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These Apps Are Free and Can Help You Combat Climate Change With Your Phone

by Emma Thieme Oct 20, 2016

Skeptical Science

In a time where the U.S. Republican candidate, Donald Trump, calls Climate Change a ‘hoax’ that was created by the Chinese government, it’s the norm to hear idiotic, false statements attempting to explain away the most important issue facing the human species. That’s why Skeptical Science is so great. Whenever your uncle tries to claim that Climate Change ‘isn’t happening’ or that ‘it’s not our fault,’ you can pull out your phone, click on the corresponding skeptic’s claim, and receive a peer-reviewed article that disproves it instantly — plus graphs, charts and links to other sources if your uncle feels so inclined.

Skeptical Science is free on the iPhone and iPad. 


Ecosia is a free search engine that uses its advertising revenue to plant trees around the world. It currently has more than two million active users and has planted more than 5 million trees — by 2020, the organization hopes to have planted at least one billion. Ecosia is also very transparent, they publish their donation receipts and business reports. All you have to do to get it is go to Ecosia’s website, add the search engine to your browser and click on the little world icon whenever you want to search.

GoodGuide & Buycott

GoodGuide, as an organization, has been around for ten years. Scientists have reviewed thousands of products in relation to their environmental impact. You can use the app to scan the barcodes, search and browse products. GoodGuide will tell you how whether that product’s ingredients or business practices are concerning when it comes to the environment, allowing you to decide for yourself whether you want to buy it or not.

Buycott is a similar app with a barcode scanner, except its purpose is a little more political and encourages you to ‘vote with your wallet.’ Scan a barcode and Buycott will let you know if the product you want to buy can be traced back to Monsanto, the Koch Brothers or a similar corrupt corporation that is wreaking havoc on our environment.

GoodGuide and Buycott are both free on the iPhone and Android. 

Images of Change

NASA created this app in order to show us how the world is changing right in front of us. It uses NASA’s best images to show you what parts of the world looked like before natural disasters or the gradual effects of a warming climate. For instance, you can see what Alaska’s Muir Glacier looked like in 1941, and what it looked like in 2004. You can view before and after images of the Missouri River’s flooding, see what wildfires have done to the Colorado landscape, and monitor the agricultural expansion all over the world.

Images of Change is free on the iPhone.

Green Tips

This one’s exactly what it sounds like: an app that offers you hundreds of ideas on how to remain green when it comes to being an everyday human who drives, eats, bathes, drinks water, produces waste and relies on electricity.

Green Tips is free on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

Green Gas Saver

This app aims to help you save on fuel costs and improve your driving habits. It monitors your driving in real time, using alarms and lights to let you know when you take a turn too hard or when you’re driving too fast, and therefore inefficiently. It’s been game-ified, giving you a score that you can try to beat while reteaching yourself how to perform a mundane task that you may have been doing incorrectly since you were 16.

Green Gas Saver is free on the iPhone.

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