In our ever-so-busy lives, we often tend to overlook the state of our environment and the impact that our actions (or inactions) have on it. Many of us would simply grab that plastic bottle of soda out of their fridge without even thinking where it will end up once it has served its purpose, hop on their beloved gas-guzzler on their way to work even though it is a perfect day for a bike ride and later come back home at night turning on every light in the house without realizing how much energy gets wasted that way. If you want to put an end to this reckless lifestyle and help making the world a better place to live, this handful of Android apps, which we have found for you, might come in handy.
The first step that one needs to take if they are to protect the environment is to get educated. EcoTips is a nice app to get you started with the basic things that you can do along your daily routine in order to reduce the waste you generate and to minimize the energy you consume. A nice complement to that app would be ecoLamp, which can give you an estimate of how much energy you would save should you choose to replace all the incandescent light bulbs at your home with energy efficient ones. In addition, ecoFootprint can give you an idea of how severely your lifestyle is affecting the Earth by asking you a handful of simple questions.
My Recycle List can be used to locate the nearest facility, which will accept your waste that can be recycled. The app lets you specify the type of materials that you need to dispose of – glass bottles, cardboard boxes, old electronics, you name it, and will even give you directions to the place you need to drop them off at.
WeTap a try. The app works by crowdsourcing the location of as many public water fountains as possible and can provide you with a map containing directions to the one nearest to you. That way, WeTap will not only save you some cash, but it will also spare a plastic bottle from degrading in a landfill over the next 100 years.
Picking the right stuff when you are out shopping can also be a contribution to helping the environment. Locavore is an app that can tell you which fruits and vegetables are currently in season in your area and will even give you directions to the nearest farm or farmers' market where you can pick them up. Locally grown produce has a significantly lower carbon footprint in comparison to the stuff you buy at your ordinary grocery store as it has not travelled in the back of a semi truck for thousands of miles before reaching the shelves.
GoodGuide is the app that can help determining which manufacturers excel in that category with its extensive database of over 90,000 products. By simply scanning the barcode of the item you are interested in, GoodGuide can give you information about how healthy the product really is and whether it has been manufactured in a eco-friendly way.
Last but not least, each time you charge your smartphone you use energy. Fortunately, there is a handy app that can extend the time between charges by reducing the amount of power your handset draws. It is called Green Power battery saver ($1.99) and it does its magic by switching off the services and functions that are currently idle – a simple concept that goes a long way.