Sustainable Apps: These digital helpers make everyday life easier
MediaMarkt and Saturn have already introduced their green sustainability labels to particularly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-saving products. In this way, the two brands aim to contribute to energy-saving appliances becoming established in German households. Because energy-efficient electrical appliances save electricity - and thus money. But how high is the energy consumption in your own household and how can we best keep an eye on costs? How environment-friendly is a product? Useful apps bring light into the darkness and provide information on environmental protection, consumption, costs and ingredients of products. We present convincing scanner apps for Android and iOS that help to save energy and facilitate environmentally and health-conscious consumer decisions.
If you are not aware of your own consumption the annual bill for electricity, water or heating oil can become really expensive. In order to avoid a huge additional payment, it helps to keep the consumption of all devices in the household exactly in view. Because someone who knows his energy consumption, sees successes faster and does itself more easily with energy saving. Pen and note can be stowed away because there is a practical tool: the free EnergyCheck app supports you in evaluating your own consumption data. We present three scan apps that provide information about products and make shopping more transparent and sustainable:
EnergyCheck: Saving energy made easy
If you want to save energy effectively, the first step is to determine your energy consumption. With the free "EnergyCheck" app from co2online for Android and iOS, storing consumption data for heating energy, electricity and water is very easy: Simply scan the data on the meter via smartphone or tablet and have it evaluated. The meter reading can also be determined via voice recognition or direct input. Cumbersome memorizing or taking notes are a thing of the past. This is useful for checking consumption more frequently than once a year. With the app, changes in energy consumption can also be detected in the long term: The app saves the consumption data and evaluates them immediately. The app also enables the data to be automatically synchronized with the free energy savings account - so you can keep an even closer eye on your own energy consumption.
In addition to managing the counter reading, several devices can also be registered with the app: In this way, different households and even photovoltaic systems and vehicles can be managed. In addition, the app has many practical additional functions: The StandbyCheck helps to search for power guzzlers in the household (link to the article Standby). The reminder function ensures that the counter reading is not forgotten. And tradesmen, energy consultants or consumer centres can be found nearby by automatically determining their location.
In addition to the EnergieCheck app, there are other digital helpers that provide important information about products when shopping:
Green, vegan, organic, gluten-free or fair - those who not only want to save electricity but also consciously consume and learn more about the products in their shopping cart can easily call up product information with the Codecheck and ToxFox apps for smartphones, for example. The smartphone guides help you to keep track of the jungle of terms such as dyes, emulsifiers, seals and the like. Here we present how the green apps Codecheck and ToxFox make purchasing more transparent:
CodeCheck: The reliable ingredients check
The free Codecheck app provides detailed information on foods and cosmetic products - tailored to the personal needs of each individual, whether vegetarian, vegan or allergy sufferer. Codecheck helps uncover critical ingredients in over 35 million products and provides tips on healthier alternatives. One of the most important components of the app is the barcode scanner. Using the barcode printed on many food packaging and cosmetic products, the app detects the product with the scanner. After the scan, the app displays relevant data: whether the food or cosmetic product is vegan, contains lactose or gluten, and what nutrients the product contains. A nutritional traffic light also shows how healthy the product is - and provides information on the sugar content, for example. The app also offers a search function and allows you to create personal lists of your favourite products.
What distinguishes this product scanner: Codecheck uses the data sources of independent environmental and consumer organisations such as Greenpeace and BUND for many product evaluations. The data sources used for CodeCheck evaluations are also information from the European Commission of GS1, the organisation issuing the barcode. The app is available for Apple iOS and Android devices. It is by far the most successful product scanner app in this area.
ToxFox: Barcode scanning - poison detection
With the free ToxFox app - available for Apple iOS and Android - the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) has developed a product scanner that can be used to quickly and easily check whether a product contains potentially harmful substances. The app not only provides information about hormonally active chemicals in cosmetics, but also about toxins in children's products.
Despite high product safety standards and limit values for harmful substances, independent product tests repeatedly detect harmful chemicals and other harmful substances in everyday products, such as microplastics or mineral oil in cosmetics, children's toys or textiles. In the field of cosmetics and care products, the ToxFox App database contains information on over 80,000 products. This is how it works: Simply scan the barcode of a product with the app on your smartphone and recognize whether hormonally active substances (e.g. parabens) are contained in the product. If a product does not yet have any information about substances that are hazardous to health, you can use the app to send an inquiry - the so-called "poison question" - directly to the manufacturer. The manufacturer is obliged to answer the enquiry within 45 days. The answer then flows into the ToxFox database and is available to all users. The poison question is currently optimised for children's products (e.g. toys, handicraft materials, sports equipment for children). Other product groups will be added step by step.