The Eevie app
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, and planet-friendly living options become more and more available, it seems to be even harder to pick which impacts to make.
Reusable shopping bags may be an easy choice, but what about picking between organic or low carbon footprint food? Or whether to eat less meat, or focus on what’s in season? How about choosing between plastic free toiletries, or animal cruelty-free?
The choices are endless and it can get overwhelming. Nearly a third of Brits feel overwhelmed by the climate crisis, a statistic which rises to 40% amongst young people.
In 2017, a group of friends decided they wanted to make the whole process of living carbon-minimal easier, and so put their minds together to come up with a virtual assistant that would choose for you. Co-founders Antonius ‘Tono’ Willms, Raphael Ferretti and Lennart Paar, who are based between Munich, Vienna and New York, launched Eevie.
“Being nature lovers and convinced that time is running out to prevent global heating, we set out to understand why people (including ourselves) struggle to live more sustainable lives,” explains Willms. “While we drive our cars and power our homes with fossil fuels, homes in other parts of the world are already being flooded. While we buy fish sticks at the supermarket, in many places there is more plastic than there are fish in the water.
“While most of us know and acknowledge that this is a problem, few actually act on the issue and change what they are doing.”
The trio started to investigate what was preventing them from living more eco-friendly lives, and realized a lack of knowledge of the cheaper, easier solutions was to blame.
“We set out to address these issues and help people find and learn about the locally available sustainable solutions and showing them what impact they have.”
They developed an eco habit tracker to help people improve their carbon impact, with the aim of not compromising on convenience.
The trio say it is the first eco-habit tracker to understand its users’ individual behaviour.
“Eevie was designed to suit people’s lifestyle and preferences instead of giving generic solutions, making it easier to recycle, shop local, eat less meat, compost at home, travel sustainably and more. It provides users with information, resources, tips and gentle nudges right when they need them.”
Eevie, which is available on the App and Play store for free, provides immediate feedback on how certain decisions affect day-to-day carbon footprint, everything from commuting to work, to source local produce.
“Despite there being apps that address making sustainable choices, people still struggle because there are no one-fits-all solutions,” Willms continues.
“We believe that a data driven approach to providing useful solutions to users can give us the necessary advantage to reach the millions of people who are marching the streets and are ready to make changes to their lifestyle.”
Willms says most of the company’s competitors are currently focusing more on carbon offsetting and “less on actually helping their users mitigate their emissions through behavior change”.
“The ones we think do this best are ForGood, LiveGreen and Wren.”
The company has struggled to be taken seriously as a business by investors, Willms adds. “A stigma we carry with us is the notion that doing something good or ecological is contradictory to creating a profitable business.
“On one occasion during a pitch presentation, a potential investor asked us ‘whether we are addressing the business or philanthropic side of his brain’.”
However the the co-founders’ goal is to become the leading guide for sustainability over the next five years.
“Our vision is to participate in building a world in which sustainable behavior is the norm,” Willms says. “This will require us to build all the tools required to enable a community of doers that want to make this change happen.”