15 Conscious Apps Worth Your Data Space

Those of us looking to be more conscious in our actions often revere simpler times. We try our hand at brewing our own beer, making our own toothpaste, and mending our own clothes. These are fine ways to slow consumption and appreciate natural processes, but we shouldn’t overlook the ways technology can help us achieve more abstract goals associated with sustainability. Most of us have smartphones in hand, so why not leverage them for good? An app won’t be able to force you to do something you don’t want to do, but they are tools to help nudge, simplify, or streamline solutions. From shopping secondhand to mindfulness to self-care reminders, we all know there’s an app for that.

Most of the ones below are free, but the app market these days is akin to a discount store — you might find a great deal, but you’ll have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to it. I waded through it all for you and found the apps on this curated list to be both well-designed and beneficial to the user. I’ve looked at each one and asked, “Is this app worth my time and, perhaps more importantly, my data storage?" Read on for what each one does to improve your life.

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Stop, Breathe & Think

Tune into your emotions with Stop, Breathe & Think, a well-designed mindfulness app. Use it to check in with your feelings and get personalized meditations and activities. It was born out of Tools for Peace, a non-profit dedicated to teaching skills of mindfulness and meditation to inner-city teens. The app has grown to reach a much wider audience, but continues to share 10% of net revenues to further the non-profit’s mission. | Free

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If you ever wanted to track your menstrual cycle and have the ability to share this info with others, then Clue is for you! Keep track of your monthly cycle by entering data about your period, pain, mood, fluid, sexual activity, and more. Clue's goal is to give people a way to track and discover the unique patterns in their cycle and they believe connected mobile technology is the future of female health. | Free

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DoneGood is an app (or browser extension) that lets you automatically see brands that do good for people and the planet. As you search Amazon or Google, or visit company sites, DoneGood will show you better brand alternatives and even offers you special discounts! Just by shopping for things you already need, you can support companies committed to doing the right thing. | Free

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NASA's Earth Now

Entertain your amateur scientist fantasies when you use NASA's Earth Now app. This government agency monitors all of Earth’s vital signs from land, air, and space with a fleet of satellites and observation campaigns. And now you can see all of that data — like temps, CO2, ozone, and sea level — yourself! Science rules. | Free

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We've all got a variety of items hanging around collecting dust. Might as well find them a good home and make a little dough, too! No need to go on retro (but not in a cool way) Craiglist. You can use letgo to locally buy or sell everything from cars and collectibles to clothing and furniture right from the app. | Free

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Good On You

Don't let a lack of transparency keep you from shopping your values. With the Good On You app, you can search over 1,000 fashion brands rated by the app and find similar brands that match your style and values. Good On You also offers discounts and guidance so you can be a more conscientious and educated shopper. | Free

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You know Ebay and Etsy, but do you know Depop? The app-only marketplace skews to a younger crowd (which also tends to mean cheaper) and is a more social secondhand shopping experience. Find the latest fashion or cool vintage items alongside patches and enamel pins. Most sellers are offloading personal items, so the response time and/or shipping can be slow, though I haven't experienced this personally. | Free

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Sometimes remembering how to take care of yourself isn't easy, but Aloe wants to help. It began as a successful Kickstarter campaign and is set to launch in early 2018. Aloe will be a free check-in and reminders app that brings essential self-care tasks together in one place. It's built on a foundation for a community in which self-care becomes easy to do and fun to talk about. Encouragement and positivity is on the way! | Free

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Want to practice more gratitude? Need a reminder to drop off your compost? The Done app helps you create healthy routines by letting you set goals, track your progress, and then motivating you with ongoing streaks. This highly flexible app creates the perfect little routine to instill a new habit and can even be set for multiple times a day. You'll create better habits for a better life. | Free

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We all seek distraction on our phones — while we're waiting for the subway or in the grocery line. The Forest app ($1.99) wants to curb that habit while helping the environment. Now you can use your phone to cultivate a virtual forest by not distracting yourself with your phone during designated set times, and then earn virtual currency to purchase real trees. | $1.99

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Google Arts & Culture

Always be learning. Meet the people, visit the places, and learn about the events that shaped our world with the Google Arts & Culture app. Discover museum collections, stories, photos, videos, manuscripts, and artworks from over 1,200 international museums, galleries, and institutions from 70 countries that make their exhibits available for everyone online. | Free

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The average American home has over $7,000 of unused stuff! Stuffstr makes it easy to lighten your load and keep things out of the landfill. With this app, you can resell items, offer them to friends, or have them delivered to Goodwill for free. Stuffstr is also a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to increasing sustainability around the things we buy. | Free

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Seasonal Food Guide

This app is a sweet lil pocket guide to seasonal food info on 140+ fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and herbs. The Seasonal Food Guide app is the most comprehensive digital almanac of seasonal, local food available. Find out what produce is currently available plus find facts, recipes, and environmental impact data for each type of food. | Free

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The Thriftbooks app lets you shop millions of new and used books. Compare prices and check inventory, see personalized book recommendations, earn rewards, and get free US shipping on orders over $10. Through December 7th, you can get 15% off your next order with the coupon code SAVEMORE. | Free

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HowGood has rated over 200,000 food products, with only 5% of the industry earning the highest rating. They analyze products on issues regarding sourcing, production, and organization, resulting in good, great, and best ratings. You can also scan or search for the best choices in your grocery store as you shop. | Free