Enjoy the first of what we hope will be many awesome posts by our intern, Juliette San Fillipo. She’s wicked smart, is dedicated to getting us all a little greener and she’s just an adorable green diva!
With the boom in apps for every conceivable need and lifestyle, smart developers have started coming up with some very useful eco apps so that our everyday technology can now take on a deeper shade of green, too! Eco apps are applications downloadable on your SmartPhone or computer that are designed to make a sustainable lifestyle more accessible. With everyone becoming progressively glued to their handheld devices anyway, these eco apps are a great way to use that time to explore and employ new green initiatives. You can have these apps for free or a few for a small fee, and they all aim to help you get into the green swing-of-things when it comes to your lifestyle, your diet, and your budget.
One Small Act
One app we love is called One Small Act, which is free and produced by NBC Universal (powered by our friends at Practically Green) and was launched in 2007. Their motto is “You don’t have to do a lot to do a lot,” which sounds good to anyone, not only Green Divas! One Small Act works by tracking all of the things (large and small) you do for the environment in a log so you can see how your actions compare to others. You get points and badges to reward yourself for your achievements and your use of the app even helps build a digital garden! Farmville, anyone? The app has a Twitter-like aspect too, in that you have a newsfeed of others’ green activity (both friends and celebrities, who also give out green tips to users within the app). One Small Act is part of NBC Universal’s Green is Universal initiative, which strives to raise green awareness, enact positive change to the environment, and even make its own operations greener. So downloading One Small Act helps us all get one small – but substantial – step closer to becoming greener ourselves.
Another cool eco-app to check out is for foodies. Trufflehead is part of the Top 25 Lifestyle Paid Apps and is a virtual cookbook and smart shopper app that helps users grocery shop and cook in healthier, greener ways. The creator is Deborah Chud, a former physician who has her own health food blog called A Doctor’s Kitchen. In addition to regular recipes, the app offers vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free recipes, which is good news for those all-around, health-conscious individuals. One highlight of the app, which is a great thing to have in your hand while at the grocery store, is a Priority Organics list of ingredients and products that advise the shopper which ones are better purchased in organic form, such as The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen™. The Trufflehead Starter app is free and includes 20 beginner recipes with all the perks of the full app, which costs $3.99. Even though you have to spend money to buy the full app, Trufflehead promotes home cooking, which not only saves you money in the long run but also lightens your footprint on the environment, since eating out you generate 70% more emissions than if you cook at home! Trufflehead’s recipes also favor cooking with less of those CO2 ‘giants,’ such as red meat, which generates the most carbon in its production, packaging, transportation, etc. And – it only gets better – since Trufflehead is a virtual cookbook, by using the app you are saving paper that would otherwise be used to make an actual cookbook! There’s much to love about eco apps!
For the Conscious Consumer
Finally, the consumer can go green when it comes to shopping, too. GoodGuide is a free eco app that uses a barcode scanning feature, as well as an expansive list of consumer goods, to instantly reveal whether the products you want to buy are safe, healthy, green, and socially responsible. Since the app works at the touch of your fingertips, you can easily use it while you shop! You can even personalize the app to highlight the issues that you most care about – like, say, animal welfare or energy efficiency – when it comes to your everyday shopping needs. It’s simple to use too; when you enter a product into GoodGuide, the product either passes or fails based on your personal criteria. If you don’t want to target a specific item, GoodGuide also offers detailed performance information on your favorite in-store brands. GoodGuide is based on ratings of over 17,000 products that are reviewed over a science-based health, environment, and social spectrum of criteria, so the chances of getting the environmental low-down on your favorite sink cleaner are definitely good and worth a look with this eco-friendly app!
Today, technology is not only helpful to our everyday needs, but it can also now play an important role in helping us mitigate our impact on the environment through the use and guidance of eco apps. Technological advances such as these three eco apps have developed in ways that can aid in abating the physical waste of consumers – not only by eliminating paper guidebooks but also by helping us not buy or use wasteful or harmful products in the first place. Since we’re most likely to hunt online for ways to go green anyway rather than flip through books or flyers, we might as well try out some everyday eco apps to see just how green we can go!