8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

Being sustainable isn’t just about recycling with your garbage collection company and buying fuel efficient automobiles; it should be a part of everyday life. Thankfully, there’s plenty of data out there that can help you with things like selecting sustainable foods, non-toxic sunscreens and environmentally friendly forms of transportation. Best of all, this data can be accessed via your pocket in the form of a smart phone app. Here are 8 of our favorite apps, in no particular order, that can help you live more sustainably.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

iRecycle
This free iPhone app by Earth911 will assist you in finding a recycling center no matter where you are or what items you’re looking to properly dispose of. iRecycle works by allowing users to type the name of an item into the app and then directs them to an area recycling facility that accepts such items for recycling. It’s estimated that only one of every five plastic bottles is recycled and that Americans annually throw out enough trash to fill the state of Texas twice over. These apps can help reduce that as well as the recyclables that are picked up by your garbage collection company.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

GreenYou
Calculate whether you are making a positive impact on the planet with the GreenYou app, available on Android and iPhone for only 99 cents. Punch in the amount of water you use, your daily activities at home, work and how you travel week to week and find out what your carbon footprint is on Earth. Knowing how much carbon you use, you can then figure out a plan to adjust your daily activities and do your part in saving the planet.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

Sunscreen Guide
Who knew that wearing sunscreen, while good for your skin, could be hazardous to the environment? Well, it is, but like everything else these days—there’s an app for that. The free EWG Sunscreen Guide app works for iPhone and Android mobile devices and will dish on the ingredients of the sunscreen you wear so you can make a more educated decision about your sunblock and how it impacts the environment. You can even look up sunscreens by brand to see what’s the best and worst kind to purchase.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

Locavore
Look out ravenous locavores, your dream app has arrived. Available to download for free on both the iPhone and Android smartphones, Locavore is an easy to use app that locates the farmers markets, local farms that sell all of the organic, local, fresh produce and homemade foods you love. Also, this app allows passionate foodies to share recipes with each other.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

Seafood/Produce Watch
Who knew that seafood could be sustainable? But yes, what you eat also has an impact on the environment. In terms of seafood, it’s how it’s caught, processed, transported and prepared. A free iPhone and Android app released by Monterey Bay Aquarium helps seafood lovers decide which option is the most eco-friendly to eat. Options are broken down into regions, so no matter where you live, you’re covered. In a similar app approach, developers have created the FreshFixNYC app, which helps connect New Yorkers with area farmer’s markets so they can buy fresh, eco-friendly and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Green Mileage
This free Android app helps you to better understand how many miles per gallon your car is running. Enter in the amount of fuel you buy at each fill up and this app will calculate the mileage your car’s getting. After some time, you can start to see how you can decide whether to go with a hybrid or electric car, cut down your daily drive and hopefully reduce the amount of gas your car uses. Seeing how much you spend in gas everyday will help you to save money, while doing your part to save the planet at the same time. If you’re sick of always being alone in the car, consider signing up with ridesharing community Zimride, which uses social networks to connect you to other riders who are be going to the same place.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

GoodGuide
This free app, available on Android and iPhone, helps you to be a smart shopper. GoodGuide will help you find eco-friendly stores and offers health, environmental and social ratings and on products, restaurants, stores, and services. It also comes with an easy to use barcode scanner so you can compare prices for products as well.

8 Smartphone Apps for Sustainable Living

image via Treehugger

Visibility
Sunny days are here again, and more so since Visibility allows Android users to read the levels of atmospheric visibility through accelerometer sensors. Simply take a picture of the sky and this app will give you a  reading that will help you to better understand the levels of pollutants in the air that might be affecting how you breathe and live day to day.

Using these apps can make you feel better about using your smartphone device perhaps a bit too much sometimes and can allow you to do something good for the environment at the same time.

Guest post by Pete Phelps. Pete writes about the entertainment scene on the West Coast. As an LA native, he’s equally frustrated with and thrilled by the growth he sees in LA.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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