We are a generation that loves our phones, and it is easy to have everything we need in the palm of our hand so why not use this to help you to become a more responsible traveller? You can check the weather, book a flight, find a hotel and text our friends that we are leaving for a trip, all in a matter of minutes. However, you can do just more than that to help make yourself a more sustainable and responsible traveller by using some of your screen time to make a difference. Here are some ideas of how you can utilize these apps to become a more aware and sustainable traveller.
EcoChallenge In this app you are presented with a list of topics, that are labeled as ‘challenges’. Each of the topics has something to do with making us more aware of our consumption, carbon footprint and the impact on the world when we use these products. It teaches you about the chemicals involved in the production of the product, the carbon footprint it leaves and how you can make a difference to help the environment. You can also calculate your carbon footprint in relation to that product, for example anything made of cotton. This app challenges you to make a difference and be proactive about making a positive change in the future. More often than not many of our products are sourced from developing countries, and we do not realise the impact it has on the people and the country, with this app you can be guided to make better choices at home and abroad.
Pocket Rice This app will test your knowledge of a host of categories, asking questions about history, science, film, geography and more. Each correct answer will donate up to 15 grains of rice to communities in Uganda and Nigeria. The app, and the makers behind it are supported by the United Nations World Food Programme, so you can feel good about playing games on your phone – because they are making a difference! You can even make a donation to the cause right in the app or play the trivia game against friends to get everyone involved in ending hunger. This is an amazing way to use your smartphone for positive change!
IRecycle While they have made recycling easier in many places around the world, it is still confusing as to exactly what we need to recycle. This app makes it easier than ever to find the answers to the recycle conundrum by listing the sections you can chose from and then the specific product. The app uses your location settings to give you a list of places to recycle too. While this app is only available for those in the US it is helpful to all those looking to reduce their carbon footprint! When you know what to recycle it makes you a more responsible traveller so you can be aware of what not to bring or take the time to find out if the area you are visiting recycles. Furthermore, once you learn how to recycle you – become a teacher, and can help spread your knowledge to others to promote a greener future when you travel. Small steps make a huge difference!
Eco Guide This app calls itself the ‘living pocket guide,’ and is filled with information about living and travelling ecologically. Designed by a group of permaculturists (agriculture and social design) it provides you with information about how to live in a manner that sustains our planet, purifies our body and enriches our minds. It is a practical resources for reminding yourself to remain ecological and apply it to all aspects of your life. The section on community shares articles about how to support the local economy, empower individuals and the benefits of community living. Why not use this app to help educate those around you to be more sustainable as well.
A bit of research and utilising these apps has already made me aware of my consumption and ways to change this. These educational resources are mainly available to only western markets and many of Kaya’s programs are within communities that lack access to these educational resources, and to a basic understanding of topics such as recycling and sustainability. What might seem like common, easily accessed knowledge is actually a luxury to many. Volunteers and interns can help to spread the word.