Environmentalism isn’t often easy, but there are a number of environmental apps that put a more sustainable way of life conveniently at your fingertips. After looking at several of the free green apps available for your mobile device, I’d like to recommend five that many environmentalists – or aspiring environmentalists – would legitimately find useful:
1. Commute Greener
Concerned about your carbon footprint? Commute Greener is one of the best ways to track your personal CO2 emissions. Input your travel distance and mode of transportation, and Commute Greener will do the calculations for you. Improvement is the key: users can set goals to reduce their transportation emissions over times. If you’re motivated by competition, this app will be especially exciting. Users who choose can communicate with other members and make a game out of who can cut their carbon footprint the most.
2. Skeptical Science
I don’t know whether it’s more preposterous that people continue to deny climate change, or that I’ve somehow maintained friendships with some of these people. Frustratingly, in social situations where people dismiss global warming, I sometimes get too flustered to offer up a good argument. Thankfully, Skeptical Science is a useful tool for dismantling just about any argument a denier can offer up. With this app, I can find all of the relevant science and counterpoints at my fingertips to hopefully win over a skeptic… or failing that, at least I won’t sound like an idiot.
3. Global Forest Watch
Though not currently available specifically as a phone app, Google’s newly unveiled Global Forest Watch website app has quickly become the best way to track deforestation. Offering maps of the world, the interactive application shows where trees have disappeared since the year 2000. Google’s hope is that by putting the clearing of forests so plainly on display, awareness of deforestation will increase and people may finally call for a stop to this environmental devastation.
Although avoiding consumerism is still the best environmental choice, buying some items is probably inevitable. When shopping is necessary, the GoodGuide app can help you to make more informed purchases. Users can scan an item’s barcode with their phones to see scores that rate how environmentally friendly and healthy the product is. While some users complain that that the database is incomplete, with more than 170,000 products in the GoodGuide database, at least you’ll know the environmental impact of some of what you purchase.
Rippl provides its members with helpful tips to pursue a more sustainable way of living. The strength of the app isn’t that it provides novel suggestions; in fact most of the ideas you’ve probably thought of before. What Rippl does do well, however, is provide practical solutions for actually following through on these ideas. Suddenly, those green actions you always meant to implement become challenges, with the app allowing you to track your progress at these goals. Consider Rippl a motivator to actually get stuff done.