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The Conscious Consumer – Game Changing Apps
Team Offbeat | 13 Dec

With Christmas Day just around the corner, it can be easy to overspend and overindulge – it would be rude not to, right? But this year, spare a consideration for the wider issues of mass consumerism. With the onslaught of recent media campaigns raising awareness of sustainability, global warming and food-related health issues, concerns are raised about the impact food has on our bodies and our environment. Is it time to reconsider your coffee shop’s approach this Christmas?

We check out the latest eco-friendly apps aimed at producers, coffee shop owners and consumers to help promote mindful consumption this festive season.

Too Good To Go
The food waste app gives stores a platform to sell their surplus food. The idea is that through using the app, customers can order food that would otherwise be thrown away at discounted prices. Simply download the app, choose a venue, order, pay and pickup. Customers benefit, as do restaurants – It’s a win-win situation.

Farmdrop connects consumers with producers, cutting out the middle man. Customers can log into the app and place an order directly with the farmer. At an allotted time, the produce is dropped at an allocated ‘Local Farmdrop’ (a recognized pub, town hall, school) which is managed by a ‘keeper’. With the help from Farmdrop, keepers must promote their drop, in order to gather enough members to make it sustainable for producers. The producer keeps 80%, the keeper 10% and 10% goes to Farmdrop.

Making sustainable, ethical decisions can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. Giki equips customers with all the relevant information they need to make more responsible choices. The app awards products with ‘badges’; organic, recyclable packaging, local, low carbon footprint, responsibly sourced, no chemicals of concern, free from additives, healthier, animal welfare, no animal testing, greener cosmetics and kinder cleaning. Simply scan a product using the in-app camera and Giki tells you how many badges it has. Where a product scores poorly, alternatives are suggested.

Refill is an app that shares water fill-up points across London. Once the app is downloaded, consumers can access a map of all participating venues where they can fill up for free. Costa Coffee and Leon are among those who have signed up to the scheme, displaying ‘refill’ stickers on their windows. The app encourages customers to stay hydrated, save money and reduce plastic pollution. For coffee shops, it helps to generate a larger footfall, whilst also benefiting their eco-friendly status.

Greenease is a mobile app that connects farmers, chefs and consumers. Essentially an index of restaurants and stores that buy from local, sustainable farms, Greenease makes it easier to search for and make more informed decisions about where and how to eat.

It’s cool to care. Consumers don’t just buy products or services, they buy into a brand. Be sure that your brand is seen as ethical, fair and honest and watch as your customers come flocking.

By Charlotte Anderson
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