Love it or hate it technology is here to stay. The industrial revolution changed the way things were made, increased productivity, enabled mass production and in doing so has had a significant impact on our environment. At the same time though, recent techology is now making life easier for many by helping to save money, time, resources and shape new design - think 3D printing.
Mobile and web technology, as a double-edged sword, is now having a similar effect as earlier advancements - capable of impacting our environment in positive and negative ways. A quick trawl through cyberspace inspired this technophobe to rethink how the digital era is helping us save money, live well and care for the planet. Here are a few things to check out….
- Rather than buying, storing and maintaining your own bike or car, look at share options like Onzo, Yoogo, Turo, Next Bike, Cityhop, Yourdrive and Big Street Bikers. GIS lets you locate what you’re looking for, then you can book and pay for the time you need online, or explore ways to share your transport when you’re not using it.
- Find a carpool buddy with Smart Travel to share a ride and share the cost. You can choose to be a driver or a passenger, so you don’t have to own your own car to register.
- Try an electric bike and help students. MeloYelo is a social enterprise supporting EVolocity - a schools programme that gets more children into engineering and technology related studies and careers, at the same time inspiring the next generation about electric vehicles.
- Broken phone or laptop? Instead of buying new, learn how to repair it with the ifixit manual. YouTube has some great tutorials too.
- If you do need to buy something new, Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics ranks manufacturers by how well they disclose emissions, energy efficiency of products, supply chains, and transparency on mineral sourcing. DoneGood and Good on you also help you find more sustainable products.
- No need for new recipe books - Hello Egg is a tool for busy people new to cooking, or needing a visual reminder while following a recipe. It stores shopping lists, meal plans and responds to voice commands. Best of all is the video cooking guide!
- Want to make more plant-based food at home? Drop connects recipes you love with the appliances and ingredients you already have at home. The app resizes recipes so you don’t make too much, has a built in scale and remembers recipes so you don’t forget anything while you’re out.
- Seafood Watch helps you choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in sustainable ways, with filters for farmed or wild caught fish.
- Use your phone to create, and stick to, a grocery shopping list to avoid wasting food and money. Write it on your phone or take a photo so it’s handy while out. Try the Bring! app for a simple list or Out of Milk lets you write and share lists with whanau to find out who needs, or has already has, what.
- This one’s just for students - save money on local food and wellness deals with Niesh, a money saving platform devised by and for cash starved students.
- If gardening isn’t for you, become an expert at identifying native plants and trees with Flora Finder. Just take a photo of the plant’s leaf and the app will do the rest.
- Save up to 10% on your power bills by setting your temperature using a thermostat or SMART thermostat For more efficiency use automated tools and smart wall outlets to actively monitor your appliances. Here are some amazing ideas for longer term savings.