Mobile users now have a chance to assuage their environmental conscience with a wide range of handy green apps. Green energy, of course, is big business, and app-developers are simply plugging into our desire to learn more about the natural world and reduce our impact on it.
With everything from wildlife photo guides and pollution monitors to shopping guides and tools to track your carbon footprint, green apps have the capacity to educate consumers on green topics and encourage them on the road towards more eco-friendly habits. Also known as renewable energy or sustainable energy, green power is any energy that comes from renewable sources. This includes wind power in the form of wind turbines, solar energy in the form of active photovoltaic panels and passive design, wave power and biofuels. It also includes technology aimed at making energy use more efficient.
If you’re eager to learn more about environmental issues, then Taptu Guardian Environment (iOS, Android), may be the app for you. It assembles news stories from popular environmental websites in either handy bite-sized chunks or, if you want to see more, complete articles. Along a similar theme, Skeptical Science (iOS, Android) sets out the arguments of climate-sceptics and provides both concise and more thorough arguments in response.
Living green, of course, is all about putting theory into practice and making positive steps in our day-to-day lives to bring about change. To this end, there are a number of green apps that help us to measure and reduce our environmental impact. Seasons (iOS), for example, gives information on which foodstuffs are in season as well as a farmers’ markets locator. The Good Shopping Guide (iOS) is the app version of the best-selling ethical shopping guide, with over 700 well-known brands and detailed ratings across various ethical criteria.
One of the great things about smartphones and apps is their location awareness. Green apps are no different and there are several apps that do the job from an environmentally-friendly perspective. If you want to leave the car at home, then Velo (iOS) gives information on bike-sharing facilities in different cities, while Find Recycling (iOS) locates recycling points and points you in the right direction with a handy map.
Commute Greener (iOS) and Twavel (iOS) are carbon footprint-trackers which detail your transport emissions, while greenMeter (iOS) reports back on how efficient a driver you are. And if you’re worried about pollution levels in your locale, you can find out how clean the air is with the free app Pollution (iOS).
The potential interactivity of apps has not been overlooked and many green apps feature games and interactive challenges. EcoChallenge (iOS), for example, rewards the user with achievements for various challenges, from buying locally grown fruit and vegetables to choosing eco-friendly skincare.
Green power is about more than learning about the different types of renewable energy, and the range of apps available to mobile users is a reflection of this. Anyone who cares about the planet and their individual impact stands to learn and benefit from making small changes in their daily lives. The future is bright – and it’s green.