Today I sidetracked from my normal garbage duties and did some research to help make saving the environment a little more convenient… For Android and Apple users, that is. I searched through various websites, the Android App Market, and the App Store to find “green” applications for phones with the Android or Apple operating system. The point of this research was to inform you all about the various apps that can help one save the environment, as well as to learn more about the app market, with the hope of releasing an SRELP app. Here are my findings:
The vast majority of applications can be divided into 3 categories: 1) Apps that provide simple daily tips for one to help make one’s life more green; 2) Locator apps, or apps which help one locate environmentally friendly businesses; and 3) Calculator apps, which help one calculate ___ (water, carbon, power, etc.) usage– and in so doing, inform one as to the ways he or she may be using resources excessively. The vast majority of these applications focused upon carbon footprints, food sustainability, and phone energy optimization. As you may have guessed, there are many applications that provide the same exact services– services which, more often than not, are pretty useless. The lack of ingenuity in this fascinating field seems almost pathetic.
Despite the multitude of similar applications, a few stood out for providing more useful and unique information.
3rd Whale’s application Findgreen is a Locator app that helps the user find various green businesses in their area, provides an address, and notes whether the user can walk or ride a bike to get to said business. This application is available for Android and iPhone for $1.99.
Locavore is an application that lists what produce is in season, updating this list on a weekly basis, as well as telling you which businesses provide locally grown produce. This application is FREE for Android and iPhone.
Android provides an application called the Compost Calculator, an application which calculates the Carbon:Nitrogen ratio and moisture percentage in the user’s compost bin– helping the user create a compost mix that is most healthy and fertile for soil. This app costs $1.99.
The Goodguide available for both the Android and Apple operating systems, lists sustainable food and health products and includes the ability to take a picture of an item’s bar code and search the item’s sustainability or lack thereof. This application is FREE.
Smartmeter, which is available for the iPhone, is an app that allows one to search one’s energy usage, as well as the energy bill breakdown. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smartmeter/id332471201?mt=8
Granted, these applications are only as useful as the user, use– not simple ownership– of these apps, is really what helps one save the environment.
Enjoy your first day of summer!