Technology sure has a lot of answers to modern problems. In fact, we could easily argue that technology itself, coupled with rapid industrialization, is at the core of today’s climate crisis. But tech isn’t going anywhere and that’s a good thing because it’s also offering us solutions to some of our most pressing environmental concerns.
From helping fight fires in Australia and the Amazon to tracking down illegal deforestation, technology enables some pretty novel and nifty tools that help us live eco-conscious lives.
Vegans and those branching out into a 100% plant-based diet can put tech to good use too. Here are some of the very best apps for new vegans and the vegan-curious. Whether you’re already living vegan or just starting out, make these five smartphone apps the new tools in your plant-based arsenal.
Flying, and traveling in general, throws up a whole new set of problems for vegan jet setters. Many airport food venues lack decent vegan options or simply have no options at all. AirVegan aims to redress the lack of balance by detailing which airports and which terminals have vegan-friendly options on the menu.
Each airport also has a color rating that indicates how vegan the food options are with green meaning plenty of options, yellow indicating some, and red showing limited choices.
Just remember to switch on your VPN if you’re connected to an airport’s open network. If you’re wondering what VPNs are for, it is an app you can download to encrypt your traffic.
2. Is It Vegan?
The struggle is real. Plenty of products are marketed as plant-based or vegan-suitable when they actually contain animal products. You can cut through all the sales rhetoric by quickly and easily checking how vegan a given product is with Is It Vegan?
Scan the barcode and the app will tell you if a product is vegan, vegetarian, or neither. Hats off to the developer for keeping this app completely free of charge.
Love a tipple but hate the idea of your wine being filtered through fish bladders? We can’t blame you. Even worse, most manufacturers do not indicate their use of animal products on their labels and in many countries, it’s not a requirement.
Vegaholic helps you navigate the perils of the beverage industry by detailing vegan beers and wines. The offline reference guide allows you to quickly search for a brand by name and check its green credentials.
4. 21-Day Vegan Kickstart
The perfect app for new and aspiring vegans, 21-Day Vegan Kickstart was brought to you by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and offers a complete 21-day meal plan including recipes, videos, shopping lists and more.
Developed by nutritional experts, the program is the ideal way to plunge headfirst into a plant-based diet. Non-vegans may even be swayed to join the plan as multiple users report unexpected health benefits, weight-loss, and increased energy levels.
5. Happy Cow
The mother of all vegan apps and the go-to for most vegans on the go, Happy Cow has been dishing the goss on who’s making great vegan food and where since 1999. Now in app form, the program covers vegan-friendly options in multiple countries around the globe.
It’s so popular that you’d be hard-pressed to find a country without Happy Cow-approved options. The review feature means the app functions much like a vegan Yelp! with customers offering feedback on their plant-forward meals.
And at under $4 dollars for more than 500,000 reviews, images, and a thriving user community, it’s affordable to boot.
While going vegan can seem daunting at first, technology has served up plenty of helpful tools to ease the transition to full veganism. If you’re taking your first foray into the plant-based world, download the apps above and keep your plans on track.