In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we thought it fitting to compile a list of free green-inspired iPhone apps that promote continued environmental awareness. Although incredible progress has been made in this movement over the past few decades, the fate of the environment still hinges on immediate action from all of us.
By becoming more eco-friendly and making small steps to enact change in our daily lives, we will have a significant impact on the way natural resources are consumed and preserved. Take a moment to peruse the apps below and download a few that are useful to your environmental protection efforts — after all, they’re free!
iRecycle is a great resource that allows you to look up locations for recycling 240+ materials in your area. Simply type in whatever object you’d like to recycle and nearby centers with contact information, hours of operations and any restrictions are listed. With this handy app, there’s no excuse not to recycle.
2. Find Green
Find Green provides information on local green businesses in your vicinity. With 23 industries to choose from, including health and wellness, retail/consumer, and dining, you can opt to patronize businesses that have made a commitment to improving the environment. Turn-by-turn directions to each business selected are also included in this app.
3. Consumer Change
Consumer Change is a simple app that collects and displays first-hand consumer feedback on companies’ environmental practices from its website, consumerchange.com. Any feedback, either positive or negative, is sent directly to the businesses in an effort to improve their sustainability practices. Reviews can be submitted directly from the app, as well as through the site.
4. Greenpeace Tissue Guide
Yes, it’s an entire app dedicated to household paper products, but you’d be surprised at how much there is to know. The Greenpeace Tissue Guide ranks more than 100 brands of products in four categories — toilet paper, paper towels, paper napkins and facial tissues — and places them into “recommended,” “could do better” and “should avoid” designations.
5. Carbon Calc
Carbon Calc is a simple calculator for tallying your footprint with home, car and airline usage. Although there could be many more variables included to get a more accurate estimate, this is a good starting point to give you a rough idea of your energy usage. The app also gives you an option to purchase carbon credits to offset your number.
6. Mission Zero
MissionZero.org is an online community whose mission is to improve the global environment through collective action. Its accompanying iPhone app is a news resource that tracks sustainability issues in 14 different categories from more than 300 feeds. It’s a good tool for keeping abreast of the latest green news.
7. Label Lookup
When you see a “free range” label, you may think that it is a better choice all around. However, many people aren’t aware that the USDA only applies this term to chickens, and that access to outdoors can be as little as five minutes a day. Label Lookup enables users to check the validity of label claims using a rating system of zero to three — zero meaning the claim has no validity, and three meaning that the claim is verified and meets rigorous testing standards — “USDA Organic,” for example.
If you ever wonder how the companies you frequently purchase from rank on the environmental awareness scale, ClimateCounts is a good app for you. Using a rating system and a 100 point scale, each company is scored on its climate impact and given a “striding,” “starting” or “stuck” ranking. Examples of striding companies: Anheuser-Busch and FedEx. Examples of stuck companies: Air Tran and Capital One.
9. What’s On My Food?
Put that apple down and review its pesticide count on this app before taking a bite. Between a conventional apple and an organic apple, there is a 24 count difference in total residues found. There are 93 foods listed in this app with a breakdown on the general pesticides that can be found on each.
10. GreenSpace Map
GreenSpace Map utilizes information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to list any sites in your vicinity that have known environmental issues or are designated as hazardous areas. This would be a great app to have while house hunting.