Greening Your iPhone: 10 Great Eco-Friendly Apps


You may love the Earth and all its inhabitants, but a diva is a diva, and an eco diva must have a way to stay in touch with all her people. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t quick to covet the iPhone 3G as soon as I saw the first ad. Thanks to my membership in Walmart’s Elevenmoms, I now own one. And I love it as much as I thought I would.

But given the iPhone’s knack for being able to perform tasks you could never dream of, I knew I could find ways to make it more useful in my everyday journey toward green living. Here are my favorite apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch to make your eco-existence richer. Some are free and some will cost you a buck or two, but all of them have great green benefits:

1. Good Guide

I love this app. Really. Good Guide provides access to ratings for hundreds of products based on their green credentials. This includes toys, food and personal care products. They are rated based on what they are made of, how they are made and whether the companies that make them are socially and environmentally responsible. So if you’re at the grocery store and trying to decide between Dr. Bronner’s and Suave,  Good Guide will help you decide. And if you don’t have an iPhone, you can get the same information directly from the Good Guide website, and you can even send text messages from any mobile phone to learn about the products you’re looking for. I use this app on a regular basis. Free. GoodGuide (aff)

2. 3rd Whale

The 3rd Whale app will help you find green businesses that are nearby. This could be anything from a restaurant that serves vegetarian cuisine to a fair trade retailer or bicycle shop. The four categories available are food, ecotourism, retail and spa/fitness. It has a database of about 30 major cities in the U.S. and Canada, and the app delivers a map and directions to the listings. It also allows users to rate the greenness of a business. Their goal is to offer listings for 1000 cities, and I hope they get there soon. $1.99. 3rdWhale (aff)

3. Dirty Produce

This is for people like me who can’t always afford to buy organic produce. The Dirty Produce app will tell you which produce you should always try to buy organic (read: the ones that contain the highest incidence of pesticides) and which conventionally-grown produce you can get away with buying. If you don’t have an iPhone, you could always download this as a PDF and keep it in your purse or wallet. Free. Dirty Produce (aff)

4. greenMeter

Gas mileage is a very subjective science, and your fuel efficiency is determined, in large part, by what kind of driver you are. greenMeter uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to measure your vehicle’s power and fuel consumption, and it will also help evaluate your driving style. The data, provided in detailed graphs, can help you increase your gas mileage and reduce fuel costs, thereby lowering your environmental impact. It is pretty advanced, but not as complicated as it sounds. That technology will cost you a little, though. $5.99. greenMeter (aff)

5. iRecycle

Even the most dedicated recycler will sometimes need to find out how they can responsibly dispose of old batteries, half-used cans of paint or motor oil. Nonprofit organization Earth911 created the iRecycle app to help users find recycling and disposal locations across the country.Get directions to your nearest recycling centers and find out what they will accept. You’ll have access to more 100,000 recycling and disposal locations for more than 200 materials, and you can get additional information like hours of operation and their Web site. You can even call locations directly from the search results — an incredibly helpful feature. Free. iRecycle (aff)

6. Local Reuse

If you have items that aren’t recyclable or that could be reused by someone, somewhere, LocalReuse will help you find that someone to take it off your hands. It will also help you find these types of items, if you happen to be looking for them. It helps divert objects that would otherwise be bound for the landfill, not to mention it links people with local freebies. To find what’s available in your area, simply enter your zipcode. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can also post and search for local freebies online. Free. Local Reuse (aff)

7. GreenCard

Despite it’s name, this is not an immigration app. GreenCard allows you to share your contact information with other iPhone users — a digital business card, if you will. The Bump app will do much the same thing. However, what I like about this app is that if you modify your card and contact information in the future, anyone who has received it in the past will also receive that update within a minute. Free. GreenCard (aff)

8. A Real Tree

We all know that planting trees is a hallmark of the green movement. But how many of us have actually gone out there and planted a tree. I know I haven’t. For each person who buys A Real Tree, an actual tree will be planted in one of 12 countries that are fighting deforestation. Not a bad deal for less than a dollar, even if the app doesn’t do a whole lot else. $0.99. A Real Tree (aff)

9. GreenSpot

If you like to keep abreast of the latest happenings in the green revolution, you’ll need an app to provide you with that news. GreenSpot allows you to follow the latest green headlines from sources like the New York Times, the Associated Press, and Yahoo! News. You’ll get news on topics like covering keywords like sustainable, renewable, green energy, organic farming and more. $1.99. GreenSpot (Sustainable, Renewable, Green -  podcasts, news, tips) (aff)

10. The Green Lemur

The name sounds a little silly and the icon isn’t much better, but The Green Lemur provides helpful tips for going green every day. Some of the tips are painfully obvious and ones you’ve heard before, like reading eBooks instead of paperbacks, but a lot of them are genuinely helpful. It’s well organized and easy to navigate, so you should have no trouble finding some tips that will lead you to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And that was the point of this whole exercise, so I figured this was a good app to end with. Free. The Green Lemur (aff)

So, iPhone and iPod Touch users, are there any other green apps that I missed? What are they and what is helpful about them? Share your finds in the comments below.

(sponsored opp) – I received the iPhone via the Walmart Elevenmoms program

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By jennae

Hi! I'm Jennae Petersen and I'm the eco diva who had the bright idea to share my journey toward green living with the blogosphere. Some of you may know me as the founder of Green Your Decor, my blog about eco-friendly home decor, as a Walmart Mom, from Twitter or from my organic cotton t-shirt line Differently Clothing. Stick around for a while!

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