It’s Easy Living Green: 12 Apps to Help

Image by Don O’Brien / Creative Commons

Do you fall prey to routine habits out of convenience or do you take extra steps to embrace sustainability concepts in your daily life? It seems in recent years being busy has become the rule rather than the exception. With busy comes convenience and sometimes convenience means having to compromise on values. So the dilemma surfaces: How to we live green ~ conveniently?

At its essence, green living is about addressing the environmental concerns of carbon, water, and energy on a smaller scale: your life. Think about it, what exactly does living green mean to you? Is it living off the grid? Living in a green house? Working at a green job? Living green can mean many different things to many different people. The one thing in common is a desire to do more with less, to be responsible with our natural resources, and do it all in a way that really works well in our lives. Protecting the environment may seem like a monumental task, but you can make an impact by implementing even small changes in your lifestyle.

With any of the 12 iPhone apps we describe here, you will find information and easy-to-implement tips that will educate, inspire, and motivate you to do your part. Taking eco action on the go keeps your values in line and contributes to everyone’s efforts towards the greater environmental good.

Image by Max Gladwell / Creative Commons

  1. CarbonTracker: This GPS-enabled carbon footprint application allows users to calculate their carbon footprint from daily commuting, business trips or vacations.
  2. iRecycle, makes it easy to find recycling locations anywhere in the U.S. Find places to drop-off your old cell phone or other items, get directions and find out what else they accept.
  3. GoodGuide: Green shopping has gotten easier in major stores with this app, which lets you simply scan barcodes with your phone to get a score on how environmentally and socially responsible a product is.
  4. GreenpeaceTissueGuide: Research brands of consumer paper products to find the greenest tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper.
  5. PeopleTowels are 100% organic cotton, reusable personal hand towels that are portable and preserve environmental resources.
  6. Are you getting tons of junk mail that you wish would stop coming? If so, then PaperKarma is the app for you! The idea is simple: Paper Karma is a mobile phone app that allows you, via the comfort of your home and the convenience of your mobile phone, to stop unwanted junk mail from reaching your mail box. As the mail arrives, you take a picture of junk mail that you don’t want to receive and upload it to the app. They do the work on their end to remove your address from the sender. Green magic – no more junk mail!
  7. TheLocavoreiPhoneApp: Keep track of what fruits and veggies are in season in your area. Then find out where and when a farmers’ market is open near you, to make sure you’re getting in-season, fresh produce while supporting your local community.
  8. GreenGasSaver: This app tracks your driving habits and warns you through gauges and sounds if you accelerate too quickly or take a turn too hard. The app saves your score from each trip to help you improve over time. It’s a good way to become a better driver overall, in addition to saving on fuel costs.
  9. GreenOutlet tries to predict your electric bill and carbon footprint based on what appliances you use.
  10. FarmersMarketFinder:  This app is similar to the Locavore app, which helps you find local farmers markets. However, this app does a little extra legwork and not only tells you where farmers markets are, but also tells you where you can find CSAs, pick-your-own gardens/orchards, and open markets. It also provides up-to-date information on weather cancellations and parking information.
  11. EcoCharge: Wonderful app designed to help you stop overcharging your mobile device by alerting you when your phone’s battery is completely charged.
  12. GreenSquare: FoursquareforGreenies: You’ve heard of Foursquare, now there is GreenSquare!  If you recall, Foursquare is a combination of micro-blogging (like Twitter), and GPS geocaching (finding places) and by using your smartphone, you ‘check in’ with the Foursquare website, publish your physical location, and write a quick review about the restaurant or pub or coffee shop you are visiting.  Well Foursquare just got a little greener with GreenSquare. For those living a sustainable lifestyle, it’s natural to want to spread the good word of local green businesses, non-profits, and green events. By checking in at sustainable businesses offering green products and services, you are putting those businesses on the map, introducing those businesses to friends, as well as supporting these businesses with your financial dollar.

Biofriendly Blog wants to thank our good friend, Julie Urlaub, for this very informative guest blog. Most of you probably know Julie, as she is the Founder and Managing Partner of Taiga Company, a sustainability social media consulting firm. Julie’s effervescent attitude inspires others to do eco action. In fact, she leads by example, with over 25,000 twitter followers and a blog with global reach. Not only does Julie walk the talk, she rides it too as an endurance mountain bike racer. Keep up the great, green work Julie!

1 Comment

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