I thought I would share five smartphone apps that I like with you and mention another one for my vegetarian friends.. They’re either free or very cheap and they make it easier to live a little more greenly,if I can coin a term. (Note:iP—Apple app store;Dr—Android Market)
iRecycle ( iP,Dr free) – Identifies more than 800,000 locations to dump,er.,I mean recycle that stuff we shouldn’t have bought can no longer use. For those of you who don’t have a smartphone and so need to plan ahead,the earth911.com site provides the same information.
Seefood Watch (iP,Dr free) – You can enter the fish you’re looking at in the store and see whether it is rated “best choice,” “good alternative,” or “avoid.” Or you can browse the categories and identify what you want to buy. The guides can be quite helpful before you walk into the store or when you’re in a restaurant and have to make a choice. However,sometimes it raises more questions than it answers. For example,with all kinds of bluefish ranked “ok” but not Atlantic Pollock from Norway,is the server or store clerk likely to know where his or her blues come from. Still I love it.
Harvest (iP $2.99) – I especially like the “pesticide residue” gauge that comes with (almost) every fruit or vegetable. (A high proportion of residue suggests that it might be a good idea to buy organic if you can;otherwise clean extra thoroughly.) Suppose you come across Dragon Fruit in the store,but don’t know anything about it. The guide tells you what indicates ripeness and over-ripeness and notes that it will ripen after purchase – so don’t worry if it’s not yet ripe.
GoodGuide (iP,Dr free) – Want to get a quick fix on a product? Press the scan button,point you iPone’s lens at the products barcode label and click. Goodguide comes back with details about the product and its green rating. Or,you can plan your shopping trip by looking up the products you’re interested in in its 82,000 product guide (neatly categorized,as you would expect).
Central Park (iP,1.99) – The app,created by the Central Park Conservancy,is your guide to all things Central Park – or so,at least,it seems to me. It has a small,but scrollable map with a gazillion markers,some,like bathrooms,very useful for someone my age. On some,if you press “point” you will see a photo of the object. I also like the “Sites” tab. I wondered why a particular location was named “Hernshead” and now that I know I’ll leave it to you to find out. Also,there’s an events calendar,which will be helpful in July;my June calendar shows no events,although July and May both do.
VegOut (IP 2.99,Dr 1.89) – Here’s a bonus for my vegetarian friends – yes Carol,I’ll get it for your iPhone. Tell it your location and it will tell you what restaurants,from “veg friendly” to vegan,are in the vicinity. Enjoy.