Earth Hero: lower your carbon footprint


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We are confronted with climate change almost every day, but what can you do yourself? We found Earth Hero within the wide range of sustainable apps for a greener or more conscious life. In the first instance, you can use this to determine your CO2 footprint. Then you can try to reduce your impact through goals of your choice and make the impact visible.

A better environment starts with yourself, is the well-known PO Box 51 slogan. Whether you as an individual can do enough against climate change is still up for debate. After all, major problems require major (political) movements. That does not alter the fact that it certainly helps if you put your best foot forward and also set a good example for others. Eating less meat, for example, taking the train more often than by car, choosing a green energy supplier or (better) separating waste. We all have ideas about this, but what are the effects of such measures and which are the most useful? the app Earth Hero encourages you to reduce your carbon footprint and makes visible your progress. A nice incentive!

1 Installation

Earth Hero is available for both android as iOS. Here we look at the version for Android, which you can pick up in the Play Store. After starting, sign up once, via an email address or by logging in with a Google or Facebook account. A few questions are immediately asked, so that a profile can be built with a rough indication of your current CO2 footprint. Think of questions such as the number of kilometers you have driven in the past year, the number of flights you have made and how often you eat meat or fish. After this you also see how you ‘perform’ compared to compatriots and users worldwide. Then you can get started and set certain goals.

2 Navigating the app

After you have started the app, you can use the tabs Home, Actions and My Progress to the main parts of the app. The first tab can be seen as a kind of signpost with an overview of everything you already do or can do. Via the option Add an Action to your goals for example, you can add certain goals to your to-do list. And with Mark Actions you already do you can tick off what you are already doing to reduce your CO2 footprint. But you can also go directly to the tab for these steps Actions which we will discuss next. On the third tab My Progress you can view all your saved actions and also see your progress. You can also refine your CO2 footprint here via the option Refine my emissions profile. In that case, you first choose a category, such as travel, food, energy, goods or waste. After this, you will see more detailed questions and settings for each category, which affect your score.

Tabs allow you to easily access the most important parts of the app.

3 View actions

On the tab Actions as mentioned, you can browse through all the goals you can set yourself, with a detailed description for each action and an indication of the impact it has and the level of difficulty. Sometimes it is useful to start at the bottom of the list, because here you will find relatively small steps that require little effort. You can filter the list of actions by category via the button at the top right, for example travel, energy and food. You can also change the sort order. The actions are very diverse. For example, you can choose to listen to a climate podcast or a good documentary about climate change. Other examples are purchasing used items, installing solar panels, showering instead of taking a bath and using a reusable drinking bottle. You will always see practical tips on how to apply this in practice.

4 Add actions

Actions can be added to your list of goals or saved for later.

When viewing an action you can use the button Add to my goals make it a personal goal. You can also directly add a reminder with an adjustable term. If you find an action interesting but you’re not quite ready for it, you can do it with Save for later save for later. Have you already performed the action? Then you can click the button Already do it to use. You will be immediately rewarded with extra points for this. If you don’t like an action, you can do it with the button Not for me Hide it too so you don’t see it again. Actions that you have saved or added can be found on the My Progress, below My Actions.

5 Other Apps

Apps like Changeit, Warmd, Compensate and eevie have a similar setup as Earth Hero. As with Earth Hero, you choose certain targets that reduce your impact. Practical about eevie is that this app has recently been translated into Dutch. You make a selection from the different eco-habits, receive smart reminders that help you reach your goal and can always track your impact and daily progress. The app is not only aimed at individuals, but also at companies that want to become more sustainable. The Klima app goes one step further and gives you the opportunity to financially support certain projects from the app, so that, for example, extra trees are planted to compensate for your emissions. In that context, we should also not leave the Ecosia app unnamed. This is a (free) search engine combined with a Chromium-based browser. The company makes money from ads in search results and uses all of the proceeds to plant trees in vulnerable areas.

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