biking, or up to 25 cents per mile running and walking. The exact amount depends on their available funding. You can select the charity you move for–there are 42 to choose from. I personally recommend either DoSomething.org, which empowers young people to take action and has many environmental programs or the National Parks Foundation, which protects and improves America’s national parks. These are both four-star charities according to charity navigator. There are some other conservation charities which are three-star charities. I donate to Do Something, as they were part of my introduction to activism when I was younger.
Both JouleBug and 1 Million Women are apps which suggest challenges and small changes you can make to your everyday life to help conserve energy and resources. JouleBug tells you how many pounds of CO2, pounds of waste diverted, and gallons of water you save with the actions you “buzz” over your time using the app. 1 Million Women is targeted towards women, and gives you a starting carbon budget. Your goal is to reduce it over time. It also allows you to track the people you influence to join the app and the people you indirectly influence to use the app. This allows you to visualize your impact in terms of people thinking about their waste, which I think is quite neat. I find both apps have different types of suggestions and enjoy using both of them. You can pick whichever works best for you!
Recycle Nation helps you find recycling centers and stores that will accept various kinds of materials for recycling. This makes it super easy to responsibly recycle difficult-to-recycling things like packing peanuts, and to dispose of hazardous materials with ease.
With all these simple, low-effort ways to help contribute to the fight against climate change, there’s almost no reason not to take part. Do you know of any apps or extensions that I missed?