What better way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) than making a change for the good of the environment? The following apps help you monitor and modify your habits to make them more eco-awesome. Categories from driving to recycling to shopping help transform your lifestyle to a brighter, more solid shade of green.
1. greenMeter will measure your car's power and fuel usage, while also assessing your driving. Using your iPhone's accelerometer to monitor forward acceleration and user-entered data, this app will help increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption (and cost), and lessen your environmental impact. Start eco-driving today. ($5.99 for Apple)
2. Ecorio tracks your carbon footprint, and what your contribution to global warming really is (in pounds). Want to know what would happen if you changed your travel habits? The app will tell you just how much you could reduce that influence (and how much gas you could save) if you jumped on the train, pedaled that bike or carpooled once in a while. The app even lets you purchase a carbon offset to reduce that greenhouse gas. (Free for Android)
3. iRecycle, from Earth911, pinpoints recycling locations and options near you. Punch in your ZIP code, address or city and, like magic, this thing will list local collection points' addresses (and directions), phone numbers, hours and the materials they'll take. It'll blow your mind; the app gives you more than 1.5 million ways to recycle and do Earth some good. (Free for Android and Apple)
4. GoodGuide is your pocket resource for safe, healthy, green and ethical products on your shopping list, which will be at the top of its class with this app. By scanning barcodes, you can discover environmental (and health and social performance) ratings for merchandise, from food to household products. (Free for Android and Apple)
5. One Small Act is part of NBCUniversal's "Green is Universal" sustainability initiative. And it's all about making a change in your life to benefit the environment. With green tips and eco-friendly suggestions, you can set goals—to achieve one small act (or a few) so you can make your contribution toward a healthier planet. (Free for Android and Apple)
6. RecycleBank.com's mission is simple: go green and get rewards. For free, you can become a member, earn points by making your lifestyle more eco-friendly with the site's suggested green actions (such as home recycling and sustainable sourcing), and reap the benefits (with rewards such as discounts on groceries, gift cards and more), all while helping the planet. The associated blog, Live Green, is an added bonus, an article-based resource for an eco-conscious lifestyle.
7. EcoChallenge is your solution and mentor for sustainability in your maybe not-so-green routine. It will challenge you (every week) to tweak your habits and become more environmentally aware and considerate. Start moving in the right direction, the eco-friendly direction, to a greener world by learning about sustainability topics and pushing yourself to make a change. (Free for Apple)
8. Green Genie will guide you to achieve green goals and help you develop an eco-friendly lifestyle with its green tips and database of projects and resources (more than 100), not to mention its glossary of green terminology, links to reading and green websites, and a list of green organizations. The app shares the environmental benefits and, bonus, how much money you can save by changing certain daily practices. "It's like getting a master's degree in sustainability." (Free for Apple)