Environment-friendly Apps

Teresa Madaleno

There is no denying that the environment is a hot topic. A lot of the information we gather about the warming of the planet comes from our electronic devices, including our cell phones. In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of recycling electronic gadgets, but we all know that when it comes to our phones, the attachment to them is not going to disappear. In fact, it is likely to grow. While recycling our old phones is a great idea, there is another way we can help the environment and it involves using the phone. I am talking about sustainability apps. Here’s a look at some environment-focused apps that can help you live a more sustainable lifestyle:

• JouleBug – Did you use a reusable coffee mug today? Did you bike to work or a friend’s house? If you did and you have the JoulBug App, you can receive points or other rewards that will encourage you to do even more for the environment. This app is popular because it helps you save money while cutting down on your carbon footprint. There is a competitive component as well in that JouleBug allows you to see what friends are doing to be kind to the environment and offers up a number of challenges. People who use the app report that they have saved a few hundred dollars per year. By the way, JouleBug is a free app.

• Recycle Smart – If you get confused about what can go in a recycle bin then the recycle smart app might be helpful. It is a quick tool that shows you the right way to dispose of items. It can also remind you when to put your recycle bins out.

• HowGood – This app was designed to score products based on safety, health and environmental sustainability. It uses over 60 different indicators to examine everything from a product’s manufacturing process, ingredients, treatment of workers, and emissions record. HowGood allows users to search through over 100,000 products for their scores, regardless of where you live.

• Love Your Leftovers – Created in Australia, this sustainable app helps people avoid food waste. When you enter in what ingredients you have leftover in your kitchen, the app suggests easy and delicious recipes you can make with those items thus avoiding waste. If you hate wasting food, this is an app worth checking out.

There are many more sustainable apps, most of which are free, but this gives you a sense of what you can accomplish with a little guidance. As one user told us, having a sustainability app is “like having a personal trainer who helps you take care of the planet.”