There is a great paradox at the heart of globe-trotting: you love the world, and want to see more of it but by travelling you end up massively increasing your carbon footprint, therefore damaging the very thing that you love.
If you want to try and minimize your impact, or even do some good while you travel, you’re in luck. There’s a range of brilliant apps out there that will help you travel a little more eco-friendly.
In this piece we’ve put together some of our favorites that will help you give a little back to the planet while you take in its splendor. Happy travels!
First up is Green Globe. This is the app if you’re looking to book a hotel, attraction or even a business meeting and you want to make sure you’re using a service that is eco-friendly.
With destinations all over the world you’ll be spoilt for choice, and you can guarantee that your choice is green (figuratively of course) thanks to Green Globe’s rigorous checklist of over 40 items, from recycling practices to schemes that pay back to the local environment.
Olio is a food sharing app. Don’t worry, we don’t mean having someone join you for dinner. Olio is for if you’re about to set off on your travels and you realise you’ve still got a carton of milk and a bowl full of fruit that’s going to go off while you’re away. Pop it on Olio and someone comes to pick it up. No more food waste.
The benefit on the other side is that when other people are giving food away, you can get a free meal. So if you’re in a strange city on your own and don’t fancy eating in a restaurant alone, you just log on to the app and see if any businesses are giving away food at the end of the day. Olio will save you money and reduce some of the ludicrous food waste currently happening.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the best (and the most environmentally friendly) way to get around is by bike. This is where Spinlister comes in. A peer-to-peer lending app, it shows you all of the people in your local area who have bikes to lend.
You can choose from different types of bike and different lengths of loan, then see how much it’s going to cost you. Unless you’ve go for a really high-end piece of kit, it’s almost definitely going to be cheaper than any other mode of transport available. Plus, there’s the added bonus of no emissions.
As an added bonus, Spinlister can also be used to hire winter and water sport equipment, so a day’s boarding (whether that’s snow or surf) can be accommodated too.
CityMaps2Go is (unsurprisingly) an app the provides maps of cities. The ‘2Go’ bit is the reason we’re including it here. What sets this app apart from its counterparts is that you can download maps with a frankly astonishing level of detail, so when you get to your foreign locale, you don’t have to purchase a large paper map, a transport map or a guide to local attractions. That’s saving a lot of paper.
The app is free to download and you get one free city, then you can upgrade to premium for all the maps – and there are lots.
On the subject of reducing unnecessary printing, we also highly recommend Tripit. This brilliant app collates all of your travel information into one place so you don’t have to print off numerous itineraries. It’s so simple to use, you can forward emails about your trip to an automated email address and it collates your itinerary for you.
It also works with other apps like AppInTheAir, which helps you keep track of flights, and PackPoint, which helps you pack for your trip, saving the plane the excess fuel from carrying those four pairs of trousers you’re never going to wear.