5 Apps to Measure (and Reduce) Your Carbon Footprint

iPhones
Photo by Yutaka Tsutano

Exercising, sleeping, cooking, job-hunting… there’s an app for everything nowadays and energy efficiency is no exception. As utility bills creep ever higher and we’re increasingly bombarded with environmental messages, savvy app developers have jumped in to make the whole process of saving the planet a little easier and, in some cases, pretty fun too. Here are five apps to measure and reduce your carbon footprint.

 

Carbon Footprint

(iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: $0.99)

Carbon Footprint is an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows you to track fuel usage for multiple cars. As soon as you have collected data from a few fill ups, statistics will be calculated for you. The statistics that are generated are:

  • Miles per gallon
  • Dollars per gallon
  • Dollars per mile
  • Dollars per day
  • Miles per day
  • Gallons per day
  • Projected Carbon Dioxide emissions per year
  • Percent difference from average American CO2 emission (based on government statistic of an average of 500 gallons of gasoline per American per year)
  • Total carbon emissions to date

As well as being able to generate statistics for all time, the user is also able to see statistics over a specific date range as specifiable in the statistics window. In addition to numbers, the user is also able to tap on any statistic and see it plotted in a chart over time. In this chart view you can see the “Per Fill Up” statistic in RED which is the stat from each tank to the next, and also the “Running Average” for each statistic in BLUE. As for data entry, the user simply has to press the “Edit” button in the “Entries” view, and use the convenient picker-based entry fields to enter the date of the fill up, price paid per gallon, number of gallons, current odometer reading and whether or not the tank was completely filled.

Download Carbon Footprint at iTunes.

 

Zero Carbon

(iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: Free)

Zero Carbon is a global Carbon Footprinting application, going much further than their counterparts in the App Store. It not only lets you know the greenhouse gas emissions that affect the climate and the result of your daily habits of life and work, but it also gives you simple tips to reduce your emissions. You can share your results and future environmental commitments with your Friends in Facebook, better inform yourself on the Carbon Footprint and the goals of how to take care of the planet. It even enables you to support emission reduction projects that will reduce the total impact of your activities. The application contains the following functions:

  • A Personal Carbon Footprint Calculator
  • A list of tasks that may be completed to reduce your carbon emissions
  • A connector for Facebook that lets you share your results with your friends
  • Information about yourself with world averages
  • Q & A with information everyone should know
  • An offset tool that enables you to reduce your carbon emissions financially supporting the development of certified projects to reduce carbon emissions throughout the world
  • You can create a user account for personal offset or give a gift of “avoided carbon tons” to reduce the emissions of another person

Download Zero Carbon at iTunes.

 

CarbonTrack

(iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: Free)

The specially designed CarbonTrack app is designed to give you a rough idea of the CO2 emissions caused by some of your key daily business activities – travel, electricity usage and waste – and their associated environmental impact. With CarbonTrack you can:

  • Measure the environmental effects of a typical business journey – and compare it with different modes of transport
  • Calculate the potential electricity savings from switching off different types of office equipment
  • Measure the environmental effects of different types of business waste

While the data provided in CarbonTrack is for demonstration purposes only, it is intended to give you an idea of how easy it is to measure and monetize greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts across your entire internal operations and supply chain using the SAP Carbon Impact on-demand solution.

Download Carbon Track at iTunes.

 

Ecorio

(Android: Free)

Ecorio utilizes the GPS system on the phone to track your carbon footprint as you travel. It calculates what kind of impact you make on the move, gives you what kind of footprint you’re making right then, and what kind of footprint you may make annually if your habits stay consistent. Once you see what your footprint looks like, the application then gives you ideas for taking action through reducing heavy impact travel, inspiring you to try greener options or by purchasing carbon offsets through Google Checkout. You simply click on the field “What if I…” and by selecting an option, you can see by how much you’re able to reduce your footprint right then.

Ecorio can even follow your driving habits through GPS and can let you know how efficiently you’re driving. Say you aren’t driving all that efficiently, and would rather skip it all together. Ecorio can recommend public transportation options via Google Transit. Or, it can hook you up with Zimride to find you folks to carpool with.

The app is also interactive — you can share tips and tricks with other users. Find out what other Ecorio users have recently done to reduce and share what actions you’ve taken.

Download Ecorio at Android Tapp.

My Planet

(Android: Free)

My Planet lets you see how your day-to-day choices you make impact your little slice of the planet. First, personalize your world and make it your own. Then we’ll quiz you to figure out how clean and green you are. Your answers will subtly impact the world you’ve created.

  • Earn badges
  • Get helpful tips
  • Share your achievements on Facebook
  • Answer 10 initial questions, and then 1 per day
  • See how your actions continue to shape the world

Saving the planet might be your top priority, but protecting your mobile device against malware and other malicious files should be close to the top of your priority list, too. Too many apps running in the background can slow down performance—not to mention introduce vulnerabilities that leave your device open for attack. Protect your device with mobile security software so you can carry on with saving the planet with confidence.

Download My Planet at Google Play.