Money saving apps: JouleBug, the sustainable living app


The environment, and our impact on the world around us, is becoming a hot topic of conversation. Many people like the idea of sustainable living, and saving some money along the way, but lack the direction needed to turn that intention into action.

That’s where JouleBug comes in. In the first installment of our Money Saving Apps series we take a look at JouleBug, the sustainable living app, and explore what it is, how it works, and how it can help you save money while picking up some sustainability life hacks.

What is JouleBug?

JouleBug is an app that encourages people to create and stick to sustainable, environmentally friendly behaviours by tracking their ‘green’ activities.

Available to download from the app store and Google Play store, the app allows you to log your sustainable habits as you go about your week, track your overall impact on the environment, and even allows you to see the amount of money you’ve saved in total from adjusting your lifestyle.

The most important theme running through the app, however, is gamification. The creators make no bones about trying to make green behaviour fun (and a little competitive). This is born out in points for certain actions, sustainability leaderboards, and even local and national challenges. 

What problem does JouleBug solve?

The idea of ‘going green’ is appealing to a lot of people. We all live on this planet and have nowhere else to go, so it stands to reason that many of us want to do what we can to minimise our environmental impact. 

Throw in the fact that sustainable habits can often save you money in both the short and long-term, and turning to more environmentally friendly behaviours begins to sound like a no-brainer. 

The problem is where to start. Individual actions like recycling your rubbish or swapping out meat for plant-based food one day a week can feel like they don’t make much of a difference on their own. It’s hard to understand the impact you’re having through your day-to-day choices.

That’s where JouleBug comes in. The app helps you track your green habits, allowing you to fully understand exactly how much your small behaviours impact the bigger picture. And more than that, JouleBug also gamifies sustainable habits, awarding points even for small changes like skipping flushing the toilet or running your clothes through a cold wash.

How does JouleBug work?

JouleBug is available to download as an app on your smartphone. The sign-up process is relatively straightforward – just enter a few details and run through the setup wizard on your device. 

Once you have your account set up, JouleBug helps you live a greener lifestyle and save money along the way by encouraging sustainable habits that help you lessen your impact on the planet. 

You get points for completing certain tasks. A few examples include:

  • “Bottle Rocket”: For every time you use your refillable water bottle rather than buying drinking water
  • “Hug a mug”: A similar task, only with a refillable coffee cup at your local coffee shop
  • “Bin to win”: Receive points for every time you recycle 

As well as awarding you points for green habits, JouleBug also tracks your savings. The app calculates the money you save every time you complete a green action rather than an energy-intensive alternative, and can provide you with a report on your overall savings. 

Will I have to pay for JouleBug?

Downloading JouleBug from the app store, creating an account, and using the app for day-to-day activities is completely free of charge. There’s no setup fee, and no charge for using the app’s most basic functions as an individual. 

JouleBug Enterprise is the version of the app for businesses. It allows companies to create their own version of the app, complete with their company branding, and use it to encourage employees to get involved in sustainability challenges. 

The enterprise level of the app comes with additional functionality, including unlimited challenges and members, the ability to customise challenges to your organisation, and an analytics dashboard that allows you to see at a glance the impact your having on the environment, from how many litres of water you’ve saved, to how much money you’ve kept in your pocket.

Enterprise is the only paid tier of the app and works on a subscription basis, so as long as you’re using the app for yourself and your own lifestyle, you won’t pay a penny.

How does JouleBug help me save money?

JouleBug is an environment-first app. It is set up and geared towards helping you live sustainably, conserve energy, and reduce waste. That doesn’t mean it won’t help you save money along the way. 

It just so happens that a lot of energy-efficient habits tend to be financially-efficient too. Any time you decide not to switch on the central heating, you conserve energy, but you also lower your energy bill. Any time you choose tap water over bottled water, you not only reduce plastic waste, you save yourself a few quid as well.

JouleBug helps you save money by quantifying these actions. The app can track every single energy-efficient action you take in your day-to-day life, no matter how small, and tellS you how much money it has saved you.

The small things add up fast. JouleBug users can save up to $200 in energy costs per year by using the app, and do their bit for the planet at the same time – a real win-win.

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