Top Apps for a Green Dad

Your smartphone can help you live better and save money

With the right apps, your smartphone can be a powerful tool to help your family live more responsibly. Make the most of your data plan, and check out these apps for Android and iOS.

1. Dirty Dozen (Android, iOS)

For dads on a budget, it can be too costly to buy all your produce at specialty stores—but it’s also important to avoid the pesticides and GMO that you’ll wind up consuming at a big box grocery store. Dirty Dozen helps you draw a distinction between the fruits and vegetables that are most often contaminated, and others that are safe to buy from a larger store. It features the “dirty dozen” — the most contaminated fruits and vegetables—as well as the “clean 15”, which are produced with very little pesticide. (Cost: free)

2. GreenMeter (iOS)

This app is a great way to gauge how fuel-efficient your car is. You input a few details about your car, the fuel you use, and the weather, and greenMeter will use your iPhone’s accelerometer to estimate your gas mileage and emissions. Obviously you’ll want to have someone copilot so you can pay attention to
the road, but taking just a few trips with this app is enough to give you an idea of your car’s optimum acceleration, and help you break habits that are costing you money and increasing the environmental impact of your commute. (Cost: $5.99)

3. Green Genie (iOS)

This is a perfect app for dads who like home-improvement projects and getting the whole family involved. Green Genie provides over 100 projects that you and your family can start to make your home greener and save money. It has a database of green-certified products, and great information on the different plastics and their recyclability. It has good ideas for green small businesses, like where to buy phones online and how to cut paper and energy consumption. The tips range from the detailed to the mundane, but there’s more than enough content to keep you busy and save you money. (Cost: $0.99)

4. GoodGuide (Android, iOS)

Nowadays, just about every major consumer product has some sort of green-washing campaign associated with it, and their claims can be difficult to verify. GoodGuide has ratings and information for over 170,000 products, including food, hygiene products, household chemicals, children’s products, and pet food. It rates each item on three indicators: Health, Environment, and Social—so rather than just a company’s assurance that their product is “green”, you get a better idea of the moral implications of each purchase. Some of the information is dependent on companies volunteering the information (such as claims about GMO content), but overall it’s a solid source. (Cost: free)

5. Green Outlet (iOS)

Conserving energy in your home can be difficult if you don’t know what the big drains are; but this app helps you identify the biggest sources of waste in your home. Yes, it’s a good idea to unplug your cell phone charger when you’re not using it, but that may be a tiny drain compared to a malfunctioning or obsolete refrigerator or water heater. Green Outlet will provide an estimate of what all your appliances should be costing you in a month; if the number you get is radically different, you can start looking for the problem appliance and get it fixed. You can also use it to check the energy consumption of a new purchase—a big plasma-screen might seem less attractive when you see how much electricity it will drain in a year. (Cost: $0.99)

[About the author: Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their labrador retriever, Darby.]
[Image: kennymatic]

2 thoughts on “Top Apps for a Green Dad

  • August 13, 2012 at 6:26 am
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    Great apps here. Another one you might try is Recalls Plus – not specifically ‘green’ but it’s an app that alerts parents to any recalls of their kids’ stuff as well as all-important food allergy alerts. It’s free for iphone, ipod, android and it’s a Facebook ad, check out the webpage http://www.recallsplus.com/

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