6 Apps to Help You Reduce Your Waste in Canada

Woman in a white shirt looking at her phone at a zero waste app

Everyone has a cell phone these days, but it may not be the first tool you think of when looking to start a zero waste journey. However if you are looking to become a more conscious consumer, look to your iPhone or Android for the latest resources in sustainable living. From anti-food waste to eco-shopping, there’s an app for almost anything.

Here are five free apps that will help you reduce waste in your everyday life and make sustainable living a little bit easier.

1. Flashfood

Did you know that Canadians throw out over 35 million tonnes of food each year? Reducing food waste is one of the most immediate ways we can fight climate change. Thankfully, there’s Flashfood – an anti-food waste app that connects consumers to discounted food at grocery stores. FlashFood sells grocery items that are approaching their best before date at a reduced cost. Most food deals are dairy, pantry items, meat, and produce.

How it works:

  • After you download the Flashfood app, you’ll be able to select your local grocery store from the map. Superstore is one of the app’s biggest partners.

  • Within the app, you can browse the deal and add items to your cart. Most deals are dairy, bread, pantry items, meat, and produce.

  • When you’re ready, simply select your preferred pick-up time and purchase from your phone.

  • Your groceries will then be ready for pick-up at the Customer Service area.   

Why you should try it:

If you buy groceries, love a good deal, and love helping the planet, then you should be using Flashfood. Most deals on the app are around 50% off the regular price. Using the Flashfood app is especially great if you are looking to buy more expensive grocery items like meat. You can save a ton of money by stocking up and freezing meals to have for weeks or even months!

Available in Prince Edward Island


2. Too Good to Go

Let’s touch on another food app that was recently launched in Canada called Too Good to Go – the world’s #1 anti-food waste app. After successful launches in Toronto and Vancouver, the app is now expanding throughout Canada. Too Good to Go provides a solution for restaurants and stores that have surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away. Founded in 2016, the app now has more than 44 million users across 17 countries. That’s a lot of meals saved!

How it works:

  • Download the app and enter your location, or allow the app to track your current location. If there are no participating vendors in your area, the app will tell you. Ah, technology!

  • Users can reserve their “surprise bag” from select eateries and stores – and purchase at one-third of the retail price!

  • The app will then provide you with an allotted pick-up time. Make sure you aren’t late or you will lose your order.

  • Keep in mind that the surprise bag is just that – a complete surprise. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, it will be best to give the restaurant a call to ensure they don’t include certain ingredients in your surprise bag.

Why you should try it:

Too Good to Go aims to reduce the massive food waste problem on a global scale. It allows Canadian businesses and individuals to take sustainable action and be part of the solution. The more people use the app, the less food will end up in landfills. You can now get delicious takeout at a great price, and help the planet while you’re at it. What’s not to love about that?

Not available in Prince Edward Island


3. ReCollect

Do you ever get confused about what exactly can be recycled and the proper way to do it? There’s an app for that. The ReCollect mobile app notifies users about recycling schedules, how to properly dispose of certain materials and how to request special collections. The app is now available in dozens of Canadian cities and growing. If it’s not yet available in your municipality, consider writing to local officials to push this recycling solution forward.

How to use:

  • Download the app and enter your address.

  • Set up push notifications to be reminded about garbage day.

  • Browse the app for resources like what can be recycled normally on collection day – and how to recycle items that can’t.

Why you should try it:

The recycling industry has some significant challenges including contamination and improperly sorted items. ReCollect is a great resource if you aren’t sure “what goes where” when disposing of your items. Canadians want to be responsible with their trash – and this app lets consumers know what can be recycled and how.

Not available in Prince Edward Island


4. Poshmark

You may have heard of a new craze called Poshmark – or if you haven’t, expect to be hearing more about this second-hand marketplace. Poshmark is a worldwide shopping app where users can list, sell, and shop for gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. With over 60 million users, the app is becoming so big that some people are actually making a full-time living by reselling solely on Poshmark!

How it works:

  • Once you download the app, you can create a profile and what is known as your “closet”. You can browse other people’s closets through filters like location, brands, or category of item.

  • If you are selling an item, list it in your closet with photos. The app will also ask you to include specific details about the item like the brand, size, condition, and original retail price.

  • Fellow Poshers will then send you an offer if they want to buy your item. You can then accept, decline or counter their offer.

  • If you accept an offer, the app will generate a shipping label with the buyer’s information. Print the label, package the item, and drop it off at Canada Post.

Why you should try it:

If you love online shopping and the thrill of getting a package in the mail, Poshmark is for you. Whether you are looking to resell fast fashion or luxury products, the app promotes buying second-hand through social shopping. Online thrifting is an amazing way to reduce emissions by shopping from home.

For more online thrift store options in Canada, check out this list here.

Available in Prince Edward Island

5. Trash Nothing

The Trash Nothing app makes it easy to give and get free stuff in your local community through reuse groups like Freecycle. You can find pretty much everything in these groups including books, clothing, appliances, tools, games, and more. The app aims to create a resource-sharing community that allows users to exchange goods instead of throwing them in the trash.

How it works:

  • After you download the app, sign up for your local town or city.

  • Simply post what you have to give away. If you are hoping for an item in return, be sure to include it in your listing.  

  • Include your general location but leave your full address out until you decide who gets your freebie.

  • Once you choose a recipient, arrange a pick-up time and place. Hopefully, they have something for you in return!

Why you should try it:

As they say, one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Consider this app like going thrift shopping – for free stuff! Exchanging used goods in your area allows you to save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and keep more stuff out of the landfill. Sounds like a win-win to me!

6. Random Acts of Green

With the Random Acts of Green app, users can track their daily behaviors to see how much they are able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Is there anything technology can’t do these days?!

How it works:

  • Once you create your profile on the app, you can log and track your daily “Green Acts”.

  • The app will calculate your overall emissions reduction based on your recordings. For example, if you use public transit instead of driving, you reduce your footprint by 200 kilograms of CO2e per 1000 kilometres.

  • Earn a “Green Point” for every act you log. You can then redeem your points for gifts from the app’s sponsor companies – another incentive to reduce your carbon footprint!

  • Share your progress on social media. Random Acts of Green has a growing online community that will inspire you to take sustainable action.

Why you should try it:

The Random Acts of Green app is not only a great tool to measure your carbon footprint, but also challenges and rewards you to reduce it! This app is a great reminder that small acts can lead to big environmental impacts. Random Acts of Green is inspiring Canadians to make small daily changes that result in massive impact.

Available in Prince Edward Island

What apps or resources are you currently using to reduce your waste? Let me know in the comments below!


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