Sustainability: There’s an App for That

Sustainable living can often mean going out of your way, changing your habits, or trying new things. This can be a challenge for seasoned veterans and eager learners alike, but the resources provided in this list of smartphone apps can poise you to confidently make sustainable choices in all areas and contribute to the creation of a healthier environment and lifestyle for the Washington University in St. Louis community.



Transit App, Inc.

Available for iPhone and Android

Transit makes it simpler than ever to fully take advantage of alternative transportation opportunities. Operating in over 125 cities, Transit integrates the multi-modal options for getting from point A to point B into one trip and allowing you to easily arrive at your destination with a combination of buses, trains, and even bike-share programs where applicable. Its intuitive interface allows you to efficiently find routes and times for your area, and it is complete with updates on the location of your ride in real time. It is especially convenient for getting to campus from the surrounding neighborhoods by bus because you can save your three most coinvent routes to WashU to your favorites and see exactly where they are on the map at all times.



Earth 911, Inc.

Available for iPhone and Android

iRecycle is an excellent resource for sustainable disposal of waste items. The app has an easy-to-use list of 350 common materials, in categories such as Electronics, Automotive, Household, and Garden. Once you find the material you are looking to recycle, iRecycle uses location services to give you a list of places to recycle it near you, selecting from its database of 1,600,000 recycling locations. It even has an in-app map to visually show you the the recycling locations and provide driving directions. iRecycle is a useful tool to manage waste, and since most students and staff either only live here for a few years or move around frequently, the knowledge it provides for sustainable disposal of unneeded items can definitely have an impact in our WashU community.



Cleanbit Systems, Inc.

Available for iPhone and Android

Joulebug is a social sustainability app used as a platform for friends to compete by earning points for a set list of sustainable “Actions.” In addition to recording your Actions, Joulebug links users with how-to videos, impact statistics, and links to helpful content with regards to sustainable lifestyles. The app’s social function works not only between friends but within communities by allowing you to connect with community-specific sustainability news, Actions, and Challenges. Joulebug turns long lists of sustainability tips into well-organized action plans, providing the opportunity for you to manage your individual footprint as a member of the WashU community and beyond.




Available for iPhone and Android

HowGood uses reliable sources that report on its 60 indicators, including Ingredient Sourcing, Community Impact, Food Processing, and Management Accountability, to create a database of food products and their impacts. The result is a searchable database of over 100,000 products that are rated on a simple scale of how safe, healthy, social, and environmentally sustainable they are. HowGood makes it more straightforward than ever to be conscious of your consumer choice.


Enterprise CarShare

Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Available for iPhone and Android

The Enterprise CarShare program at WashU allows members of our community to pay by the hour for the use of one of the shared cars in our fleet, saving money on the costs of car ownership and improving the University’s carbon footprint. Many people may not know that this service can be used on the go in the form of the Enterprise CarShare smartphone app. From your phone, you can see where the cars are on the map, make and change reservations, and extend your time with the car. This app brings the Enterprise CarShare program to your fingertips and, whether you are a student or a commuting staff member, provides mobility without the need for a car on campus.

Sources: Apple App Store from app descriptions provided 

Article by Alexis Vidaurreta and Jenna Schnitzler on 03 April 2017