Smart Living | Smart Living

Smart Living | 23 May 2018

Make a difference from your mobile: 10 top apps that do good

Grab your phone and get ready to make an impact with this round-up of innovative apps designed to build a better world…

Have you heard about our new DreamLab app? It uses the power of your phone to help in the fight against cancer while you sleep It’s got us thinking: what other apps are there that can help you change the world?
Eager to do your bit, but not sure where to start? From reducing food waste to donating blood and finding ethical retailers, we’ve tracked down some admirable additions to your home screen. Read on for everything you need to know, as you make even more of your mobile…

1. Conscious Consumers | iOS, Android, FREE

The brainchild of a group of New Zealand university students, Conscious Consumers recently launched in the UK. The platform aims to make it easier to support businesses that pay their workers fairly or sell free range and fair trade products. First you select the issues you care about, then you add your payment details to the app before spending at registered businesses and receiving rewards for ethical spending.
In an interview with New Zealand outlet Stuff, Conscious Consumers’ chief executive and co-founder Ben Gleisner describes the app as a platform where our values are given a voice:
“People want to be able to feel that it’s not just about buying a phone or some shoes, but there is actually something that sits behind it. Yes, you want quality, you want price, but more and more people are wanting to also see some value or some social or environmental good happening as well,” he says.

2. Too Good To Go | iOS, Android, FREE + IAP

One of a number of new apps out to fight food waste, Too Good To Go lets you browse bakeries, cafes and restaurants near you and bag great deals on delicious meals that may otherwise be binned.
Suppliers let you know what time food will be available, you then place your order, pay within the app and head down to the store to collect at the specified time. Availability varies from day-to-day, which means there’s always something new to tickle your taste buds. And because you’re doing your bit to reduce food waste as you save money and fill your belly, it tastes that much sweeter too.

3. DreamLab | iOS, Android, FREE

#SleepLikeAHero with the new DreamLab app and help in the fight against cancer.
Developed by the Vodafone Foundation in partnership with Imperial College London, DreamLab is designed to speed up essential cancer research. Simply download the app for Android or iOS on any network and switch it on while you slumber, and you can add your phone to a massive, virtual super-computer processing huge volumes of data.
It supports Imperial College London’s Project DRUGS (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones) research to analyse billions of combinations of existing cancer drugs, and potentially help to identify more effective combinations of existing drugs to treat cancer. And, the more people who choose to #SleepLikeAHero, the faster this data can be processed. Find out more here.

4. Forest | iOS, Android, FREE

Mobile phones are incredible devices, but sometimes you need to take a break and focus on the task at hand. Next time you find yourself scrolling through your social media accounts, when you should be concentrating on your work, let Forest help you concentrate with its fun and handy timer.
Plant a seed in Forest and put your phone down to let it grow gradually into a tree. But when you leave the app to send a Tweet or check a message, your tree will wither and die.
Forest is a pretty cool concept in itself, but it gets even cooler. Forest partners with non-profit organisation Trees for the Future, so you can put the coins you earn in the app towards planting real-life trees in the areas that need them most. You get your work done, and you help the environment – that’s a double win.

5. NHS Give Blood | iOS, Android, FREE

NHS Give Blood puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Once you’ve registered as a blood donor online, this app allows you to easily book a time to give blood, change your appointment, view your history, receive alerts when your blood type is in demand and view awards you’ve received for giving blood.
You can even let your friends know you’ve given blood by sharing to Facebook to rally even more people to become blood donors or book their next appointment.

6. ShareTheMeal | iOS, Android, FREE +IAP
Did you know, there are 20 times as many smartphone users as hungry children? Created by the United Nations World Food Programme, ShareTheMeal lets you feed a child in need with a simple tap of your phone.
Each meal costs just 35 pence and you can contribute as little or as often as you like by opening the app, selecting a project and tapping the ‘ShareTheMeal’ button. You get to see exactly where your donation is going and how the project is progressing. You can even create a team of your friends and fight hunger together.

7. BlaBlaCar | iOS, Android, FREE

Save money, make new friends and reduce your environmental footprint with the BlaBlaCar ridesharing app. Riders identify where they’d like to leave from and travel too, while drivers offer up spare seats to passengers going their way.
All users are verified by BlaBlaCar and register using Facebook. Drivers and passengers are rated by those they’ve travelled with previously. Passengers contribute to the cost of fuel ahead of the journey, and there’s also a ‘Ladies Only’ option for women who may not feel comfortable sharing a vehicle with a man they do not know . However, BlaBlaCar say this feature is rarely used, due to their extensive ID-vetting process.

8. Joulebug | iOS, Android, FREE

Discover how you and your friends can live more sustainably with Joulebug.
Joulebug organises sustainability tips into actions that you ‘Buzz’ in the app when you complete them in real life. You’re then awarded badges and points for doing good things, like remembering your reusable coffee cup, taking a shorter shower and using public transport.
Join local and national challenges to see who can live the most sustainably, and share your progress with family and friends. You can even link the app with your utility bills to see the cost savings rolling in.

9. Olio | iOS, Android, FREE

Olio is also on a crusade to end food waste. However, rather than keeping things between restaurants and customers alone, Olio facilitates sharing between neighbours and local shops as well.
Items listed or requested on Olio can be food or non-foodAnd all items are either offered for free or for a donation to charity.
You can filter items by distance and how recently they were added, and customise notifications to determine the alerts you receive.

10. Charity Miles | iOS, Android, FREE

Make your miles count and earn money for charity every time you run, cycle or walk thanks to Charity Miles and its corporate sponsors.
Simply choose the charity you’d like to support and just like a pedometer, run-tracker, cycle meter or stopwatch – Charity Miles will track your distance and donate an amount to your chosen charity based on the distance you cover. Just make sure you start and stop your workout to register your distance.
While Charity Miles is focus towards a US audience they do have a number of global charity partners. Browse the list and choose one that suits you as you prepare to move with even more purpose.

Discover how you can #SleepLikeAHero… Find out everything you need to know about the new cancer-fighting DreamLab app.