Recommended Sustainability Apps to Track and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

carbontracker_appThere are apps that are designed to measure business and individual carbon footprint from daily activities. These apps not only identify the environmental costs of your business activity, they also suggest ways to reduce your energy usage and other activities that you can do at home or work to reduce your carbon footprint.  Here are some recommended carbon tracking apps for business and individuals:

  • Carbon Track by SAP gives users an estimate of the CO2 emissions associated with key business activities such as travel, electricity  usage, and waste disposal and helps them understand their environmental impact.  For example, users can calculate the environmental impact of their next business trip and compare the CO2 emissions of different forms of travel.
  • Carbon Tracker by Softzilla is an iphone app that helps businesses measure carbon with certain business activities such as with different modes of transportation, switching off different types of office equipment and carbon effects of business waste.
  • Green Outlet is similar to Carbon Track but is designed for residential use.  Green Outlet helps homeowners discover which of their household appliances use the most electricity, predict their monthly electricity bill, and make informed decisions about their electricity use.  The app will also alert users when they have exceeded US guidelines for recommended carbon usage and connects users to options for purchasing carbon offsets.
  • Green You can help individuals take steps toward greener living.  Users begin by entering basic information about topics such as transportation, food, and housing to calculate their carbon footprint.  The app then helps users identify specific actions they can take for greener living.  The app tracks progress over time.

Contact us for more information on how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint and improve your environmental impact.

Sustainability Green Apps That Can Save The Planet And Save You Money Too

Our smart phones and tablets are becoming a big part of our daily lives and not only are they great for texting and taking photos but they can also be used to help us achieve our goals for environmental responsibility.  We have listed four green apps that are useful resources that we encourage you to check out.  Perhaps you can use them to improve your own environmental footprint and maybe save some money too!

GoodGuide goodguide.com (free)

“The GoodGuide app instantly reveals whether products are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible while you shop. The app’s barcode scanning feature lets you quickly access GoodGuide’s science-based health, environment and social ratings for over 170,000 products. GoodGuide’s personalization features enable you to choose the issues you care about most – like nutritional value, safe and healthy ingredients, animal welfare, human rights, climate change, energy efficiency, and more. The app will then inform you whether products pass or fail on your key criteria. By making information about consumer products transparent, GoodGuide’s mission is to help you shop your values wherever you shop.”

iRecycle earth911.com (free)

“iRecycle can tell you how, where and when to recycle just about anything. Using your current location, ZIP code, address or city, get access to vital details for collection points, such as Web site, phone number, directions, hours of operation and other materials collected.”

iViro envirolytics.ca (free)

“Save money and reduce your home’s environmental impact quickly and cheaply by completing a full home energy analysis and getting results on the best places in your home to make energy saving changes.  Perform your own quick or detailed energy analysis with no prior technical experience. Get heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and appliance energy consumption break downs with yearly cost and CO2 emission estimates. Upgrade and retrofit suggestions include yearly savings, economic projections, payback period and information about various energy saving alternatives.”

Locavore locavo.re (free)

“Based on your phone’s GPS location, Locavore will make searching for in-season, local food a breeze by pinpointing farms and farmers’ markets nearest you. Read all about them on their profile page, find that specific local item you have been looking for or just check out what’s in-season right now. Plus, you can get recipe suggestions to make with your delicious local food and then, brag about it to all your friends through Facebook.”

If you have used, or know of apps that support the environment and sustainability, we would love to hear about it.

Recommended Green Apps: Rating your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Eco Easy Home is an app that is a guide to rate your homes energy and eco-efficiency. It is intended for people who are buying a new home and want to assess its eco-efficiency and/or your current home to do some green home improvements. The app uses a scoring system of a variety of factors to rate a home in terms of its energy efficiency and sustainable design.  The rating system has a series of questions and based on those answers a score is assessed.

One of the cool features is house orientation which determines how much sun or natural heating you have.  This then let’s users calculate the solar gain of a particular property. The app is pretty user friendly and easy to navigate around. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to do a quick energy audit, this app might be a good option. Right now it is only available for the iphone for $4.49.

Employee Engagement Tools: Creating Incentive Programs with Points!

One way to motivate employees to move towards eco-friendly behaviors, is to provide an incentive program for the green actions they perform.  WhiteWave Foods, based in Broomfield, CO, started their own Values in Action program where employees go online to log in everything from their community Involvement, charitable giving, recycling, biking to work and even taking the stairs instead of the elevator!  All these activities are turned into points which are how WhiteWave Responsible Livelihood program quantifies its level of employee participation. These points are then tabulated with employee rewards such as gift cards and other rewards.

WhiteWave created their own internal database to manage their Vales in Action program but you don’t have to. There are two web applications that can do that for you;

Practically Green is a site that allows individuals to track all ‘green’ behaviors they do and equate them with points. It also has a way to tag ‘green’ activities a user would like to do and set goals and calendar reminders. It uses simple gamification methodology so that the points earn up to levels. You can see your points and level against others in the network. This app can be set up for each company customized for the behaviors and activities they want to promote.

One Million Acts of Green is a similar tool to Practically Green in that it does track green activities and behaviors of individuals. This tool is free for Facebook users and for a fee can be set up for each company to customize their own profile with activities.

Green Apps Recommendations

There are some great green apps now available that can help consumers make conscious choices on products and services and improve their green footprint. All these apps are free:

Find Green: This app provides a directory of green retail establishments in your area. It uses the GPS system on Android phones and can direct you to the nearest green establishment from where you are located.

Good Guide: An app that the developers have been working on for years and is very well regarded. You can scan the barcode of a product with your smartphone and it will provide you a sustainability ranking of that company and product.

Fooducate: An app that provides more information on ingredients and labels of food products. It has a rating scale and does offer alternative products that might be better or healthier for you.

Animal Free: Is able to help consumers know which ingredients contain animal products. This is useful for those individuals who want to be completely animal free.

Ecorio: This app also uses the GPS system on your smartphone to track your carbon footprint as you travel. Then, it also provides a quick way to purchase carbon offsets through Google.

PedNav: This is an app that helps plan the best route and transportation option with the activities of your day. It encourages walking and biking instead of a vehicle and helps route the best way to travel.

For a more extensive listing of Green Apps, see Treehuggers list of over 100 green apps.