Earth Day! 20 Green iPhone Apps for the Ecologically Aware
Can you believe the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, in a time when having an ecological mindset was correlated more with wearing birkenstocks and eating – the horror – foods not provided in a colorfully designed cardboard box? The environmentalists of this era are often dramatized as hemp-wearing hippies who tied themselves to trees, rioted against fur, and adopted a neo-Native American lifestyle of rediscovering simpler living, away from the granite confines of city interiors. Forty years later, environmentalism has changed into the yuppie mainstream, for the better: our entire lexicon is rife with words like biodegradable, ecosphere, carbon footprint, community supported agriculture and more, colleges around the country are building LEED certified buildings, the new wave of electric cars are emerging this coming year, and corporate America is taking a more sustainable approach to business (well, some, not all). Recycling has long been accessible on our curbs and eating locally grown food – or growing your own food – has become trendier, even, than the Prius, itself.
The problem with living an eco-intelligent lifestyle, however, is there’s so much to consider and remember. Thanks to green iPhone apps, all this information and much, much, much more is now available at your fingertips. Green apps are sprouting up faster than, well, sprouts. In honor of Earth Day’s big birthday, we at Appstruck combed through many different eco-friendly apps for shopping, travel, transportation, eating out and more, so you have them ready at your green thumbs.
1. Animal-Free – FREE
Animal-Free is a pocket reference guide for many common and hidden animal ingredients. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, part-time veg or simply trying to shop veg-friendly, this app by Symbiotic Software will help you make conscientious shopping decisions. New vegans will appreciate the list of commonly misunderstood or unfamiliar vegan ingredients that will help expand your dietary horizons.
2. Gorgeously Green Survival Guide – 99 cents
The Gorgeously Green Survival Guide is a quick reference for busy women. Developed by bestselling author Sophie Uliano, Gorgeously Green guides you through the confusion of shopping for eco-friendly choices. One of the best features is the ability to create convenient and helpful shopping lists for everything from lip sticks to light bulbs.
3. Greenpeace Tissue Guide – FREE
The Greenpeace Tissue Guide allows you to make informed decision when shopping for recycled tissue and toilet paper. Experts have rated more than 100 brands as “recommended,” “could do better” and “avoid!”
4. Harvest – Select the Best Produce – $1.99
Harvest helps you skip packaged and processed foods with information on selecting the freshest, ripest, healthiest and best-tasting produce. Now you can knock on watermelons, smell pineapples and squeeze avocados with knowledgeable élan. (read review here)
5. Locavore – $2.99
Eat foods grown and raised locally without spending hours Googling data for tonight’s meal. Locavore provides government and NGO data by state. Click on the food item for Wikipedia info and Epicurious recipes. There’s no market-finder feature for in-season foods, but it sure beats printing lengthy lists of locally grown foods. (read review here)
6. TheGoodGuide – FREE
GoodGuide helps you find safe, healthy and sustainable products while you shop. Simply scan the product’s barcode to view detailed ratings for the health, environment and social responsibility of more than 65,000 products and companies.
7. CarCare – $4.99
CarCare automatically calculates your gas mileage at the pump and reminds you when it’s time to change the oil, rotate tires, get a wax or any other service you desire.
8. Green Gas Saver – FREE
Green Gas Saver tells you when you’re accelerating or taking a turn too fast, which can hinder your gas mileage. The idea behind the app is to keep the ball in the center of the screen. When you accelerate too quickly, the diameter of the ball increases and an alarm will sound, indicating you’re accelerating too quickly. Green Gas also keeps a running score so you can see how well you’re driving in real time. A few weeks with this app and driving efficiently will become ingrained.
9. Greenmeter – $5.99
Greenmeter by Cleantechnica tracks your car’s carbon footprint and fuel efficiency while calculating weather conditions, cost of fuel and vehicle weight. You also can measure drag coefficient, vehicle pitch and rolling resistance with estimates available at CleanTechnica.com.
10. Twavel – $1.99
Twavel isn’t just for wascally wabbits. It calculates the CO2 emissions associated with your travel choices and allows friends to compare their travel footprints.
11. Green Sushi Selector – 99 cents
Green Sushi Selector allows you to research whether the sushi fish you’re about to buy comes from threatened species or has been caught or farmed in ways harmful to the environment. Fish are listed both by their Japanese and common-market names. Additional features include health alerts for mercury and PCBs, as well as dietary recommendations.
12. VegOut – $2.99
Vegetarian offerings in many restaurants are often limited and boring. VegOut makes life a bit easier with the world’s largest international listing of vegan, vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Search listings by your exact location or a customized location when on the road.
13. Geocaching Toolkit – FREE
Geocaching, the green outdoors game of hiding and seeking treasures, has caught on throughout the world. Geocaching Toolkit guides players between locations with clues involving puzzles, calculations and projecting a new waypoint using distances and bearings. Sometimes the calculations are easy, but this toolkit can help when calculations become tedious .
14. Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Prices begin at 99 cents
Lonely Planet Travel Guides are the guide of choice for many frugal and green travelers. Various apps provide paperless guides for both U.S. and international destinations. Some of the guides are buggy and need work, but Lonely Planet is working on updated versions. Tip: Read the reviews before buying.
15. BraveNewFilms – FREE
Find and access the latest, hard-hitting videos on social and economic issues. From exposing abusive health insurance companies to combating unregulated Wall Street greed, the videos on BraveNewFilms inform, challenge and recommend opportunities to take action.
16. Get Green – 99 cents
Get Green, from Candied Apple, provides you with daily ammunition in the battle against climate change.You’ll receive daily updates about how you can make a difference. Tips cover everything from green workplaces to green Halloween celebrations. It even has tips on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.
17. Green Charging – 99 cents
Green Changing reduces your energy consumption when you charge your phone. Launch the app when you start charging and it’ll notify you with sound and vibration when your battery is fully charged. Some of the best things are so simple.
18. Green Wars – $1.99
Based on the classic Drug Wars game, Green Wars requires players purchase environmental products for cheap and resell them for a profit. Manage your inventory to make the biggest profit on buying and selling recycled paper, LED light bulbs, reusable shopping bags, recycled paper and fixed-gear bicycles. Once you’ve earned some street cred by making deals, you can buy and sell high-end goods like solar items, geothermal pumps, carbon credits and hybrid cars.
19. iGreen – 99 cents
Stay current on the latest solar, hybrid, green and green tech news. Aggregated new sites on iGreen include About My Planet, Azo CleanTech, VentureBeat, Green Biz, Green Computing, Hybrid Car Blog and more.
20. MeterRead – $2.99
Read your meter with ease using your iPhone. Check it again later and MeterRead provides you with data to better control your power bill. This app from Zerogate displays the total kilowatt hours used since the last reading and calculates your total usage for the next 30 days.