I’ll be honestI love my smart phone. In fact, I’ve become so dependent on its many uses and functions that I barely remember a time when I couldn’t just click on my Google Maps app to get from point A to point Band now I can’t imagine trying to do so without it! Of course, being only a text or an e-mail away does have its drawbacks: I’m not so fond of this immediate accessibility when I’m alerted to an e-mail at 5 a.m., for example. On top of that, most smart phones (and cell phones in general) aren’t exactly made from eco-friendly materials, however, these superphones aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, according to recently released data from Nielsen, 40 percent of U.S. mobile users own smart phones, and that number is expected to jump to more than 50 percent by the end of this year alone.
Fortunately, phone companies are moving towards greener alternatives in feature mobile and smart phones (for example, the Motorola Citrus and the Samsung Replenish Android smart phones are made out of recycled and recyclable material). And for those of us who haven’t yet upgraded to an eco-friendlier option? Next time you go to check out the latest apps available, see what green apps you can make use of. Whether you’re looking for the nearest location to recycle your current phone once it’s time for an upgrade, or an easy-to-use green shopping guide, if you’re looking to make planet-friendlier and smarter choices, there’s likely an app for it. Here are a few to get you started:
GoodGuide Available for both Android and iPhone systems, this app makes shopping for green products a breeze. Simply scan the barcode of any product from any store, and GoodGuide will pull up its health and environmental ratings, its effect on ecosystems and local economies, and the environmental and social responsibility of the company. Understanding confusing product claims and ingredients lists doesn’t get much easier than this! (Free, goodguide.com)
GreenTips Tip-of-the-day apps are a dime a dozen in the world of smart phones, but this one just may become your family’s favorite. Parents receive their daily tip, while your child is entertained with green quizzes and games–making this app a win-win situation for the whole family. ($0.99, itunes.apple.com)
iRecycle From car batteries to computer monitors, this handy app (available on both iPhone and Android systems) uses your location to search its database of 800,000 recycling programs and centers, covering more than 240 types of items, to find a recycling resource near you. (Free, earth911.com/irecycle)