Eco Living with Green Apps

Over the years, more and more people have been joining the green movements. Issues like city-wide air pollution, proven climate change science, evidently warming temperatures, water pollution scandals, etc., have led to an increasing awareness of climate change and other environmental issues.

Although a lot of the action has been typically driven by the government as they develop policies and establish regulations, a more informal movement amongst the public has been ongoing. This increasing public awareness of environmental issues is arguably the biggest force that is now shaping the way businesses address their environmental impacts. After all, member of the public are their customers, their investors, their community hosts, and as such, are the ones that give these companies (especially corporations) the social license to operate.

Many have recognized the power of the public to shape corporate environmental and social action globally by driving mass demand for environmentally friendly products and processes. Many entrepreneurs, governments and development bodies are therefore looking for ways to drive this awareness even further, and in doing so, change the mindset and behaviors of people to prioritize green products and activities, and spend their resources along these lines.

Given the widespread use of mobile phones and devices, it’s no wonder that many are targeting mobile apps as the avenue to drive behavioral change. This is evident in the surprisingly large number of green apps around. Green apps are mobile applications that help you live a greener lifestyle. They may not be life changing per say, but they can equip you with the skills you need, or remind you as required, to make choices that are better for the environment, and ultimately, better for you and your children.  Even checking google trends, mentions of green apps grew about 4,700% in the last 10 years! It’s likely that anything you can think of with regards green products, services and processes, there’s a green app for.

I've compiled a few of the most common green apps around. As you read them, I challenge you to let these stimulate your own ideas for how a green app can solve or better create awareness about environmental issues.

GiveO2: Monitor the carbon footprint of your daily commutes by car, bike, or public transport.

Leafully: Connect directly to your local utility and monitor your energy consumption and get notifications when you use more energy than normal.

GoodGuide: Get more health, environmental and social performance ratings for more than 120,000 food, beauty and household products so you can consume responsibly.

PaperKarma: Reduce your use of paper for advertising by representing your pamphlet electronically, thereby saving trees.

Seafood Watch: Choose eco-friendly seafood at your restaurants and stores.

Waze: Join the community and share real-time traffic and road information with other drivers in your area, saving time, petrol and reducing carbon emissions.

Carma Carpooling: Connect with neighbors looking to share a ride, and reduce traffic and carbon emissions.

GreenMeter: Monitor the efficiency of your driving and see how it impacts the way your vehicle uses fuel and power.

#Climate: Discover actions against climate change from around the world, and get personalized suggestions on how you can contribute.

SolarChecker: Check whether making a commitment to solar will be a good idea by measuring the solar radiation around your home.

Ecoviate: Get tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment, and get rewards in the form of discounts when you win eco-points.

Dropcountr: Save water by connecting to your local water utility company to monitor your water use and compare your usage to that of other users.

Farmstand: Discover locally grown food from farmer markets around the world, and access the farmer market closest to you.

Oroeco: See how the choices you make as you go about your daily life impact climate change, and find customized actions on how you can reduce your footprint

Commute Greener: Find the most efficient map routes as well as carpooling suggestions in your area.

Rippl: Curate and personalize reminders on green living tips, and monitor your progress as you carry out green actions

iRecycle: Find your closest recycling facility based on what you want to recycle

Plugshare: Find the closest car electric charging station to you, for your electric car

Climate Counts: Find out how the biggest companies rank in their action against climate change

PaperKarma: Take photos of offending junk mail and the company gets them to stop sending (at a fee though)

Pollution: Measure the quality of air in your locality, and get an analysis of the potential sources of the air pollutants

Joulebug: Turn your eco-friendly actions into a game where you win trophies, pins, badges, and compete with people in your neighbourhood

Green Travel Choice: Find out how to minimize the environmental impacts of your worldwide travel/trips.

Green Outlet: Find out how much energy your appliances are using

See Click Fix: Identify any non-emergency issue and instantly report the complaint to relevant government agencies

Light Bulb Finder: Find energy efficient light bulbs in your area

Ihuerting: Learn how to start, maintain and grow your urban garden.

Control4 MyHome: Control your high-energy use home appliances remotely

TripSketch Green Book: Find ecofriendly hotels and restaurants as you travel around the world

inBloom: Find environmental friendly businesses near you

GasHog: Track the fuel economy of your car and how you’ve used fuel historically

A Real Tree: Take care of a virtual tree, and allow the organizers to plant a real tree on your behalf

Eco-Dice: Everyday, be encouraged to complete at least one green task by rolling the die to get instructions on the task.

ResQ: Order affordable leftover food from your local restaurants that would have otherwise gone to waste

Images of Change: See how shots of the same spot have changed over the years due to global warming

MathTappers: Track how each of your activities – whether it’s your showers, food, transport, etc.

Skeptical Science: Combat any argument a climate denier comes up with using the science tidbits on the app

GreenApe: Join a community of eco warriors and compete with them to be king of the jungle with every action you take

FoodKeeper: Get food storage advice to help maintain freshness & quality, and reduce food waste

How about you? What green apps have you been using lately?