For the past two decades, Americans have begun to realize that green is the new black. Everyone from celebrities, soccer moms, and our nation’s leaders has seemingly fallen head over heels for the “going green” phenomenon, just as long as it’s convenient for them. But for those of us who recognize that a healthier, more environmentally friendly lifestyle is more than a passing fad, there are a few very helpful tools to keep us on that green brick road, and surprisingly, they can be found in the palm of your hand. Using your smart phone, you can instantly access eco-friendly apps that can change your life. Here are some of the best green apps currently available on the market and across Apple and Android platforms:
(1) The One Stop Green mobile app provides daily green tips as well as a solar, wind, water, and lighting calculator. You can even conduct your own energy audit as the app leads you through your home to help you and your family live greener. There is also a handy feature called My Green Tool Box that helps you find possible savings and solar, water, and wind system requirements as it automatically determines sunny days, inches of rain fall, and wind speed based on your location. The One Stop Green mobile app allows you to share your green discoveries by email, Facebook and Twitter.
How it’s changed my life: I decided to go ahead and participate in the energy audit feature to find out how “green” my home really is. By answering a few simple questions, I was given practical advice on how to change the lighting and appliances in my home to save money and the environment.
(2) Bigforce, LLC’s app, Greening Your Family-Free is a practical tool for parents who want to make safe product choices for their families. There are a variety of categories ranging from food, cleaning, and personal care, as well as many subcategories that offer facts about what to avoid in manufactured products. Besides advising you on what not to buy, another helpful feature of this app is the list of environmentally friendly products that are safer options for you and your loved ones. Greening Your Family-Free is based on the award winning book by Lindsey Carmichael, MPH, so its facts come from a source you can trust. There is also a paid version that is more extensive and provides more than 30 recipes and tips for concocting your own non-toxic cleaning products.
How it’s changed my life: I don’t grocery shop without this app. I literally walk around the store, read product labels, and decide whether or not this is a good buy based on what this app is telling me. My favorite part of this app is the list of “15 ingredients to avoid in personal care products.” There are certain brands and product lines that I now run from thanks to the information I received in this list.
With its app Green Wars Lite, OrangaTank puts a twist on environmental education by making the journey to reduce and reuse into a game. The central concept is to ‘earn green by going green’, so players buy products at low prices, travel, and sell products at a higher price (or at least that is the goal). Much like our favorite board games (environmentally friendly 21st century monopoly anyone?) this three step process is repeated with the options to take out loans or save money with interest each time you travel. The game ends with an estimate of the money you’ve “earned” and your credibility points, giving you a final score. Throughout the game, the app offers tips about how you can save “green” by going green in your non-virtual life, so you will pick up a few helpful hints all without interrupting your game.
How it’s changed my life: I’ve used this app to teach my kids about the importance of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. My kids love the concept of “earning money” while I love the tips on saving money by going green scattered throughout the game. This is the ideal app for families with children who are interested in a fun way to promote green living.
So, those are three of the top green apps available to the savvy supporter of leading an earth friendly life. Feel free to download them on your iPhone, Android, or online at lightning-fast speed through Fios Verizon Internet. These apps have impacted my life for the better and I know they’ll change yours too.
Elizabeth Phillips is currently a tree-hugging freelance writer. She can be found recycling and typing away on her laptop in Philadelphia, PA. She welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org