INNOVATION

This Is The App You Need To Live A More Sustainable Life, And Measure Your Impact

Here are those tangible results you were looking for.

12/02/2017 10:38 AM AEDT | Updated 12/02/2017 2:40 PM AEDT
Klaus Vedfelt
Daily challenges, tangible results. You in?

You've probably tried to make a small environmentally-conscious change in your life, whether it's reducing your plastic bag use or turning to reusable Keep Cups. The change lasts a couple of days before you revert back to your old ways because its either inconvenient or you don't feel like you're making a difference on your own.

The current against you is too strong, so what's the point?

Seb Berry felt this too, before he came up with a tangible way to track it. And what was a simple idea four years ago has flourished into an app he's currently crowdfunding to create.

The app, called TODAY, is essentially a habit tracker for those small eco-friendly changes made daily. It provides users with daily challenges -- whether its going meat free for a day, or not using takeaway coffee cups -- and mapping out the average impact users are having on the environment, individually and collectively. So you feel like your new, sustainable life is making a difference.

"It's kind of from the ground up," Berry told The Huffington Post Australia.

"A lot of us look at this from the top down approach but I started thinking that the small choices we make dictate the products our local businesses provide us, and the decisions our local council provide and then that dictates policy and legislation and so on and so forth.

"It really is people power. We vote with our feet and our wallets."

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Berry is aiming to crowdfund $40,000 to launch the app in June. Initially, the app will provide one daily challenge based around universal habits, accompanied with information about why it's important and the average impact the change makes. With a built in alarm and guided meditations, TODAY will also include rewards features, and members making an impact will be given discounts to local and online businesses associated with TODAY's values.

The challenges will be broken down into sections such as home, shopping, groceries, eating out and transport and "each of those things will then link to how much plastic and manufacturing goes into those processes and average out what impact that has."

"It's kind of a habit hacker in a sense because I want to have a beautiful alarm to start the day and then people will go yes, 'this is how I feel, this is how I want to start my day' and bookend with kind of a feedback loop in how they've done their best and do they feel good about it," Berry told HuffPost Australia.

"Most of us know what's right, and we understand what's right but we often compromise."

The biggest misconception around living sustainably is the belief a sustainable life is reached after two or three lifestyle changes, Berry said.

"It's the blind spots. A lot of us think we're already doing a great job, therefore we switch off, because we think we're recycling and we've got long-life light bulbs and maybe a water saving shower head and then that's where it stops," Berry told HuffPost Australia.

The Sydney-based digital entrepreneur, who co-founded digital agency Futurekind, said it was a busy period in his own life that made him reevaluate his values and lifestyle.

"I was inspired by working with the clients I was working for who are trying to do good. The other part was just reflecting on what was important to me given how much I was pushing myself," Berry said.

Berry believes personal wellbeing and collective wellbeing are intricately linked to sustainable living, in terms of the choices we make.

"In terms of our work life, our fitness, our food -- all of those factors actually interlink. Personal wellbeing is actually having the power to give and do what's important to you," Berry said.

"A lot of people don't actually have that practice in their daily lives to censor and to focus and we just go busily about our days but don't come back to what's important."

Tips and tricks to saving money and living sustainably.

Berry shares his tips and tricks for saving money & living sustainably at the same time:

• Buy your food in bulk to reduce the wasted packaging and bring down the costs, plus keeping your pantry full with healthy options;

• Go meat free one day a week to save around 3,750L of water, 30kg of CO2 and approximately 5m2 of land, and an average $5 on the cost of meat proteins;

• Think ahead - most of the things we use every day get thrown away, but by preparing and choosing unpackaged options we're avoiding the enormous amount of waste that not only takes so many resources to be made - it simply clogs up our bins, our landfill and our oceans;

• By refusing milk and the disposable cup next time you get a coffee, you can save up to $1 every time you get your fix. Not to mention the reduced footprint in the production of the cups, lids and dairy. If you can save a cup a day with reusables for one year, you'll save about 40.5 kg of CO2, 91L of water, and 2.6kg of solid waste. Plus, when we look at getting milk in your jar we can save around 0.25 kg of CO2, 255L of water each time

For more information about the TODAY app click here, and to donate to the crowdfunding campaign, click here.

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