In this world of high tech wizardry we surround ourselves in everyday, it is easy to forget about the environmental impact our increased productivity has. Indeed, it is not just important, but necessary that we as a consumerist society take stock of the greater ecological toll the manufacturing, production, global distribution, and waste disposal our favourite devices takes on the planet. If we accept that the future is not somehow a sharp, anti-Luddite reversal in the opposite direction, then we must reach a stage of compromise between our newly-enhanced lives, thanks to technology, and ways to manage our gadgets in sustainable ways going forward.
We have known that laptops use far less electricity than desktop PCs (thanks to the low-power consumption of space age technology, which we would not have if not for manned missions to the moon), but nowadays so much of our electronic usage takes place on mobile. With that in mind, let us take a look at five apps that are making our lives more sustainable.
This app innovatively uses its global positioning systems and accelerometers in concert to essentially act as an environmentally-friendly backseat-driving computer companion. That is to say, using several data points, including the cost of fuel, weather conditions, vehicle weight and more, the app calculates if you are accelerating at a rate that burns more fossil fuels than necessary. Not only will this reduce your costs at the pump, but this enables you to drive a greener vehicle too.
Ever been stuck with something you suspected was recyclable, or was even marked as such, but you were not sure where or how to get it into the right hands? Earth911 is here to the rescue with this this app that works on both major mobile platforms – Android and iOS – to help out of the pickle of not knowing where to take your recyclables. There are location collection points for pain, electronics, and automotive parts alike.
This free app for iPhones galvanizes groups of people or individuals to recycle aluminium cans by monetizing our good deeds. In revealing the nearest recycle centres and tracking how much you’ve recycled, this tool also shows you how much you stand to make by simply doing it!
This inventively spelled app for Android promises to reinvent your typical routes and in the process save you time and fuel! The premise is simple: using a camera and GPS receiver, you leave a trail of technological breadcrumbs, creating a dynamic combination of mapmaking and photo geotagging.
A Real Tree
Less of an app and more of a donation method, this iPhone utility costs a dollar to buy, but that goes towards planting a tree in places like Nicaragua, Haiti, India, and Honduras. In the meantime, the user gets to play with a well-animated interactive tree!