News Column

Sustain a Green Lifestyle Via These Apps

Oct. 10, 2012

Reid Kanaley

Green Apps

Smartphone applications could help you reduce your carbon footprint, or at least get you thinking and talking about it.

GreenBuilder magazine, by YUDA Media, is an iPhone tool for downloading free back issues of GreenBuilder, with attached videos that are for homeowners as well as builders and remodelers. Subjects recently covered by the magazine include how to make a concrete countertop, "eco-leadership," the rebuilding of New Orleans, and the technology of green windows, walls, and sustainable dirt.

With an issue of the magazine open, you can choose to read the text as printed, or switch to plaintext version and increase the font size.

Want to find an environmentally minded resort in Aruba, Germany, Kenya or the U.S.A.? Green Globe is a free travel app for Android and Apple that certifies participating hotels, meeting sites, and attractions around the world as, among other things, being managed with sustainability in mind.

Choose a country and see establishments that Green Globe has approved as complying with relevant safety and labor laws, abiding by "fair trade" principles, and respecting the local community. If you like what you find, you can book your event or vacation through the app.

GreenITers Mobile, for Android and Apple, by Fullcircle Innovations, is a free app for joining an online "eco-innovations community" to share news and investigate gadgets and technology in green jobs, electric vehicles, climate change, and related subjects.

EcoChallenge, billed as a way to take steps toward "sustainability in your life," is a free iPhone app from Raureif GmbH. The project is an initiative of the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany.

One set of challenges in the app asks you to eat less meat and to convince others to do likewise. Another suggests a food shopping trip in which you bring home no plastic. And if you do end up with a plastic bag, you reuse it at least three times. If you tap to accept a challenge, use the app to register your progress and share your effort on Facebook.

Source: (c)2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by MCT Information Services.