Top 10 Online Eco Resources
02/08/18

A resource list by Victor Szeto RGD

 

Working at a place like Green Living, I've encountered a number of environmental, sustainable or health-related resources throughout the years that have helped me with projects I've worked on or enlightened me on a personal level. These are 10 of my favourite online resources for making more sustainable design (and life) decisions...


1. National Geographic Planet or Plastic

Informative, timely, beautiful to look at and a fantastic interactive user experience.

 

2. Alternative search engines

Backle saves a little bit of your computer's energy because your screen displays in black, and Ecosia uses proceeds from searches to plant trees.


3. CO2 emissions equivalency calculator

What does saving 500 metric tons of CO2 really mean? This is the simplest tool I've been able to find that will provide the equivalency in cars driven a year, or home energy use for a year, and more with a click of a button.

 

4. Cap & Trade explained

When this term came out a few years ago, this animated video was the best way I've ever seen it described. I had to dig to find this video now that the program has been scrapped, but from a design perspective, it's clear, concise and cute... infographics coming alive in a simple way.

 

5. Think Dirty app

I first encountered this app when it was being pitched at a Start Up conference. It scans household and personal care product barcodes and tells you more about the ingredients. It'll provide an easy-to-understand rating and provide alternate product suggestions that might be more eco-friendly. I was surprised how many products I used contain the mysterious "parfum" ingredient that doesn't actually mean anything!

 

6. Fitness apps with rewards

Biko rewards your bike riding with a point per kilometre in exchange for items and discounts from various vendors and Carrot Rewards counts steps and pairs up with existing points programs you might already have.

 

7. Bunz

An online community where you can trade things for other things without transacting with cash. It's evolved over the years, but we all have enough stuff in the world. A friend of mine made an epic trade a few years ago - an iPhone for a car!


8. Productivity

The Forest app is the gamification of putting down your phone so you can focus on your tasks. The less you touch your phone, the more your trees and forests grow on the app. It's also tied to organizations that plant trees IRL.


9. Strawless Toronto

Co-founded by a former colleague of mine, this collective is aiming to eliminate plastic straw use in Toronto, which is something I'm striving to do in my own life everywhere I go.


10. Politics

GreenPAC Candidate Matching Tool and CBC's Vote Compass reveal what your voting choices would have been by asking you about your specific values as opposed to your general political affiliation. I'm surprised at how I think I might lean a certain way but when I'm faced with specific policy questions, I might align with another party. I also think it's a useful exercise in approaching processes in a different way.