Sure, the iPhone can store information like credit card data and bank account information (Spb Software, Inc.), and give users the ability to watch TV (SlingPlayer Mobile), play air hockey (Touch Hockey FS5) and jam on a set of drums (Drum FX Pro). But the iPhone can also help you live more sustainably. We’ve trolled the web to unearth the best iPhone apps to make your time on this planet more fulfilling, and a slightly darker shade of green.
I found Piqqo Projects, a new online service for presenting carbon reduction projects around the world, to be one of the most inspiring – and free – apps. The online showcase ranges from a biogas renewable energy project in Hungary that turns waste into green energy while saving jobs, to indigenous Mexican groups that are protecting their land, and a solar powered Kindergarten, also in Hungary. Piqqo shows YouTube videos of the projects and explain carbon savings.
3rd Whale Mobile
If you’re committed to living a sustainable life, then 3rdWhale Mobile could be the best $1.99 you’ve spent in a while. This location-based iPhone app connects you to green businesses in your area, offering 6 categories to choose from, such as food, retail and services. Enter whether you’re traveling by car, foot, or bicycle, and get directions, then rate the review. One of the most simple ways to learn what’s around you, and great for anyone that’s on the move. Now, with the addition of “Creative Citizen Solutions,” users of this app can also make better purchasing and lifestyle decisions, such a using power strips to reduce energy waste from Vampire Appliances.
I look at Go Green as a terrific intro to the environment, or an app for the apathetic. For example, if you’re trying to get a friend or relative to be more eco-friendly and you know the only possible chance of success is through baby steps. Each time the application is opened, another bit-sized Green Tip is displayed, then saved to a list, such as:
“¢ Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket, and you’ll eliminate 1,000 lbs. of CO2 a year. Eliminate another 550 lbs. by lowering the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees F. (These metrics have not been verified by EcoSalon).
“¢ Buy shade-grown coffee. It’s grown naturally, under the rainforest canopy, preserving forests from clear-cutting and leaving more trees to absorb CO2.
Get Green sends a helpful season-based daily tip to your iPhone, ranging from green workplaces, to throwing a green Halloween party and even greening your wedding. One recent tip: Instead of tossing used coffee grounds, add them to your garden soil. The grounds will provide nutrients that will help your plants flourish. Who knew?
A locavore is someone who strives to eat food grown and produced locally. In fact, the movement is gaining such momentum that iLocavore touts the new Oxford American Dictionary chose locavore as its 2007 word of the year.
There are many reasons why people choose to live a locavore or Locallectual lifestyle: concerns about food miles traveled and the associated increase in carbon footprint, freshness of locally sourced food and the choice to support family farms, craftsmen, independent retailers and eateries to stimulate the local and regional economy.
The iLocavore application supplies this information from the Locallectual.com database to find area producers, independent retailers featuring local and domestic goods, and restaurants featuring local foods based on your current location.
This iPhone app helps you find safe green products while shopping in the store by providing – what they claim to be – the world’s largest and most reliable sources of information on the health, environmental and social impacts of products and companies. Find over 70,000 product ratings in food, personal care, household cleaners, and toys. View product ratings on the health, environmental, and social performance of your favorite brands, and create personalized shopping lists to search for, and avoid.
“We make it fast and easy to get the information you need to help make better decisions on everyday purchases based on what’s important to you,” say the folks at GoodGuide.
Here’s an app to track your car’s fuel and power usage characteristics and offer tips on how to save your wallet and the environment. Based on the gMeter vehicle performance app, greenMeter uses the device’s internal accelerometer to measure forward acceleration, compute engine power, fuel economy, fuel cost, carbon footprint and oil (barrels) consumption.
For those of you who love a good interactive metric, you can learn from greenMeter by tipping the device forward and backward to simulate acceleration, and see the effects of both acceleration, aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance, across the speed range. Once inside your vehicle, choose an efficient cruising speed and use the built-in g meter to limit acceleration while you drive.
iNewz Green acts as a portal for eco-friendly, environment-aware news. Select the category of green news you’re interested in, and a list of the latest articles will be displayed. Tap the headline and an integrated browser page will take you straight to the selected article on the source’s website. If you like the story, email it to your friends, save it to your Del.icio.us bookmark, or publish it to your Twitter stream. News is culled from such sources as Planet Green, The Daily Green, TreeHugger, Popular Science, Good Guide and the iNewz Vertography Blog.
A Real Tree
A Real Tree plants trees in 12 countries to fight deforestation. They work with organizations that provide education to local communities to plant trees in an ecologically-beneficial manner, such as avoiding toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The trees then produce nutritious fruits and crops that are eaten and also sold. By partnering with award-winning tree-planting organizations such as Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), and having endorsements from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), A Real Tree is gaining momentum. The app also has a few Easter eggs: It includes mini-games to teach a bird to fly and get flowers to drift in a breeze.
This GPS-enabled carbon footprint application allows users to calculate their carbon footprint from daily commuting, business trips or vacations. Users can also create goals for maximum emissions in a month, then monitors progress. Great for individuals, universities and large companies looking to lighten their carbon footprint.
Do you have a favorite green iPhone app? We’d love to learn about it.