Want to live more sustainably? Meet the EcoBuddy app

Improve your habits. Live healthier. Reduce your carbon footprint today. Make the world a better place tomorrow.

EcoBuddy Interactive Prototype. Video Preview Here

This app encourages you to think about your use of food, water and energy, and reduce your carbon footprint. It is also a platform to connect with others and drive collective change towards a more sustainable life.

Why? Quoting global environmental scientist Jonathan Foley:

The vast majority of Earth’s species extinctions, ecological degradation, resource depletion, freshwater decline, climate change, and unraveling planetary systems are caused by how we use and produce food, water, and energy.

Goals

  • Raise awareness.
  • Promote healthier and more sustainable food habits.
  • Reduce waste, which pollutes our land and oceans and contaminates our environment.
  • Reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Cleaner air. More forests. Less pollution.
  • Preserve wildlife and habitats, currently under great threat.
  • Help communities already endangered by the effects of climate change.

How does it work?

The app suggests some changes that you can start making to your daily routine regarding your food, water, recycling and energy consumption, and tracks your progress.

Example: Transportation

For example, your daily commute to work could be any of the following:

  1. Cycle / walk to work. Most eco-friendly.
  2. Take public transport. Some emissions are generated however these can be divided by the number of passengers.
  3. Drive a petrol or diesel car. Least eco-friendly as car emissions contribute to global warming and air pollution.

The app estimates the CO2 emissions of your journey based on the distance traveled, as well as the fuel efficiency of your car (if you chose to drive).

It can also help you calculate the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and suggest how to improve it. This can then be used to refine the estimates for your specific car.

Example: Meal

Aim: improve your food consumption habits.

You can enter the types of food in your meals, as well as the portion size:

The app then calculates the CO2 emissions that derive from the production and supply of your meal.

Example: Recycling

Aim: reduce waste going to landfill, encourage recycling and less consumption.

Many materials such as plastic, glass, metal and paper can be reused to manufacture products at a fraction of the energy needed to produce new ones.

The app helps tracking your recycling habits and encourages you to decrease the amount of stuff that you dispose of:

Note: To do your recycling correctly, check the recommended recycling guidelines in your local council or area.

Diary

You can track your food, transportation and recycling habits in a daily diary page to summarise your emissions:

This is then used to suggest ways to improve your habits, keep track of your progress and live more sustainably.

Profile

The app places great emphasis on sharing your eco-profile with others, and rewards you for inviting friends to join in.

Aim: raise awareness about climate change and its solutions. Quoting the founding editor of Climate Progress Joe Romm:

Talk about climate change and its solutions with everyone you know a lot more than you are doing now.

Other Features

  • Estimate your CO2 emissions and suggest improvements to your daily habits.
  • Track your rate of improvement.
  • Daily reminders to track your habits (opt-in).
  • Set weekly goals in specific areas (and earn rewards).
  • Links to relevant websites/pages to find more information.
  • Remaining CO2 budget timer.

Over time, the app will be extended to track additional things:

  • Food waste.
  • General Waste: Amount and type of packaging in the products you buy.
  • Utilities: Energy usage to light, warm and cool your house.
  • Other purchases. E.g. clothes, electronics.

Additionally, it will encourage donating money to charities that preserve the most important ecosystems, such as the world rainforests.

Summary

This app helps you:

  • Making more eco-friendly choices about your daily life.
  • Keeping track and rewarding you for living in a more sustainable way.
  • Sharing your progress and journey with others.
  • Ultimately, making the world a better place, one step at a time.

Free for all, forever

We can only win the climate-change race if we all do our part.

I strongly believe the world needs a product like this, and it should be free for everyone.

  • Each time a person makes more eco-friendly choices as suggested by the app, it’s step in the right direction.
  • Each time someone gets into better and more sustainable habits because of this app, it’s a small victory.
  • If many, many people start doing this and this app takes off, it will be a great victory, for everyone.

This is something that matters and that’s why I’ll build the best product I can.

But I need a stronger voice than my own. I will need not just users, but strong advocates. I want to hear from you if:

  • You can introduce me to companies, charities or individuals that could be interested in a partnership.
  • You can help building and growing a community around this product.
  • You would like to be an early user and help shaping the first version of this app, and beyond.

This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long journey. This blog post only scratches the surface of my vision for this project, and I can’t wait to get this in the hands of people.

Note: EcoBuddy is not yet on the App Store. I’m busy building it as you read this. You can sign up for updates below. 😉

References

For a general tool to calculate your emissions, I recommend the WWF Footprint Calculator.

A couple of articles with advice about how to live more sustainably:

I also wrote before about climate change here, here and here.

Join the movement

There is a strong climate movement building up in the world. This app is just a small piece of the puzzle. By sharing it you can help driving collective change:

  • Share this article with friends, family, neighbours, everyone!
  • Send me your feedback, comments and ❤️.
  • Follow me! I’m @biz84 on Twitter.
  • Follow the official EcoBuddy Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We can all start making change happen, now.

Read Next: Do These Things to Help Fight Global Warming

If you liked this, click the 💚 below so other people will see this here on Medium.