In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d look at some green-living apps. Any app that encourages you to keep your footprint small is good.
The purpose of the Sierra Club Eco Hero app is to choose between five ways to help the earth. You can pledge to walk or bike on errands, take public transportation, telecommute, buy organic fruits and veggies or demand a national plan to get the U.S. off oil. Or, I suppose you could do all five of these. It’s a pretty simple app. You make a choice of pledge, enter your email address and name and your pin is added to the pledges. You might be put off by supplying your email address as it states that the Sierra Club will be contacting you. I’m already a member, so that didn’t bother me. When I realized I had enabled “yes, use my location” and the push pin was going on the map to represent me I was a little alarmed. It wasn’t anyone’s business where I lived. I found that the push pin just went in the general area, and not to my specific house, so I felt better. This isn’t an app you would use often, but it does pass the feel-good test.
Nasa’s Earth Now app gives you a glimpse of, well, the Earth now. You have your choice of seven sets of vital signs – Air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, gravity field, ozone, sea level or water vapor. If you choose the air temperature for example, you can spin the earth and see the temperature all over the world. The app is not optimized for the iPad, but the display is impressive. The data was collected from satellites and the app developed by the Earth Science Communications Team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This app gives you the power to see changes in global conditions and, perhaps, helps you to understand your responsibilities.
Another Sierra Club app, Trail Explorer, offers you a way to discover new nature trails. You can sign on through Facebook or AllTrails.com or you can bypass the sign-on and go straight to the app. By allowing the location finder to recognize me, it offered me a lengthy list of trails to walk, run or bike near where I live. There is a topographical map, driving directions and opportunities to read reviews by others. If you are new in an area, or just looking for some new outdoor areas, this app looks like a winner.
I have written a full review of Good Guide, but wanted to include it in this list of apps to consider to support Earth Day. This app helps you find products that are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible. I’ve used it and have found new products to substitute for my old, not green products. It’s simple to use, you just scan a barcode (or enter a keyword) of the product and it provides you with rankings to help you make an informed buying decision.
The Dirty Dozen app provides you with lists of vegetables and their likelihood of retaining pesticides. It doesn’t give a lot of information other than that, so it has some value in that it steers you towards healthy vegetables, but it left me wanting more info. I suppose knowing the exact percentage of pesticides wouldn’t really inform me that much. So, a quick summary tells you that it is better to eat sweet corn than apples. If that would be a help to you, then this app is for you.
These apps, and others devoted to green living, are a way to help the planet and feel good about yourself. What is your favorite green-living app?