Best green mobile apps

Stefanie De Leon Tzic

As CSUN becomes more environmentally conscious, more students are starting to implement eco-friendly measures into their daily routines, according to CSUN’s 2010 Sustainability Project.  Recycling cans and bottles, choosing alternative modes of transportation and purchasing organic foods are all effective techniques to reduce man’s carbon footprint.

With most students on the go, mobile application developers have generated a variety of green mobile applications, otherwise known as green apps, to cater to this growing trend. A green application is meant to promote environmentally friendly living, and shine light on other sustainable options.

There is an ample selection of greens apps, ranging from recycling center locators to green sushi selectors, many of which are compatible with different platforms. There are numerous apps that accommodate the green needs of any individual, regardless of the type of phone they use.

1) Eco Buzz Widget—This green application helps keep individuals up to date on the latest news regarding ecology, such as climate changes. Through it, one can find where to buy organic clothes and which car has the least impact on the environment. It has a function which allows users to modify the type of content they are interesting in reading about. It is compatible with Android and can be downloaded free of charge.

2) Good Guide—This informative application lets people search for and purchase healthy, green and ethical products. Through barcode scanning, one is able to retrieve the product rating and information while they shop. From detergents to nail polish, it provides information for over 12,000 food, personal care and household products, and rates how eco-friendly they are. There is also a customization function that personalizes the user’s shopping list. This application is free and available to Android and iPhone users.

3) iRecycle—This is a convenient and fast way to find recycling centers nearby. Besides serving as a locator, it also provides driving directions to the chosen location as well as the center’s hours of operation. This informative application provides the user with one million ways to recycle and explains how to properly dispose of materials such as metal and used car oil to prevent hazardous waste. The application is free and available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

4) Walk Score—Walk score enables users to find walkable routes to any location. It provides suggestions of nearby amenities, such as movie theaters, restaurants and bars. It also pinpoints other useful places like banks, schools and libraries. The application generates a walk score, which rates how walkable a neighborhood is, and compares the score to other Los Angeles residents. Walking reduces the carbon footprint of an individual. The application is free and only available for iPhones.

5) Locavore—Locavore is an application that allows people who support local farmers and value sustainable agriculture to find fruits and vegetables that are in season in their surrounding neighborhoods. The application also informs the user of how long the food is in season for and the location to the nearest farmer’s market. There is also a function where users can post about their contribution in support of local markets by sharing the local places they frequent. It is available for iPhones for $2.99.

6) Pollution—This application informs users of the local sources of pollution, and measures their air, water and electromagnetic pollution. It offers an interactive map with visualization of polluting sources and real-time air quality of a city. Users can also track nearby pollutant facilities and their discharges details. The application also serves as a research tool since it provides pollution information on cities or regions. It’s free of charge and compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android.