The smart phone app is exploding in use with over 25 million apps downloaded just on Christmas Day. The Apple App Store is estimated to have shattered all previous records achieving 11 billion app downloads during 2011 and Android achieved 10 billion cumulative app downloads by year-end 2011.
Apps have gone green enabled by the QR code. Using a green app, consumers can take a picture of a product’s QR code on its packaging or, increasingly, in magazine ads and access a range of data on price, nutritional value, NGO assessments and consumer ratings.
One app I use is GoodGuide. It has data on over 50,000 products.
Monterey Bay Aquarium SeaFood Watch is one I use because of the uncertainty over the authenticity of seafood products. A recent Consumer Reports article reported that “Americans spent $80.2 billion on seafood last year… but they aren’t always buying what they think they are. More than one-fifth of 190 pieces of seafood we bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were mislabeled as different species of fish, incompletely labeled, or misidentified by employees.” The Seafood Watch app provides both a seafood guide and a sushi guide. Monterey Abalone Company is one of Seafood Watch’s best picks and this interview with owner Trevor Fay shows the quality of this app’s analysis.
The Light Bulb Finder is an EPA winner. It “…makes it easy to switch from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents with the right fit, style and light quality.” The average household wastes $120 per year using energy inefficient light bulbs. This free app helps you save money and get the type of light bulb that provides the amount and quality of lighting that will work best in your various in-home locations.
Since, on average, we spend $75 on a tank of gasoline for a week of driving, the Green Gas Savers is a free app that suggests driving behavior improvements that save money and reduce emissions. My experience driving the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf with similar in-dash systems is that this type of feedback really works without reducing the driving experience.
So what are your favorite green apps? Are they the ones I listed here? Do you have ones we all should hear about?
Post a comment providing the name of your favorite green app with a link to the app and tell us how it is making a difference in your life and the environment. We will tally the comments and provide another post listing the green apps you think are the most helpful.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of best practices for making money going green. His coaching of hundreds of business owners through the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Green Builds Business program sponsored by Walmart is creating projects that are restoring jobs, the economy and the environment.