3 apps for a more sustainable lifestyle

Members of BCD Travel’s EMEA sustainability team randomly selected and tested apps designed to help users live more sustainable lifestyles and invest in our planet. Our testers rated the apps on a scale of one to five stars in three categories: Ease of Use, Educational Value and Overall Usability.

Julie Suhard

Ecosia | Review by Julie Suhard, Commercial and Customer Success Coordinator at BCD

What is it? Ecosia is a search engine that donates 100% of its profits to nonprofit organizations focusing on reforestation. The money helps plant trees where they are needed the most. So far, the Berlin, Germany-based company has planted over 148 million trees around the world. The app can easily be added as an extension to Chrome and is available in the App Store or Google Play.

Ease of Use: 4.5 / 5
“Using Ecosia is as easy as using Google to surf the web, with the added benefit of supporting a great cause at the same time. Ecosia can really do everything any other search engine would.”

Educational: 5 / 5
“The app’s creators are all about transparency and knowledge sharing around sustainability topics. Their financial reports and a blog are posted on their home page.”

Overall: 4.5 / 5
“Ecosia is definitely a great tool to use on a daily basis if you want to make an impact and measure it (yes, this is also transparent and accessible in real time).”  

Pippa Welch

Too Good To Go | Review by ​​​​​​​Pippa Welch, Senior Manager, Sustainability at BCD

What is it? The people at Too Good To Go dream of a planet with no food waste. The app connects users to local food suppliers (restaurants, local shops, supermarkets, cafes, etc.) willing to sell surplus food at a discounted price so that it won’t go to waste. It has a big following, with 56 million people, and 150,189 businesses working together to cut back on food waste. Download the Too Good To Go on the App Store and Google Play.

Ease of Use: 4 / 5
“The app is super easy to use, with lots of great features that allow you to tailor the food content that comes up in the ‘discover’ section, i.e., location, food categories, etc. Set up notifications so that you’re aware the moment that a ‘Magic Bag’ becomes available. Use ‘favorites’ to find nearby supermarkets or restaurants with availabiity.”

Educational: 3.5 / 5
“There is a section in the app that connects you to their blog, which has lots of useful articles. There’s lots to learn from this app, but you do have to look for it. A great motivator would be to link the food that you save to the positive contribution that you’re making and somehow link that to your profile.”

Overall: 4 / 5
“This is such a great way to prevent food waste. You have to be specific about timing and when you’re available to collect the food. For this reason, the success of the app depends on the number of local suppliers in your area who are signed up to the project. Luckily for me, there are lots of suppliers in my area who are taking up the scheme, so I’ll be trying to use it frequently.”

Agnès Gaulard

Yuka | Review by Agnès Gaulard, Executive Assistant at BCD

What is it? Yuka allows users to scan the labels of foods and cosmetics and score them based on qualities like nutritional quality, presence of additives and the potential effects on health of the environment. Yuka is a 100% independent project, which means that the product analyses and recommendations are completely objective – they receive no funding from brands or manufacturers. Users scan the code printed on the packaging to access the ingredients of food products and identify the healthiest ones. Scanned products are put into three categories: Green for good and excellent; Orange means poor; and Red is bad. In these last two cases, Yuka offers you healthier alternatives The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Ease of Use: 4 / 5
“ At first, I was excited to find out the score of the products I’m used to eating, then I got a bit tired of walking around with my smartphone in hand. Using the scan in a shop or at home can be a bit tedious.”

Educational: 4 / 5
“Yuka bases their ratings on the nutritional qualities of the product, the presence of additives and organic farming certification. It helps us eliminate the less healthy products from our diet and to favor the best ones. The Yuka application does not take price into account. The proposed alternatives are often more expensive than the basic products.”

Overall: 4 / 5
“The application has additional features such as being able to scan the product without internet, finding a product in the search bar without having to scan it, unlimited history (30 days for the free version) or adding personal alerts, but these aren’t free. I also found that the algorithm is not always reliable and the app lacks nuance. For example, a product declared “mediocre” per 100g is not a problem if you only consume 5g, which is true for things like honey and sugar. I’d use the Yuka app sparingly.”

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