In contemporary times, technological items such as smart phones and tablets have become pervasive amidst students, teachers, and other individuals, as well as stores and institutions. Rather than fighting technology’s rapid innovation, many green organizations have designed green apps that help users increase awareness, as well as track activities and changes and connect people over green initiatives. Information, education, and solutions provided by these interactive apps serve as unique tools for increasing earth consciousness and building interest and action in green projects. Below is a list of some environmentally useful green apps:
- PareUp- This is an app designed to help reduce the large percent of U.S food wastes. “”We want to change the cultural conversation around what it means to consume food and the life cycle of food,” says co-founder Margaret Tung, “because we’re throwing out a lot more than needs to be.” Users of this app can connect with restaurants and grocery stores to purchase unexpired, excess food that retailers would otherwise throw away. They can browse listings and select the foods the want to buy, purchasing them with a discount.
- Oreco- This is an app that tracks carbon footprint. Using the data from the University of California at Berkley’s CoolClimate Network, the app and accompanying website determine your individual carbon footprint. However, the app’s twist is that your results are posted on Facebook, as means of increasing accountability for your sustainable choices. Though your high carbon footprint print may lead to some shame and jeers from your friends, the app also sends you numerous tips for increasing personal sustainability based on your choices in order to help to turn those jeers into admiration. Check out this animated video that explains more about the app’s purpose.
- Beat the Microbead- Generated by the North Sea Foundation and the Plastic Soup Foundation, this app scans products and checks for plastic microbeads, which are often found in personal hygiene products. Because of these products, microbeads end up contaminating waterways like the Great Lakes, and contribute to water pollution. However, the beads are barely visible; yet, this app helps bring these beads to light. Check out this cool video that explains the message behind the app.
- Images of Change-This app created by NASA is an innovative way of “showing” rather than “telling” people about the changes in the earth’s landscape that have arisen out of the “Natural disasters, a warming climate, and human activities [that] are rapidly altering the face of our planet.” The beautifully captured images are both aesthetically pleasing as well as effective, serving as powerful teaching materials as well. The design of the app makes it easy to see the pictures side by side for direct comparisons, or even overlaid on top of one another, to further increase the image’s impact. This app is a great way to both get information in a visually compelling way.
- Ecobug- This app was designed by a collaboration of high school students and scientists. It tracks how “green” your day had been, and sends you tips to improve your activities based on your activities. It does this by using GPS technology, as well as by asking you questions about your day, increasing accountability when thinking about making greener choices.
Written by Julie Elliot, Class of 2015
Photo by Kristina Walter [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons