We all want to do our bit to protect the environment, and as 2023 approaches, this may account for one of our new year resolutions.   

As individuals, we all have to start small, so whether you begin by replacing short car journeys with walking, recycling a discarded plastic bottle in the street or choosing to switch to more eco-friendly products, know that every change counts.  

It can be difficult to know where to start but to help you on your way, here are five free apps which not only help their users to save the planet but also reward them at the same time.  

1.     WeWard. This free app rewards its users for walking which can be converted into cash, gifts or donations to charities. So far, it has encouraged more than 10 million users to walk every day, and they are likely to walk around 24% more. This not only reduces pollution levels but also highlights the importance of climate change and raises awareness around carbon emissions. In exchange for their walking, users can access special offers from leading sports, beauty and nutrition brands and receive ‘Wards’ for each pound spent. With each step, users have helped generate more than $500k to good causes, including global deforestation. WeWard has joined various partners including the not-for-profit NGO, the Eden Reforestation project, to collectively plant 233,084 trees across the globe. 

2.     reGAIN. Working in association with The Red Cross, the free reGAIN app is designed to prevent unwanted clothes ending up in UK landfill sites – where around 50 trailers of clothes are taken each day. Once there, some garments can take-up to 50 years to decompose. By donating clothes to charity via this app, users help raise money for good causes, save the planet and get access to exclusive discount coupons which can be spent on clothing, footwear, homeware or travel. Donations can be made at any one of the 25,000 drop-off points across the country or arrangements can be made to collect directly from a home address.  

3.     Savemoneycutcarbon. This free eco-app aims to help users learn about eco-friendly swaps for their homes and pick-up everyday tips on how to save money using a library of easy to read articles about all things sustainable. Through the ‘Swap Shop’, users can find eco-friendly alternatives to all of their traditional home products. For every product bought, Planet Points will be given which can be spent online. There’s also a personalised impact statement which tracks how much money, energy, water, and carbon have been saved. Last year, SaveMoneyCutCarbon saved a collective 727 million litres of water and 27 million kilowatts of energy for its customers. As a result of this work, a carbon reduction equivalent to travelling 23,240,000 miles in an average petrol car. 

4.     Earth Rewards. Users can benefit from offers selected by top retailers and earn Earth Rewards (ERZ) to offset their carbon footprint. First of all, a series of in-app missions must be completed to generate ERZ which can then be used to shop with retailers including Timberland, Gap and Cowshed via the app. Users decide when to save, use or share their rewards to balance specific lifestyle activities that have a carbon impact. Through Earth Rewards, shoppers contribute to the protection of endangered rainforests, the biodiversity within them and the communities who call them home. The Earth Rewards program is initially supporting Trocano Araretama, a 1.3 million hectare project in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.  

5.     Zeloop. Designed to reward for protecting the environment, Zeloop incentivises its users with ‘Eco Rewards’ – a blockchain token – which can be spent against favourite items or converted to cash returns. Firstly, users need to recycle plastic bottles – as many as possible – and drop them off at a Zeloop collection point and also start litter picking during their day, perhaps while out for a jog. The app will then reward users for their hard work with tokens and trophies. Based on a 5 year conservative estimation, it is suggested ZeLoop will prevent more than 230 million bottles from ending up in nature.