Honor Earth Day with these green Android apps

by Kristen Nicole

We used to simply plant a tree on Earth Day, but in the era of battery-zapping smartphones, increasing carbon emissions and power-hungry home electronics, it seems all the more poignant that we turn to Android apps in search of ways to cherish Mother Earth. Whether you’re looking for a way to cut down on your own energy consumption or you’d like to live more sustainably, there’s an Android app to help you honor Earth Day this year and the next.

TreeHugger (Free)

You’re probably familiar with TreeHugger’s website, with regularly updated articles on eco-friendly lifestyles and sustainability. With a modern spin, TreeHugger is all about finding ways to be green in today’s society. Their free Android app delivers environmental news, along with product information and tips. Filter stories by category, listen to podcasts and see ongoing trends from TreeHugger’s site. See an article you like? Help TreeHugger push for mainstream trends by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.

Find Green (Free)

While eco-friendliness is all the rage, it can still be difficult to find products and services that promote a green lifestyle. Find Green helps you at the local level, with a searchable repository of businesses and resources to help you effortlessly go green. There’s local recycling centers, farmers’ markets and places to purchase green products. With over 100,000 listings, Find Green has one of the biggest databases of green businesses for North America. With this free Android app you can also read news on sustainability from its partners, including CSRwire and Ecomatters.

Meter Readings (Free)

Want to be smarter about your home energy usage? Meter Readings helps you track energy use across your home electricity, heat and water, sending notifications when it’s time to check-in with your meters. You’ll get a charted overview of monthly usage, along with stats for total averages and daily numbers. You can customize the meters you want to track with the app upgrade, setting the interval for individual readings and adding comments. The full version also offers the ability to import and export data, so you can run simulations or chart home energy patterns with a tool of your choice.

My Planet (Free)

You can see how you directly impact the Earth by measuring your carbon footprint, and celebrate Earth Day by finding ways to minimize it. The free My Planet app will show you how your daily activities impact the planet, and encourages you to make improvements with rewards and achievements. Take a short quiz to determine how green you are. The app will then offer up tips on how to live a cleaner lifestyle, and as you make the necessary changes you’ll earn badges, which you can post on Facebook. You’ll be prompted daily to live greener, with a new question that continuously measures your actions and their direct impact. The better you live, the higher your score, and the greener you’ll become.

Light Bulb Finder (Free)

One of the easiest ways to cut back on energy costs is to swap out your old light bulbs for some that are more energy-efficient. They use fewer resources and last longer, saving you money in the long run while making the planet a little cleaner. The free Light Bulb Finder app for Android will calculate your monetary savings based on the types of bulbs you could be using, and recommends bulbs as well. And to further simplify the act of going green, you can order new bulbs directly from the app.

Locavore (Free)

Shopping local is a great way to support a sustainable lifestyle, keeping farmers in business and lowering the cost of food that needs to be shipped in from other areas (not to mention the minimized carbon emissions from food transport). Locavore’s free Android app helps you track down local farmers’ markets, and shows you what items are in season for your location, currently and soon to come. You’ll even get recipes based on seasonal items, and easy sharing options to encourage friends to live the greener, local lifestyle as well.

SnagFilms (Free)

With an array of indie movies on demand, SnagFilms is considered an entertainment app. But an informative film can also be educational, helping to spread the message of eco friendliness in a most inspiring way. With a release day of April 22, the documentary Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist is set to debut on Earth Day, distributed through SnagFilms. It’s an “action-packed” voyage with Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society of Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, covering 30 years of insider footage from eco-campaigns around the world. Often met with conflict, these renegades have taken up their cause wholeheartedly and have lived to tell the tale.

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