Thanks to the fact that there really is an app for everything, you don’t need to spend hours researching to figure out what you can do to “go green” and make more eco-friendly choices. Green mobile apps can help us to be more energy conscious; direct us to energy alternatives; and make healthier choices. Not to mention many of these actions can save us hundreds of dollars per year!
Here are some of our favorite apps to help you embrace a sustainable lifestyle.
PaperKarma (Free, available in the Apple, Google, and Windows app stores)
If you’re like me, you probably receive dozens of pieces of unsolicited junk mail in your mailbox every week. Even if you recycle all that junk mail, it’s still incredibly wasteful! The PaperKarma app enables you to unsubscribe from all that unwanted junk mail in moments. Simply use the app to snap a photo of whatever piece of junk mail you would no longer like to receive, and you’ll be unsubscribed. Easy as that!
Virtual Water ($1.99, available in the Apple app store)
Knowledge is power, and that definitely applies to knowledge about water consumption! Virtual Water will teach you just how much water it takes to produce what you’re eating, which will enable you to make smarter, more earth-friendly food choices.
Farmstand (Free, available in the Apple app store)
The produce at your local grocery store often travels far and wide to get to where you are, which often means a big carbon footprint! Buying locally-grown produce when available is a much more Earth-friendly option, and the Farmstead app makes it easy. You can use it to quickly locate local farmer’s markets in your area, get access to market information, and even interact with other market-goers by posting photos.
Good Guide (Free, available in the Apple app store)
Many of us want to support companies who make products that are safe, healthy, and environmentally-friendly, but it can often seem like a daunting task to sort out which products to buy and which to avoid. The Good Guide app makes “shopping your values” incredibly simple. If you have a question about a brand or a product, use the app to scan the barcode of the product in question, and you’ll instantly have access to information about the product and the company who makes it, as well as “scores” that indicate how environmentally-friendly the product is.
Oroeco (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
Are you a fan of fitness trackers that upload your workout stats to an app in your phone? Why not track your environmental impact as well? The Oroeco app will help you determine the environmental impact of your everyday activities, and provide you with tips on how to decrease both your carbon footprint and your energy bills. The app will track your progress over time, which makes it a fun challenge to see how “low” you can go!
iRecycle (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
The iRecycle app is an excellent, comprehensive resource for finding local recycling opportunities in your area. You’ll be able to find places to recycle anything from electronics to metals to glass. Recycling has never been so easy!
Seafood Watch (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
If you’re a seafood fan like I am, this app is for you! The Monterey Bay Aquarium created this app to help empower consumers to locate and purchase ocean- and Earth-friendly seafood. You can search for stores or restaurants in your area, or simply learn more about the sustainability of different types of seafood.
Green Kitchen ($4.99, available in the Apple app store)
Developed by the duo behind the blog Green Kitchen Stories, this app is a treasure trove of deliciously healthy vegetarian recipes. Incorporating more vegetarian meals (especially ones that use local, seasonal produce) into your diet is an easy way to decrease your carbon footprint, and the recipes and photos from the Green Kitchen app will help make it easy!
Skype (Free, available in the Apple, Google, and Windows app stores)
I’m sure you’ll all heard of Skype before, but have you ever thought of it as a tool that could help you reduce your environmental impact? Replacing a few of your face-to-face meetings with Skype meetings means you’ll save on gas money and time spent in transit, all while making an easy Earth-conscious choice.
Love Food Hate Waste (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
The Love Food Hate Waste app is here to help you get seriously organized about the food situation in your home. This app can help you plan meals and shopping lists, utilize any leftovers, and even help you keep inventory of what food you have in your cupboards or pantry. You can also earn achievements and share them with friends! Unnecessary food waste is one of my pet peeves, so I’ll definitely be using this app!
Carma Carpool (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
Carma Carpooling helps you find nearby people to share your commute with so that you can reduce traffic, emissions, and even cut the cost of your trip. Riders pay the driver to share the cost of the commute, and Carma’s website claims that carpooling with its platform is often cheaper than catching the bus
Lightbulb Finder (Free, available on Amazon)
Looking to light your home but keep it green? With this shopping aid, you can compare bulbs that fit your fixtures, see their relative environmental repercussions, and then click through to buy the ones you want.
Eco:Speed (Free, available in the Apple store)
EcoSpeed factors in traffic stops, speed limits and current traffic conditions to plot the most fuel-efficient route to your destination using Google Maps. Once a driver gets going, the app monitors driving behavior using the phone’s GPS and makes fuel-saving suggestions, like making slower accelerations from traffic signals or maintaining certain speeds on the highway.