February 6, 2013

Liz Swafford: Yes, there’s a green app for that

From finding a recycling center near you to saving energy at home, there are many green apps available for mobile phones and mobile devices. Here are six apps that will help you be more eco-friendly beyond simply reading a digital version of a book on your tablet or smartphone.

1. iRecycle: Want to know where to recycle in Whitfield County? Going on vacation for a week and need to find a drop-off site in Florida? Find a place for everything, from regular recyclables to hard to recycle items, with the iRecycle app from Earth911.com. It’s available on iOS, for both iPhone and iPad, and on Android. Visit www.Earth911.com/iRecycle to download it for free.

2. My Recycle List: Similar to the previous app, My Recycle List shows a list of drop-off locations based on item categories such as household, automotive and metal. Plus, it allows you to create a list of items you need to recycle and recommended drop-off sites. It’s available on iOS for the iPhone, and on the Android. Visit www.1800recycling.com/mobile to download this free app.

3. JouleBug: Turn saving energy at home into a game between you and your friends as you compete to earn badges in JouleBug. This app, created by Cleanbit Systems, is an educational and fun way to learn energy saving tips. For each tip you learn about and implement you get points that go towards earning a badge. The tips provided could save you up to $200 per year. This currently is available for free on the iPhone, however an Android version is in development.

4. Good Guide: Wondering if that shampoo you’re about to buy has too many chemicals? Or if the organic label really means organic? Access the Good Guide directory of product ratings in your pocket with their mobile app available for iPhones and Android-enabled smartphones. Products are rated scientifically for their health, environmental impact and society impact. While shopping you can scan the bar code for that shampoo, and many other products, and find out if they’re good for you and the planet. Visit www.goodguide.com/about/mobile for a free download.

5. PaperKarma: Get rid of paper junk mail with PaperKarma, a free app that helps you opt out of catalogs, magazines, credit card offers, White and Yellow Pages and other unwanted publications. Add your mailing address when you first launch the app, then simply take a photo of the offending mail and submit. They’ll automatically contact the mailer and remove you from their distribution list. Download this free app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones from www.paperkarma.com.

6. Bin It!: Go ahead, toss your plastic milk jug in the recycling bin. Good luck keeping out of the hands of a monkey as a powerful fan pushes the jug in the wrong direction. That’s what happens in the easy level of Bin It! It is a fun game from www.PlasticsMakeItPossible.com that also adds educational facts about recycling after each level. It’s free for iOS iPhone and iPad.


Liz Swafford is the recycling and education program coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. Contact her at (706) 278-5001 or at lswafford@dwswa.org.

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