The 10 Best Apps for a Healthy, Green Lifestyle

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by Katrina Pfannkuch

So, you’re starting off 2012 with a new Smart Phone, fully equipped with must-have applications (apps) like Google Maps, iTunes and Angry Birds. Apps can brighten your day and make life a little easier. Now they can also help you respect the environment!

With technology an ever-growing part of our daily routine, sometimes we forget how it can also simplify our lives by helping us meet important personal goals. If you’ve been meaning to transition to a greener lifestyle but aren’t sure how, try downloading some apps to your mobile phone or laptop for helpful resources on easy, greener ways to manage travel, make purchase decisions and connect to important environmental causes.

GreenMeter – This iPhone/iPod app helps reduce your vehicle’s carbon footprint by monitoring acceleration and providing information about fuel use and engine power in real time. It helps drivers know instantly if they are driving at an efficient cruising speed to help reduce fuel usage and cost, factors that influence environmental impact. GreenMeter costs $5.99 and runs on iOS 2.0 or higher.

iRecycle - This iPhone app was created by Earth911 to provide the most up-to-date information on over 800,000 recycling and disposal centers for more than 240 materials. Check what you want to recycle (automotive, batteries, construction, electronics, garden, glass, hazardous, household, metal, pain, paper, plastic, etc.) and it will identify the appropriate recycling center, when it is open and other relevant information.

IAmGreen – One of the most sustainable apps on the market today, IAmGreen plants a tree for each download to support worldwide reforestation. This organization helps smartphone users eco-fit their devices, allowing control over frequently used settings to extend battery life. It also connects the user with the global movement to save the earth and offers green tips. Available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows. [}(

GoodGuide – The free GoodGuide app provides insider information on products and utilizes a barcode scanner to share important product ratings so consumers can make well-informed, smart purchase choices based on a product’s eco-friendly, safety, health and sustainability ratings. Available for Android and iPhone.

GreenMap – Winner of the 2011 Best of Green Award by Treehugger, this iPhone app does a little bit of everything. It’s a great direct link into a variety of green resources such as farmers’ markets, establishments, structures, heritage sites and gardens. The 10 new sections show different perspectives on green living and how you, personally, can impact the global movement. In addition to providing maps, the app also shows videos, green blog posts, twitter links, widgets and access to the GreenMaps social network.

Project Noah – The Project Noah mobile app harnesses the power of “citizen scientists” everywhere by inviting users to help create a crowd-sourced map of wildlife all over the globe. Users can upload mobile photos of flora and fauna and participate in environmental missions such as helping to plot bird biodiversity or contributing to an international spider survey. Another feature allows users to see what species have been spotted close to where they live. It also has links to beautiful photo galleries to browse wildlife by type.

Love Food Hate Waste – Stocking up on organic fruits and vegetables is great, but if you fail to plan your meals ahead of time you may just waste all that great seasonal bounty. The Love Food Hate Waste app provides recipes from celebrity chefs and includes tips on composting, meal planning and food storage. Just input the ingredients you have in your refrigerator or pantry, specify the number of people you are cooking for, and the app will generate recipe suggestions. It also offers information on what major food retailers are doing to combat their own food waste, helping with more informed purchase decisions.

PedNav – This is a super green, super-smart travel planner. Punch in all of your errands and destinations for the day. Then sit back and relax as PedNav creates an itinerary for you, complete with time-ordered listings and the best means of transportation to get you to each destination. It considers your schedule, the most eco-friendly options of transportation (such as bus or train) and determines your routes so you save time and minimize travel distances.

Commute Greener – This carbon footprint-tracking tool by Volvo monitors your greenhouse-gas emissions based on your weekly travel by bicycle, foot, car or public transport, and encourages you to set reduction targets. It syncs easily with the Commute Greener’s website, which enables the cool social aspect of the tool — comparing your “performance” to others’. Available only for the iPhone.

Pollution – Ever wondered how clean is the air you’re breathing, right now? This free app pulls in real-time air pollution data for 1,380 cities worldwide. Select from different forms of pollution (air, radiation from mobile phone masts, water and earth) and see the results overlaid on a Google map — based on your location, if you let the app locate you by GPS. It’s a great resource for a free app.

Katrina is a content creator, business consultant and strategist, creative block-buster and Reiki Master. Her passion is helping others tap into their personal creative well to inspire positive change in their business and life.

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The 10 Best Apps for a Healthy, Green Lifestyle
by Katrina Pfannkuch

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