For every mobile app that lets you play hangman for hours or tickle an on-screen kitten, there’s an application that helps smartphone users improve their lives. Participating in the current “go green” trend is no exception. Both iPhone and Android users can find a range of eco-minded mobile apps to help them plant trees, eat more sustainable foods, recycle more, and buy environmentally-friendly products. Search for these green mobile apps, most of which are free or $.99 on iTunes or in the Android Market.
A Real Tree
This green mobile app costs only $.99, but you can help to plan trees throughout the world by purchasing it. While the app itself does little except offer a beautiful picture of a tree that you can pull up when you open the app, the company behind A Real Tree plants trees in Central America, Africa, and the South Pacific with money earned through downloads. While most smartphone users won’t think much of the cost, the money can mean a new source of income or improved farming in impoverished communities.
True Food Network
GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are problematic to many people trying to go green. Genetically altered foods create “super” strands that may be resistant to some pests but cannot reproduce on their own. Many people who are going green try to stay away from genetically engineered foods. This mobile app from True Food Network will help shoppers determine what foods are the best to get at each grocery store. Using the app, users can look up brands and specific ingredients to find out whether they are genetically modified or what other foods may work instead.
When Earth911.com debuted, years before most people were plugged into smartphones for hours a day, the site’s goal was to gather information about recycling and share it in one central location. Earth911.com grew to include a wide range of recycling information, including where and what can be recycled in your area. The iRecycle app, now available for both iPhone and Droid, is a free green mobile app that provides this information in a more succinct format. Users can open the app to find out where they can recycle cardboard in their area and what restrictions there may be. Using this app can help improve your recycling habits.
You’re in the store, and you see Seventh Generation cleaning products. As you’re reaching for them, you see a new item that claims to be “the most environmentally-friendly” cleaner on the market. Which product is better? That’s where Good Guide comes in handy. This green mobile app allows users to scan the barcode of any product and receive a score. Scaled from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best products, Good Guide scores evaluate how eco-friendly a product’s ingredients are and how toxic the product can be to humans and animals who come into contact with it. This free app also allows users to create personalized lists based on previously scanned barcodes, which makes shopping more efficient.
Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in Washington.