Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

phone apps to help you live greener

It's no secret - I love my phone. From keeping up with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to actually making phone calls (!), I use it to stay in touch with family and friends. But I also use it to keep myself organized, or as I lovingly call it, de-hotmessing myself. These days, if I don't write something down, I won't remember it.

But I also want to stay as paperless as possible. And that's where my army of apps comes in. I use a few different apps to keep to-do lists, grocery lists, and work and personal commitments handy and in my face.

My favorite is Todoist. My company uses a web-based project management app, and I decided to look for a personal task management app to help me stay on top of Eco Cajun post content and scheduling. (Otherwise, y'all would seriously get posts once a month.) After doing some research, I chose Todoist and got cracking. I started off creating a project for Eco Cajun and adding tasks and due dates under it. And then I realized I needed to-do lists for all aspects of my life, and now Todoist functions as my personal organizer and mom telling me everything I need to do each day. (To be totally honest, I use it for household chores as well.) And it feeds my ego a bit, because when I've completed all of my tasks, it gives me reinforcement! The app syncs across the web, desktop apps and a mobile app/widget. Y'all. I love it. It saves so much paper and mess inside my purse trying to keep myself organized, plus I can't lose pieces of paper or forget them at home or work.


Google Keep is mainly my grocery/shopping list buddy, though it functions as more than just a list app. It's a very small tool built inside Google Drive, but it also syncs between the web and mobile versions. Best part? Checkboxes! I get the satisfaction of crossing items off my grocery list, without having to waste paper. I've used other grocery list apps, but didn't like them very much. And some apps aren't free! I am all about the free. (And PS, I totally use Pinterest to bookmark all my recipes, and then use the pins when it comes time to cook. It's way easier than printing tons of recipes out, and I don't spill food all over my phone, like I've done with paper recipes!)


Google Calendar also replaces needing to carry around a planner all the time and I use it for everything from work and civic commitments to important dates to remember to personal commitments to gym schedules. Phew! I'm tired just thinking about it.

Beyond organizational apps that sync across my phone and laptop and reduce the need for paper waste, there are apps dedicated to actually helping you be greener. I've found these through research, so I can't personally endorse how well they work! Check back in the future though. ;)

The EPA has a list of different types of green apps and includes platform and price information. They no longer update the list, but there's a pretty good database available.

GoodGuide helps you find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products while you're out shopping, allowing you to be an eco-conscious consumer. It's available for both iPhone and Android.

Locavore helps you find local, in-season food and guides you to nearby farmer's markets, allowing you to get fresh, local food without having to do a ton of research in advance. Farmstand is a similar app, but it's only for iPhone, while Locavore is for both platforms.

Oroeco is focused on helping you reduce your carbon footprintt. By entering your actions, the app can put a value on each to tell you how much it impacts the planet. From there, you can compare with others, or simply learn how to adjust your habits so you have a smaller impact on the environment (from using less paper towels to not burning off as much fuel.)

One Small Act is made by Practically Green and syncs between your desktop and phone. It turns environmentalism into a game and helps teach you how to live a greener lifestyle. You can also join projects and make pledges to change small habits.

GreenMeter helps to provide measurement and analyze building efficiency and energy consumption. It also tracks your progress toward meeting efficiency goals.

CommuteGreener is powered by Volvo and helps you find find alternative ways to commute to work. It seems to be limited to a few cities, but can be inspirational for people in any city to look for alternative options.

Rippl is a free app that sends weekly green living tips, helping you get into the habit of greener practices. Although I haven't used it, you could imagine it's like having a tiny me on your shoulder, tapping you each time I see where you could be doing something greener, from using cloth bags to not using paper towels. (Just what you dream of, I'm sure!)

And FYI, while there's no Eco Cajun app (YET! Uh ohhh...what did I just get myself into!?), this blog is mobile-friendly, so you can read me anywhere! And you can subscribe to receive blog posts via email, which I know you can receive on your phone! ;)

Do you use any green apps? Which ones are your favorite?

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