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.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.