The first official Earth Day was observed by 20 million people on April 22, 1970 after several environmentally catastrophic events occurred. Most notably, a river fire in Ohio that took place the previous summer caused enough waves to capture the attention of the entire Nation. 20 years later, in 1990, Earth Day went global and was celebrated by 10 times as many people. By the new millennium, the world wide web was able to reach the masses and each year, events, festivals, and parades become more prevalent in an attempt to create awareness and urgency in preserving the planet we all share.
No matter the color, shape, creed, religion, culture, or gender of a human, we share a basic need for Food, Water, Oxygen, and Shelter. In an age where we’re being pushed to “go green”, many of us are not sure how to practically do so without the obvious suggestions such as driving an eco-friendly vehicle, car pooling, or cutting off extra lights around the house. Some may argue that technology makes us lazy, but we beg to differ. Here are ten apps (available for IPhone and/or Android users) that can make your life easier and can actually help make a difference not only on Earth Day, but every day.
10. Starting it off light, tight, and bright – Eco-Challenge (Android/IOS)
This is fun way to track your positive, eco friendly choices and allows you the option to compete against friends, if that’s what motivates you. Choose from categories such as cotton, water, plastics, etc. and read facts about the waste and abuse of these resources and suggested solutions/challenges to accept.
9. We’ve all done it… – Fake Shower (IOS)
We don’t need to go into too much detail to explain the need for this iTunes app. But let’s just say for all the times you ran the shower to ensure bathroom privacy, think of all the water you’ve wasted! This app not only creates an audible decoy, but also tracks how many liters of water you’ve saved by not running an actual faucet. Genius!
8. Spare the trees and give your Postal Carrier’s back a break! – Paper Karma (Android/IOS)
This app allows you to take pictures of paper junk mail you’re receiving to submit to a database that can remove/ unsubscribe you from mailing lists. If you’re a little leery of taking photos on your address label and sending it into cyber space, this app was featured on the Today Show so we’re thinking it’s pretty legit.
7. This app allows you to Go Green, in your diet. – Green Kitchen (IOS)
Find vegetarian recipes on this well organized, photo filled online cook book. Choose from Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Whole Grain, or Naturally Sweetened recipes. It was named one of the best apps of 2012 and is highly praised. Respect the planet, but enjoying the Earth’s nourishment in its unprocessed, realest forms.
6. Most of us would love to reduce, reuse, and recycle but don’t know where to begin. Here’s a good place to start – iRecycle (Android and IOS)
This app points you in the direction of your nearest recycling centers and shares access to 1.5 million ways to recycle over 350 different materials. You’ll be amazed at the things that can be reused rather than trashed. Spring is the perfect time to go through those closets and clear the clutter!
5. For those that spend an extra work week each month sitting in traffic, try using these two apps to save time, gas, and our Earth. – Sigalert/Carbon Tracker (both on Android and IOS)
Sigalert gives live traffic reports to help you avoid the busiest roads on your way to and from work. Combine this with the Carbon Tracker app which will tell you what your footprint on the world looks like after your commute. Awareness is the first step to making improvements.
4. Looking for a new route to work, or even just a new hiking trail? – BreadCrumbz (Android)
Use the simple pictures to navigate your way through your city or create your own path with your cell phone camera/GPS. This app makes it easy for you to share with others or save for future trips. Drive or walk scenic routes you never knew existed!
3. Ever walk the stores reading labels trying to find the most eco-friendly version of something? Next time, try – Good Guide (Android and IOS)
Filter through products such as Food, Personal Care, Baby Items, Apparel, and even Cars to find the most highly (and lowly) rated items ranked based on Health, Environment, and Society. With tens of thousands of options, you’re sure to find your favorite brands to see how they rank and possibly find a better alternative.
2. Couldn’t choose between these two awesome apps – 3rd Whale/Locvore (Android and IOS)
These two are pretty similar but 3rd Whale is only available in large cities. You can use it to find the nearest vegetarian restaurant, yoga center or bicycle shop to live a greener life. Locavore provides you with maps to your nearest farmer’s market, and makes it easier to find fresh, local, produce.
1. Sticky Notes are so 90’s. Enter: Evernote
The amount of paper used each day is astronomical. We all have so much on our plates that we can’t help but add things to our lists all. day. long. Let’s cut the waste by using our tablets and smart phones to keep track of our calendars, grocery lists, action items, recital reminders, anniversaries, etc, etc. This is an easy to use app that helps you organize your thoughts and you don’t even need to keep track of a pen!
No matter how globally friendly we try to be, we can all do a little more to help the environment. All of these apps are great ways to bring a cleaner, more socially responsible lifestyle into your routine. Try them out and share our blog to spread the wealth! Happy Earth Day!