In an effort to live more sustainable lives, many of us are making changes, big and small, to the way we eat, move, and consume. It's exciting to see a growing number of startups and digital products emerge around the topic of sustainability and that make use of social innovation and design to come up with new and exciting ways for us all to live a greener lifestyle. Without further ado, here is a list of digital startups and sustainable apps that are only a click away from making your life a little greener:
Toogoodtogo - a mobile application combating food waste
A few months ago, Franziska Lienert from TooGoodToGo spoke at our Future Food-themed Product Crunch event, and we've been fans ever since! TooGoodToGo is an app that connects users with unused food from restaurants in their area. The restaurants add their unsold food to the app, and customers can see the local food spots around them and pick up their meal on their way home. Yummy snacks that save the planet at a fraction of the price, so it's good for your wallet too!
Tomorrow Bank - the world’s first sustainable digital bank
Speaking of wallets, what kind of bank are you using now? All digital? Nice! Now imagine you could have the full digital experience and offset your carbon emissions at the same time, cue: Tomorrow Bank. The Hamburg-based startup was founded in 2014, and unlike traditional banks, they only invest in funds that promote renewable energy, organic agriculture, and microcredit projects. A small team with big ambitions, they are definitely on our sustainable watchlist for the upcoming year.
Olio - An app to facilitate food sharing in local neighbourhoods
Olio is a mobile app that connects neighbours so that they can share food (also non-food items) with one another. Whether you bought too much rice, have leftover tea bags you don't quite like or want to share some of the veggie surplus from your garden - you can add these items to the app, and they'll show up on the neighbourhood map allowing others to pick them up. Olio was founded in 2016 by Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One and started out as a hyper-local experiment in north London that has morphed into a global sharing movement with 1.8 million users around the world sharing over 3.4 million portions of food. We can't wait to see this growth continue!
Clevershuttle - A green taxi to get you from A to B
Germany-based Clevershuttle is a startup that came to life in 2014 when the founders had the idea to create a sustainable door-to-door chauffeur service. Today, the company connects drivers and riders in their cities, pairing passengers going in a similar direction together as a carpool. This reduces the number of vehicles per person on the road, making their electric cars even more effective. Sadly, they are not operating in Berlin anymore, but if you're in another city and want to give it a try send us an email to receive 10 Euros off your first green ride through the city!
Blablacar - Carpooling for longer journeys
If you're travelling longer distances than within your city BlaBlaCar is your friend. The mobile app offers a digital marketplace within which drivers can offer empty seats in their car to fellow travellers going the same direction. With BlaBlacar, the average car occupancy is around 2.8 compared to the standard 1.6, and they estimate a 1,000,000 tons of saved co2. Fun fact about the name: the founder trio called it BlaBlaCar because so members could show their level of "in-car chattiness: from "Bla" (watches the scenery go by), "BlaBla" (can be chatty) to "BlaBlaBla" (won't keep quiet). Cute!
Kleiderkreisel - Circular fashion just an app away
Instead of continually buying new clothes in-store and online, you can get great secondhand garments and accessories on Kleiderkreisel (also known as Vinted outside of Germany). Kleiderkreisel is a digital marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect, so if you decide to Marie Kondo your closet, you can also sell your things online and make some extra cash. Crowned as Lithuania's first unicorn, we're excited to see what this sustainable, young, app-based startup has in store for us all.
Ecosia.org - The search engine that plants trees
It is truly as simple as it sounds: Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees. You, as a user, browse the web with Ecosia, the search ads generate income, and Ecosia uses this income to plant trees. The fellow Berliner's founded their company in 2019 after the founder Christian travelled around the world to understand the problems of deforestation, and they've been on an upward trajectory ever since. In 2014 they became the first German B corporation and have planted over 100 million trees and counting. They have a chrome plugin and a mobile app so no matter where you do your browsing, now you can make it green.
Tap - an app for your water refills
Tap is also kind of a search engine - a search engine for water. We've all had that moment when we've carried around our reusable bottle the whole day, but can't find anywhere to fill it up. Tap is a simple app that shows you places around you where you can fill up your water bottle. From public fountains to restaurants that offer their water dispensers (yes even the cold, bubbly stuff) for users of the app. We're thinking about adding our Berlin studio and Munich studio as refill stations, would you come by say hi if we did?
Emmy - electric scooter transportation at the tap of a thumb
Emmy sharing is an electric scooter sharing service with their iconic red Schwalbe scooters scattered over all the bigger German cities. With their companion app, you can look for scooters near you, book one and cruise through town in a matching red helmet. Last year we worked with Emmy and took a closer look at their user experience and supported them in taking their white-label app to the next level. To see it for yourself, quickly download the app and go for a test ride. If you want to get 15 free minutes, send us a quick message and we'll hook you up.
Bikuh - social advertising on wheels
If you've already switched to more sustainable forms of transport and spend most of your waking hours on a bicycle anyway, you should download the Bikuh app. You can register as a bike rider on this nifty little mobile application and earn money while cruising around your city. All you have to do is install a disc to your front wheel for the organisation of your choice (you can choose between regular businesses, cities and social businesses) and earn money for each pedalled kilometre. Off you go now!
These are our current top 10 sustainable apps and are constantly on the lookout for more. If you have any recommendations let us know, we'd love to hear from you!