Top Apps to Help People Live Green
By Jessica Oaks
Let's face it: cell phones can be incredibly destructive on the environment. They are designed to be disposable and are made from materials – such as plastics and rare metals – that in many cases require harmful extraction methods and are not renewable. And yet, cell phones are an essential component of modern life.
If cell phones are here to stay, and they most assuredly are, we can mitigate their impact on the environment by using them as tools for greener, more Eco-conscience living.
The following apps can help you reduce your impact on the environment by providing you with the tools you need to be mindful of your actions.
This smartphone app uses the camera's built-in camera to scan product barcodes. It can then alert you to any potential issues that may exist with the product that you are scanning. Perhaps the most unique aspect about GoodGuide is that it allows you to set the criteria for what is considered “good” and “bad.” From animal welfare and human rights to climate change and energy efficiency, you can tell the app what matters to you most. It will then tell you if the product passes muster or not!
One of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact – and your monthly energy bills – is monitoring your electricity usage. With this app, available for cell phones and tablets, you can determine which of your appliances drain the most energy and make adjustments to their usage. Simply input the types of appliances that you use most, and for how long, and you can estimate your monthly bill.
With this app, you can monitor not only electricity usage, but gas and water usage as well. Simply add your gas, electricity, and water meters to the app, input occasional usage readings, and analyze your average energy usage. The data is displayed in user-friendly graphs that can be quickly referenced, and you can even color code them should you like so that you can easily distinguish your different energy sources.
Going green can start with your cell phone. After all, the benefits of loading your devices up with “green” apps is somewhat marginalized if those very devices are huge drains on energy. With the Easy Battery Saver app, you can take advantage of pre-determined energy saving modes, or implement a custom one. The app will then help you manage applications and features that are a draw on the battery, such as your network connections and screen brightness.
Eating the right foods can not only help the environment, it can improve your health as well. In this modern age of processed foods, diets have faltered and so too has the production of what we eat as a culture. Whereas we used to eat foods, as a society, that were produced in our own communities, we now eat food that is produced in a manufacturing-like process, thousands of miles from where we live. With this Smart Foods app, you can locate farmer's markets in your neighborhood and keep track of your fruit and vegetable intake to ensure you're eating healthily.
If you're going to monitor the energy usage of your house, it only makes sense that you monitor the energy usage of your car or truck as well, in the form of fuel consumption. This app lets you keep track of your fuel usage over the life of your automobile (many similar apps only allow monitoring fuel usage over a single tank) so that you can take steps to reduce your fuel consumption and improve your fuel mileage.
Author Bio: Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves covering technology news and the ways that technology can make life easier. Follow her on Twitter @TechyJessy.