You did everything by protocol—hosted a clothes swap party, shopped at thrift stores, purchased canvas shopping totes, recycled paper and reused all your water bottles for flower vases. But despite all your efforts to save money and live an eco-friendly lifestyle, you had a moment of weakness and blew all your money on a shiny new smart phone. Instead of living in shame, treat your phone as an investment. Here are some neat apps that can help you continue on your mission to live green and might even save you a few bucks along the way.
Carbon Meter This application is especially designed for Android users. It keeps track of all your personal eco-friendly activities such as running, walking, biking, and logs in the amount of CO2 emissions you’ve saved. Carbon savings levels are rewarded with coupons provided by sponsors. The more carbon levels you save, the greater the amount and the value of the coupons. And we all know the power of a coupon when trying to save money. This app also includes recycling center location information, so you can find the nearest spot to deposit your goods. Cost: Free
Greenpeace Tissue Guide This app, now available to both iPhone and Android users, provides information regarding the best recycled tissue products and brands—in turn-helping you save hundreds of trees. There are more than 100 featured products to browse from, ranging from different paper products such as toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, and facial tissues. Ideally you can compare prices as well, helping you select not only the most green paper products, but also the cheapest. The app also has a little blurb about certain brands that need improvement and brands to avoid altogether. Cost: Donation
Green Gas Saver This green application is designed especially for iPhone users. It monitors your car’s fuel efficiency and “warns you if you are driving too fast or turning too hard.” There is a scoring system that allows you to evaluate your driving habits. The application challenges you become a better, efficient driver, which in turn can save you a bundle on gas money. Cost: Free
Eco Buzz Widget This widget is for Android users. It is designed to help you stay educated about the condition of the environment by providing world news headlines pertaining to green issues. It even guides you on how to make your lifestyle more sustainable by providing tips on where to buy “the coolest, organic threads” and how to select a car that will have the least impact on the environment. Cost: Free
Whole Foods Market Recipes Eating green while being surrounded by nothing but greasy fast-food restaurants near your dorm can be a challenge. But making your own meals can be cheaper and a healthier choice. This handy iPhone application provides numerous tasty recipes from Whole Foods Market. You can filter by categories such as “budget” and “quick & easy” to help you save money and time; or find recipes with ingredients you already have at home using the “on-hand” feature. You can also search for special recipes, including gluten-free, low fat, and vegetarian/vegan. Cost: Free
This guest post is contributed by Olivia Coleman, who writes on the topics of online colleges and universities. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.