By: By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau
Many people want to do a good turn for the environment but simply are overwhelmed by the flood of green data, products and services.
Download some iPhone apps and those daily decisions become simpler.
Here are some picks to help you sniff out green businesses and restaurants, cut the impact of commuting, and track home energy consumption:
• Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide (http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/forests/tissueguide) -- Who knew that picking the right toilet paper could be fraught with trouble? Greenpeace comes to the rescue with an app to choose the greenest brand of paper towels, toilet tissue, and napkins.
• iRecycle (http://earth911.com/iphone/) -- Search among 110,000 recycling centers to dispose of everything from oil and paper to electronics.
• CouponSherpa (http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/) and Youza (http://www.getyowza.com/) -- Delete the paper from coupon clipping by downloading coupons and present them digitally upon check out.
• GoodGuide(http://www.goodguide.com/about/mobile) --Scan bars codes at the store and instantly find out how green products are before making a purchase. The application rates 50,000 products in multiple categories, including food, household chemicals and toys.
• VeganXpress (http://www.branberger.com/Branberger_Apps/VeganXpress.html)-- Hunt down vegan fare at well-known restaurants. And VegOut (http://vegoutapp.com/) zeros in on vegan restaurants based on a person's location. Its reach is international.
• Canada's Seafood Guide (http://www.seachoice.org/page/guides) -- Assuage your guilt about eating seafood by opting for the most sustainable fish at the fish counter or at your favorite sushi spot.
• Bike Your Drive (http://www.rei.com/bikeyourdrive) --Find an incentive beyond gas savings to swap four wheels for two. The app calculates routes and your average speed, along with the calories you're burning. You also can geotag photos you shoot en route to your destination.
• iTrans (http://itrans.info/) -- Find train stations, look at maps, and keep up with delays and other needs associated with public transit. In addition to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the app covers other major cities, including New York, Chicago, and Washington. A similar app, Next Train (http://thenexttrain.com/iphone#marc_schedules) brings up train schedules 14 days in advance for 16 agencies, including BART and Caltrain.
• Carticipate (http://www.carticipate.com/) -- Connect with folks driving your way so you can coordinate plans and share your rides.
• AccuFuel (http://www.appigo.com/accufuel/) -- Monitor fuel efficiency and zero in on the driving habits that affect your fuel efficiency. And GreenMeter (http://hunter.pairsite.com/greenmeter/) evaluates driving habits, along with computing gas and power use and the effect of things like speed, acceleration, and aerodynamic drag on your efficiency.
• AroundMe (http://www.tweakersoft.com/mobile/aroundme.html) and Nearby (http://platial.com/iphone/nearby) -- Locate venues around you. For example, find a movie, a sushi joint, or an emergency room close to where you're standing, rather than driving around randomly.
• Hunt down other travel app that best fits your needs at http://www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-everything/traveling.html
• Kill-O-Watts (http://appadvice.com/app/330311949) -- Measure various appliances to see how much electricity they're consuming. Based on those figures, you can decide when and how much to use a given appliance.
• Green Charging (http://appshopper.com/utilities/green-charging) -- Save power and energy by making sure you don't overcharge your mobile phone.
Research and shop for green apps that best fit your needs at: