Google Releases App That Helps People Reduce Waste

Sep 10, 2018 at 11:46 a.m. ET
Google on laptop
Image: Prykhodov/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images.

The conversation and action around reducing waste is far from over.

We've seen coffee chains (Starbucks), fast food restaurants (McDonald's) and grocery stores (Aldi) take steps to make a more positive impact on the environment — be it banning plastic straws; offering recyclable, compostable cups; or reducing energy consumption.

Now, Google is joining the eco-friendly movement, specifically to help educate people and allow them to understand the environmental impact of their waste as well as provide "simple, science-based ways to improve it."

More: 11 Ways to Go Green Without Blowing Your Budget

Partnered with the California Academy of Sciences, Google released an app called Your Plan, Your Planet, which aims to give people the resources, tools and tips they need to make small changes at home.

Your Plan, Your Planet is broken down into three topics: energy, food and water. 

Under energy, the app informs readers that a lot of the energy we use comes from burning natural resources, which releases CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) into the air. As you click through, the app guides you through a list of questions about your living situation. Questions include: How many rooms are in your home? How many hours do you keep your lights on? And so forth. As you submit answers, the app offers tips on how you can conserve energy, dropping knowledge bombs such as, "Energy efficient bulbs expend 75 percent less energy and last eight times longer than incandescent bulbs. Swap yours out to see how much energy you can save."

The other two sections, food and water, are similar: You answer questions, and Google offers tips and suggestions on how you can reduce waste. For instance, in the food section, the app will ask what kinds of food you've thrown away in the last week, how you store food and more.

"Food production accounts for over two thirds of the world's water use and nearly a quarter of CO2e," the app informs.

More: 12 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Swaps That Will Also Save Your Wallet

And for water, the app states: "The average American family uses 300 gallons of water each day. That would fill three swimming pools in a year! Learn things you can do at home to slow your flow."

Google makes it easy to track your progress; simply sign in.

In the end, Google wants to arm you with the knowledge and know-how to make small changes in your day-to-day. And we're 100 percent on board.

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