There are some great consumer apps out there for those of us looking for ways to be more responsible and participate in a brighter, cleaner way of living. In a matter of minutes, you can have quick access to info on recycling, social trading as opposed to buying, and having a positive impact as a consumer. Being aware and active has never been so readily available, and discovering this wealth of world-changing information makes living nearer to your personal ideals much more of a reachable reality. With the number of interesting options at your disposal, it’s easy to find inspiration to do more good stuff. Take a glimpse at these 10 essential apps for the concerned consumer.

1. Free2Work

This app, a creation of Not For Sale, provides shoppers with product profiles regarding the use of “modern-day slavery” or forced labor, as well as finds information on related issues in that particular industry. Free2Work reads the barcode on a product and gives the story behind it. Voila!

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2. Social Impact

This app helps people shop in contentious places. The app lists businesses concerned with and active in doing something about social issues, fair trade, and the environment, giving folks a positive spot to spend their money.

3. GoodGuide

GoodeGuide has a massive database of consumables, rating each based on their attention to safety, healthfulness, environmental efforts, and basic ethics. It’s another easy-to-use barcode reader that can work right in the store, and the app can be personalized to pay special attention to the issues that concern you.

4. Fair Trade Finder

This app cites locations near you where the fair trade products you are looking for are sold. It’s a great way to support small farmers, artisans, and workers the world over. And, it’s a crowd-sourced database, so the catalogue is constantly growing.

5. Thrift Buddy

Thrift Buddy could turn a little addictive for those of us who want to support reusing things rather than buying everything new. This app supplies thrifty locations throughout the U.S. and can even provide the best routes between them.

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6. GSG Ethical Shopping

This app, put out by The Ethical Company Organization, ranks businesses based on their ethical practices (there is an algorithm involved) and allows customers to compare companies making similar products, as well as get more background information on the issues.

7. iRecycle

This is a great app for those who have consumed things long ago and are now looking for ways to dispose of them responsibly. From electronics to compost to car parts, iRecycle helps us waste less and be more mindful.

8. JouleBug

JouleBug turns energy conservation into a fun competition. Users earn points by doing things like switching to better light bulbs, biking to work, or drinking local beer as opposed to imported swill. It acts as a constant reminder to be conscious.

9 Instead

Instead is the anti-consuming option. Rather than another trip to Starbucks and to the café for lunch, Instead suggests where a little change in your spending routine might be put to better use in micro-financing. It provides an alternative to the routine and way of donating these savings.

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10. Fooducate

This app is especially useful for foodies looking for the healthiest options. Using the nutritional information on labels and ingredient lists, the app has an algorithm that gives different products grades. Less processing, real ingredients, and nutrients all factor into rating food.

These apps are a great start to up the ante on living well by doing well, as are the other conscious consumer apps previously listed on One Green Planet (be sure to check them out). Most of them are free or come at minimal cost, but using them will make a resounding difference. Boom! Changing the world just got easier.

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Thanks are in order to the articles and websites that helped us to produce this list: Arm Chair Advocates, ecosalon, TakePart, and Insights into the Conscious Consumer.

Image source: Jim / Wikimedia Commons

 

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