Learn about the earth, develop good habits, reduce waste and plant trees – all from your tablet or phone

SAVING the planet, giving it a chance to heal after hundreds of years of environmental abuse takes more than just partying in the dark for an hour in a year.

It is up to corporate and national movers and shakers to take action at a scale and level that would make a difference.

As the average Joe, we may not be able to arrest the decline of the environment of this blue marble on our own.

However, we can make changes in our lives that can help, even just a little.

Of course, there are apps for that.

Start young

To cultivate an affinity for planet Earth at a young age, there is Earth Primer. This paid app is an immersive and beautiful experience that invites young users to create volcanoes, sculpt mountains, and control the forces of nature, all while learning about its effects on the planet.

Earth Primer feels like a game and is designed to leave the kids who interact with it knowing more.

If video is more of their thing, there is All The World: explore + learn, a weekly show and video library featuring topics like science, nature, social awareness and exploration for children between four and 10 years old.

Each video is five to 12 minutes long.

All The World: explore + learn has a 14-day free trial. If your child loves the content and wants to subscribe, there is a monthly and annual fee.

Combining games, animation and mini explainers is How It Works?, a paid app for kids that teaches about plants, energies, volcanoes, the planet and its interior, the cycle of water and many more natural phenomena.

Sustaining sustainable living

Maintaining environmentally friendly habits is good but not easy. That is why there are apps specifically designed to encourage such good behaviour and also reminds you to do them.

Take JouleBug for example, a free app that turns our steps into an environmentally-friendly set of challenges, objectives, goals and points. It effectively gamifies the good habits and turns them into a social experience as well.

The app also has stats, videos and links to show you why and how your actions matter.

A more utilitarian approach is the subscription-based app Habitify: Habit Tracker. This app is designed to motivate you every day and reward you for maintaining streaks. Charts help you visualise your progress, daily performance and yearly reviews. It also works seamlessly across all platforms.

Best of all, you can use this app to develop any habit that you want. Healthy ones, spiritual ones, and not just green ones.

Don’t just throw it away

Throwing away plastics and electronics can be hazardous to the environment so why not sell them? Try Carousell if you want to turn your old gadgets, toys and other no-longer-needed stuff into cash.

However, if you don’t want to deal with cut-throat bargain hunters, donate your stuff instead.

To not worsen food wastage statistics, try Yummly, a free recipe app with an optional subscription.

It offers step-by-step guides, including video tutorials as well as zero-waste recipes that challenge and guide you to being more mindful about planning your meals to avoid food wastage.

Or try going vegetarian and consume more environmentally-friendly and sustainable foods with Oh She Glows. Despite its name, this paid app has nothing to do with isotope or luminescence. Instead, it features plant-based recipes from New York Times bestselling cookbook author Angela Liddon.

Plant trees with apps

Forest is a paid app that promises to help you focus, stay on track and be productive. It does this by planting a virtual tree. If you stay focused on the task at hand, it lives, if you get distracted by your phone, it will die.

In time, you would have a whole forest of trees representing the amount of distraction-free time that you have spent.

You can, of course, compare your progress with your friends.

In the real world, Forest
works with real-tree-planting organisations to plant real trees on your behalf so you can focus on what is important in your life. They have planted more than 1,000,000 real trees so far.

Then there is Ecosia, a free app and search engine that promises privacy and makes money with ads. What makes Ecosia different is it channels the money it makes to plant new trees where nature and people need them most.