While environmentalists will turn off their grid-tied gadgets on Sunday, April 22 for Earth Day, who could fault us for falling back on rechargeable devices? Luckily, there are oodles of planet-friendly activities to pursue on both smartphones and tablets, if we just have the time – and apps aplenty.
Brian Malina, national manager of Digital and Social Media at Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless in Basking Ridge, NJ, has recommended 10 apps to check out on Earth Day. The last five on the list are some quirky and engaging suggestions from us!
Automobile Green: Interested in finding an environmentally-friendly car? This app provides auto news, reviews and links to blogs on the growing green car scene.
Carbon 3R-Sustainable Lifestyle: Access information on simple practices and principles to raise sustainability awareness. Also includes a green news feed.
Environmental Educator: There’s always more to learn and love about our planet. This app offers a new environmental topic each week and short videos daily.
Environment Quiz: Ask and ye shall believe. This quiz app includes questions on the environment, recycling, animals and more.
Green Calculator: Ever wonder how much CO2 is produced by your drive to work, or how much energy your household appliances consume? This app will help you calculate your personal CO2 emission footprint.
Green Dictionary: So what exactly is a carbon footprint? And what does someone mean when they talk about a smart grid? This app provides easy-to-understand definitions for hundreds of green/sustainability terms.
Light Bulb Finder: Get some bright ideas for more energy-efficient lighting in your home. Light Bulb Finder enables you to describe your needs and then makes recommendations for your home, room by room.
My Planet: Welcome to our world! This app will show you how the choices you make every day can influence the environment. It also includes quizzes and helpful tips.
My Recycle List: Everything is disposable, if you do it correctly. My Recycle List can help, providing local contacts to purge anything from plastic to paper to motor oil.
VZ Navigator: Use less gas and get there fast. Check out VZ Navigator.
Planet in a Bottle: This virtual-pet style game puts you in charge of your own planet and population. Control the sun and the rain to keep your population growing and happy. Your planet keeps growing, even if you’re not playing.
Green Driver: Green Driver uses real-time traffic light data to get you from A to B while avoiding red lights wherever possible. You'll save time, gas and money, which is nice. And you'll burn less carbon, keeping the rest of us cool as well. Lights are available in Portland and Eugene, Oregon – and more cities are on the way.
Mosquito Eco Repeller: Our personal favorite, although we haven’t tried it yet. It turns your smartphone into an ultrasound device, sending out high-pitched, 14-20 KHz ultrasound waves that will repel mosquitoes and other nasty insects. (But what about dogs, cats, birds and chipmunks?)
Big Blue Marble: This one comes courtesy of NASA, and the photos are out of this world!
PaperKarma: Simply snap photos of your junk mail and catalogs, tap "unsubscribe," and Paper Karma does the rest. Over the next couple of months, you should see a reduction in the amount of junk mail cluttering your mailbox (and the planet).
Earth Day is an opportunity to be especially responsible, but these applications prove it doesn’t have to be the chore as others may see it.
Edited by Braden Becker