AHAALiving.com’s Top Ten Sustainability Apps
Living sustainably doesn’t always come easy. In our fast-paced world, sometimes we just don’t have time or energy or expertise to make the most sustainable choices.
But we’re all coming to recognize just how vitally important it is to make the best consumption choices – for our own health, and the planet’s.
Leaning on technology can bridge the gap. These ten eco-apps – from simple to more advanced – are just a sampling of the tools available across devices that can help you track and set goals around your consumption habits:
These apps are relatively straight-forward and simple, but with a big purpose: they provide you with an audio reminder when your phone is fully charged, prompting you to unplug it. A fully charged mobile phone, when plugged in, continues to consume energy, needlessly. While this may not seem like a big deal, consider that there are over 4 billion phones on the planet potentially and needlessly sucking up energy.
Use this app to help you choose forest-friendly tissue products, like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues. The app features an easy-to-follow rating system that will help you select paper products that help to protect one of our most precious resources: our forests.
Use the Tuna Guide app to help you make more educated decisions about the canned tuna you are buying. Although the app only covers canned tuna, the reality is that this type of fish is a big part of the Canadian diet. Tuna Guide offers a user-friendly rating system, guiding you toward the most ocean-friendly choices, and provides you with the option to sign a petition to urge Canada’s biggest brand, Clover Leaf, to become more ocean-friendly.
As mobile phones become more and more advanced, the amount of energy they consume increases. This app works by helping you manage the various energy drainers of your mobile phone in order to extend your battery life. Reduce your energy consumption and save yourself the headache of a dead battery.
This is a fantastic app to take your recycling efforts up a notch. Find recycling centres in your area for the items that don’t fit or you can’t leave in your recycling bin, like old electronics, hazardous materials, metal, car parts, home-reno waste, etc.
Being mindful of our carbon footprint is the first step to finding ways of reducing it. These gas mileage apps allow you to track the amount of gas you’re using and compare your fuel economy and efficiency over a period of time. As you continue to record your gas usage, the app organizes the data, providing you with practical statistics you can use to minimize your gas-fueled carbon footprint (and save money!).
This app allows you to measure and record the amount of water, electricity, and gas your home consumes from month to month, enabling you to track the effectiveness of your efforts towards lowering consumption. Being able to measure your energy consumption is the first step towards setting goals to reducing it.
Seafood Watch [http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/our-app]
This app provides you with information on how to choose sustainable seafood by providing detailed information on the source and sorting types into “Best Choice,” Good Alternative,” or “Avoid” rankings. There is also a GPS feature that can point you in the direction of ocean-friendly businesses in your area. Note, however, that this app tends to be more U.S.-centric (but still very useful for Canadians!).
This eco social-networking app works as your green-living companion, awarding you points for everyday eco actions, like using a reusable mug to get your coffee (5 points). You are able to follow your friends and neighbours to learn about their approach to green living, and share your own stories to inspire others. JouleBug also links with your utility bills to show you how much your efforts are reducing your carbon footprint (and saving you money).
Although Ecobee is more than just an app – it requires special technology installed in your home – it’s just too darn cool not to mention in this list! With the Ecobee system, you are able to control your home’s temperature remotely from your phone – which means, for example, turning the heat on 20 minutes before you arrive home, rather than leaving it on all day for fear of coming home to a cold house.
Do you have a favourite sustainability app you’d like to share with the AHAALiving.com community? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Originally posted, October 9th 2014