One side-effect of industry is, of course, environmental pollution, but luckily for us, the technological advancements that once led to excess waste have managed to produce another outcome. Our gadgets have evolved to not only facilitate a modern lifestyle, but limit the trash that comes with it. An array of smartphone apps now exist to help users reduce their environmental impact, by enabling small, eco-friendly lifestyle changes. Such habits–and the apps that promote them–may seem insignificant, but taken together, they provide a roadmap to sustainability.
Goodguide is a rating service that measures, on a scale of 0 to 10, a product’s environmental and social footprint, as well as its general usefulness. The app has rated over 75,000 products in categories including food, personal care, and household items. Its simple interface, coupled with convenient features such as the ability to scan barcodes, makes GoodGuide a great way to figure out just how green your daily consumables really are.
A social media-app with a sustainability spin, JouleBug lets users “buzz” about their green activities, such as riding their bike to work, taking the bus, or buying local produce. The app itself is chock full of helpful tips, video tutorials, and more … all to explain exactly how users can (and why they should) help preserve their natural surroundings. Achievements and group challenges add in competitive exhilaration to round out JouleBug’s winning formula.
It’s easy to overlook the ill effects of overconsumption if you’re never informed as to how every resource you use impacts climate. Through detailed graphs and statistics, Oreoco creates a visual representation of users’ carbon footprints, which it sets against regional and community averages. The app tracks everything from food choices to daily living habits and preferred forms of transportation, and lays out the data in an intuitive, digestible format. In addition, Oroeco offers custom sustainability tips, as well as cooperative challenges and achievement badges framed within a points-based rewards system.
If you’ve ever struggled to find a place to recycle old electronics and other junk, Recycle Nation is the app you’re looking for. It’s a location-based service that allows users to search their area for recycling centers. Searches can be narrowed down to a specific product, and results are aggregated via a map-based interface. Recycle Nation also hosts a regularly updated blog overflowing with informative tips and tricks for green living.