When you think of things such as technology and the environment, the two things don’t seem to mix and add up. After all, isn’t technology the bane of the environment? If today’s efforts are seen, it’s not always necessarily the case. In fact, it appears a lot of focus is now being placed on making technological advancements that are sustainable and efficient at the same time. Another example of this is the prevalence of various technological and environmental apps that can help you achieve and live green.
A lot of concerns are raised towards using technology for the benefits of the environment due to the various implications of their conception, implementation, and maintenance. Technology tends to consume a lot of resources or tend to over-use the environment for their benefit, such as in the case of creating batteries that were based on materials that can harm the environment or farming technology such as fertilizers that improve yields at the expense of the local environment. Some technology also have harmful byproducts, such as when refrigeration technology can produce toxic gases for the atmosphere, or problems regarding efficient disposal of technology as they either decompose over a long period of time and may even harm the environment in the process.
If you’re into integrating green living with technology, here’s a few apps to get you started:
1.) greenMeter (iPhone, iTouch) is the application for green drivers. If you’ve ever wondered just how efficient and eco-friendly your driving is, you can use greenMeter for this very purpose. The app is slowly becoming very popular with a lot of drivers who want to constantly be in-the-know when it comes to their mileage and the kind of fuel consumption their cars are making. This allows them to see real time just how much fuel they might be wasting even for things such as accelerating from a red light. The app also allows drivers to analyze their MPG over time, provide helpful feedback on fuel efficiency, and if you might need tuning up.
2.) iRecycle (Android, iPad, iOS) is the application for those who want green information on the go, especially on places where they can recycle. The app is the portable and handier version of the Earth911 initiative, which in itself is a great resource of information on environmental conservation and sustainability. iRecycle allows users to quickly identify places where they can recycle, or even identify the nearest recycling stations and organizations from their current location. It’s like Google Maps, complete with driving directions and information such as business hours and contact details. It even has handy recycling tips and news.
3.) Seafood Watch (iPhone, Android) is perfect for seafood lovers who want to make sure the food they’re eating isn’t just delicious but sustainable as well. Seafood Watch is from the folks at Monterey Bay Aquarium and they have made it much easier for people to make smarter choices with seafood. The various interactive features of the app allows users to find answers to questions such as whether or not eel sushi is sustainable, or if they should buy tuna or the halibut in their location. Features also include identifying sustainable seafood shops and restaurants.
4.) A Real Tree (iTunes) is a 99 cent-purchase that is dedicated for a cause. Each time someone buys and installs the app for that amount will have a tree planted in real time, and it’s through this app that various groups and thousands of trees have already been planted thanks to organizations such as the United Nation’s Billion Tree Campaign or Trees for the Future. This goes to show that you don’t necessarily have to make an app with a ton of features to live green.
5.) GoodGuide (iPhone, Android) is the handy guide for someone who wants to keep their shopping sustainable and eco-friendly. It’s confusing enough that you have to shop and there are a ton of brands of things to choose from, but GoodGuide can point you towards the brand that is the most eco-friendly. All you need is to scan a barcode, and the app informs you of a product’s particular environmental footprint. This lets you sift through your brands and identify which ones you should probably support, which ones are green, and which ones are green “washing.”
Conclusion: It’s All About The Point
Living green doesn’t necessarily mean giving up technology and modern practices. In fact, going green can actually mean being able to enjoy aspects of daily life with your green habits. This might seem hard on the get go, but if the above has anything to share, it’s that technology and going green can actually work given the right effort. These applications can help you be more green and at the same time retain access to the various benefits of modern technology. This goes to show that going green and going techie can really go hand in hand.
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