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TMCNet:  50 green apps for the 40th Earth Day [BC-ENV-GREEN-APPS:MCT]

[April 19, 2010]

50 green apps for the 40th Earth Day [BC-ENV-GREEN-APPS:MCT]

(McClatchy-Tribune News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, when being earth friendly meant wearing earth shoes and eating brown bread. Granted, Americans were focused on other things, like the Kent State shootings, Apollo 13, the invention of fiber optics and the Beatles' last album.


Forty years later, the Pope is promoting environmentalism as a pathway to peace. Words like "biodegradable," "ecosphere" and "ozone" have entered our common lexicon. Recycling has come to our curbs and eating locally grown food is trendier than Chinese-character tattoos.

The problem with living an eco-intelligent lifestyle, however, is there's so much to consider and remember. Thanks to green iPhone apps, all this information and much, much, much more is now available at your fingertips. Green apps are sprouting up faster than, well, sprouts.

In honor of Earth Day's big birthday, here are 50 eco-friendly apps, all found in the iTunes app store, for shopping, travel, transportation, eating out and much more.

SHOPPING 1. Animal-Free _ FREE Animal-Free is a pocket reference guide for many common and hidden animal ingredients. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, part-time veg or simply trying to shop veg-friendly, this app by Symbiotic Software will help you make conscientious shopping decisions. New vegans will appreciate the list of commonly misunderstood or unfamiliar vegan ingredients that will help expand your dietary horizons.

2. CouponSherpa _ FREE Ditch the pounds of coupon pages cluttering your refrigerator and wallet. This mountain-climbing superhero provides hundreds of in-store mobile coupons to streamline your savings. CouponSherpa gives you access to the hottest deals on clothing, shoes, restaurants, electronics, travel, jewelry, sporting goods, books and more.

3. CraigsMobileList _ 99 cents Is there anything greener than CraigsList? Yep, CraigsMobileList allows you to search, browse, post and respond to ads on your iPhone. You also can track items you need, are donating or selling. Version 2.0 is a complete overhaul of the original, including a groundbreaking housing-search interface.

4. Cruelty Free _ FREE This handy shopping app is your guide to cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and household products. Created by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, Cruelty Free lists more than 200 U.S. and Canadian companies that don't test ingredients, formulations or finished products on animals.

5. FindGreen _ FREE Search more than 56,000 green and sustainable businesses to make everyday choices that will reduce your environmental impact. FindGreen finds everything from yoga centers to bicycle shops to organic restaurants near you.

6. Go Organic! _ FREE This app from the Organic Trade Association, Earth Day Network and Music Matters allows you to enter your ZIP code to find stores near you that provide free coupon books for organic products and foods. Go Organic! also provides a listing of Earth Day events in your neighborhood.

7. Gorgeously Green Survival Guide _ 99 cents The Gorgeously Green Survival Guide is a quick reference for busy women. Developed by bestselling author Sophie Uliano, Gorgeously Green guides you through the confusion of shopping for eco-friendly choices. One of the best features is the ability to create convenient and helpful shopping lists for everything from lipstick to light bulbs.

8. Greenpeace Tissue Guide _ FREE The Greenpeace Tissue Guide allows you to make informed decision when shopping for recycled tissue and toilet paper. Experts have rated more than 100 brands as "recommended," "could do better" and "avoid!" 9. Harvest _ Select the Best Produce _ $1.99 Harvest helps you skip packaged and processed foods with information on selecting the freshest, ripest, healthiest and best-tasting produce. Now you can knock on watermelons, smell pineapples and squeeze avocados with knowledgeable elan.

10. iLocavore _ FREE Localistas have their very own iPhone app for updated news and blog posts on local-oriented and even city-specific events and products. iLocavore sends notifications of local farmers' market, gardening tips and community garden volunteering opportunities, and has a guide to vendors that carry local foods. A handy new feature displays the mileage of an item in relation to your location.

11. Locavore _ $2.99 Eat foods grown and raised locally without spending hours Googling data for tonight's meal. Locavore provides government and NGO data by state. Click on the food item for Wikipedia info and Epicurious recipes. There's no market-finder feature for in-season foods, but it sure beats printing lengthy lists of locally grown foods.

12. Soleil Organics _ 99 cents Now here's a handy little app. Soleil Organics tells you when you should splurge on organics and when it's not worth the extra expenditure. This app also helps you unravel label terms to make informed decisions.

13. TheGoodGuide _ FREE GoodGuide helps you find safe, healthy and sustainable products while you shop. Simply scan the product's barcode to view detailed ratings for the health, environment and social responsibility of more than 65,000 products and companies.

TRANSPORTATION 14. CarCare _ $4.99 CarCare automatically calculates your gas mileage at the pump and reminds you when it's time to change the oil, rotate tires, get a wax or any other service you desire.

15. Carticipate _ FREE Hook up to a social network of folks who want to share rides. Just plug in your destination and Carticipate finds others in your social network headed in the same direction. You can hitch a ride or share your own vehicle.

16. GasBag _ Basic version FREE; Pro version 99 cents GasBag relies on a community of hundreds of thousands of users submitting prices across the U.S., U.K. and Australia, with price updates delivered to your phone in real-time. You also can track your car's mileage and record details of gas purchases.

17. Green Gas Saver _ FREE Green Gas Saver tells you when you're accelerating or taking a turn too fast, which can hinder your gas mileage. The idea behind the app is to keep the ball in the center of the screen. When you accelerate too quickly, the diameter of the ball increases and an alarm will sound, indicating you're accelerating too quickly. Green Gas also keeps a running score so you can see how well you're driving in real time. A few weeks with this app and driving efficiently will become ingrained.

18. Greenmeter _ $5.99 Greenmeter by Cleantechnica tracks your car's carbon footprint and fuel efficiency while calculating weather conditions, cost of fuel and vehicle weight. You also can measure drag coefficient, vehicle pitch and rolling resistance with estimates available at CleanTechnica.com.

19. iGas _ $2.99 Tired of overpaying for gas or diesel? Get the cheapest price available every time you fill up with iGasUp. You'll gain access to the world's most accurate repository of U.S. retail for less than the price of a gallon of gas.

20. iTrans _ $3.99 iTrans calculates the fastest route between stations and gives you a step-by-step guide. It even works when you're offline and underground. A search function, maps and advisories help make your commute less of a grind. Schedules include NYC, DC, NJT, CTA, Metra, PATH, LA Metro and Metrolink.

21. OffMaps _ $1.99 Felix Lamouroux's app allows you to access maps and location bookmarks wherever you are, even outside the U.S. OffMaps stores maps directly on your device for all U.S. counties and lets you search the map offline.

22. RepairPal _ FREE Whether it's an auto emergency, a roadside breakdown or just a minor problem with your vehicle, RepairPal ensures you're prepared 24/7 for any emergency. RepairPal also provides accurate repair estimates; locates the nearest tow truck with one-touch roadside assistance; and helps you find the closest, quality repair shop.

23. TheNextTrain _ $4.99 Never again search complicated schedules only to find outdated timetables and miss your train. TheNextTrain allows you to check full train-schedule details for 18 agencies, including BART, Capitol Corridor, Caltrain, DC Metro and more. Interactive maps also make finding stops a snap.

24. Traffic _ $1.99 Based on your current location, or any other location you configure, this app will retrieve the current traffic conditions and incidents in the area. Traffic then overlays them on a map or displays them in a customized listing. Each traffic item contains detailed information about the incident and can be plotted on the apps' map so you know exactly where the problem originates.

25. Twavel _ $1.99 Twavel isn't just for wascally wabbits. It calculates the CO2 emissions associated with your travel choices and allows friends to compare their travel footprints.

DINING OUT AND DINING IN 26. FoodMenus _ 99 cents FoodMenus is a searchable, location-based database of over 100,000 menus from restaurants across the U.S. that helps you make smart eating choices before you hit a restaurant or order take-out. You also can save your favorite menus for offline use and share them with friends.

27. Green Sushi Selector _ 99 cents Green Sushi Selector allows you to research whether the sushi fish you're about to buy comes from threatened species or has been caught or farmed in ways harmful to the environment. Fish are listed both by their Japanese and common-market names. Additional features include health alerts for mercury and PCBs, as well as dietary recommendations.

28. Seafood Watch _ FREE It's remarkable how little we know and are told about the seafood we eat. Seafood Watch, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is a searchable guide to the quality and origination point of seafood at grocery stores and restaurants.

29. VegOut _ $2.99 Vegetarian offerings in many restaurants are often limited and boring. VegOut makes life a bit easier with the world's largest international listing of vegan, vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Search listings by your exact location or a customized location when on the road.

TRAVEL/OUTDOORS 30. Drinking Water _ 99 cents Ditch bottled water while visiting Rome with Drinking Water, which maps out the position of more than 200 drinkable fountains.

31. Geocaching Toolkit _ FREE Geocaching, the green outdoors game of hiding and seeking treasures, has caught on throughout the world. Geocaching Toolkit guides players between locations with clues involving puzzles, calculations and projecting a new waypoint using distances and bearings. Sometimes the calculations are easy, but this toolkit can help when calculations become tedious.

32. iLocate _ 99 cents iLocate is a comprehensive searchable database of national and local parks, beaches, theme parks and amusement parks throughout the U.S. You'll find contact directions and details on each park.

33. Lonely Planet Travel Guides _ Prices begin at 99 cents Lonely Planet Travel Guides are the guide of choice for many frugal and green travelers. Various apps provide paperless guides for both U.S. and international destinations. Some of the guides are buggy and need work, but Lonely Planet is working on updated versions. Tip: Read the reviews before buying.

34. Peterson Field Guide to Backyard Birds _ $2.99 The final word in bird guides comes to iPhone in a bigger and better format. The Peterson Field Guide to Backyard Birds allows you to view bird images, listen to recorded bird songs and calls, run a filtered search by species for your geographic area, and more. All information is taken from the latest edition of the best-selling Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America.

35. TrackMyTour _ FREE TrackMyTour is the social travel journal for those on the move. Whether biking, hiking, sailing or just traveling, this app allows you to keep your friends and family updated so they can share your adventures.

36. Trails _ $2.99 The Trails GPS app allows you to record, import and export trails onto your iPhone. You can record maps while hiking, on bike trips or while jogging. Trails also allows you to geotag and geocode non-iPhone photos or share your track with others via Google Earth.

37. TrailBehind _ 99 cents Search for hikes, bike trails, campgrounds and other outdoor adventures. TrailBehind includes offline apps, geotagged photos and a filter to provide you with the information you need.

38. Treeld _ $3.99 The English countryside is infamous for its lush scenery, including fauna unique to the U.K. Treeld is your on-the-go reference to these beautiful trees. Drill-down menus allow you to type trees you'll find in the open countryside and woodlands of the British Isles.

39. Trees _ 99 cents Trees is a convenient and affordable way to identify North American trees wherever you hike, camp or drive.

40. Whale Song Project _ $1.99 Hear the songs of Hawaii's famed Kihei Harbor whales and view photographs that rotate in the background of your main screen. Purchases of Whale Song Project help support the non-profit's work inspiring stewardship of the ocean and environment by providing meaningful connections to the world's undersea community.

41. Wildflowers _ 99 cents As with the tree apps, Wildflowers allows you to type wildflowers while on the trail. Based on the North Woods Field Guides, this app is filled with 68 beautifully drawn, North American wildflowers.

MISCELLANEOUS 42. BraveNewFilms _ FREE Find and access the latest, hard-hitting videos on social and economic issues. From exposing abusive health insurance companies to combating unregulated Wall Street greed, the videos on BraveNewFilms inform, challenge and recommend opportunities to take action.

43. Discovery Channel _ FREE You'll get daily news stories, quizzes, photos and TV schedules delivered directly to your iPhone. You also can watch your favorite shows, including Mythbusters, Shark Week, Man vs. Wild and more. The Discovery Channel app will ignite your curiosity, immerse you in the how and why, and satisfy your craving for the latest information.

44. Get Green _ 99 cents Get Green, from Candied Apple, provides you with daily ammunition in the battle against climate change. You'll receive daily updates about how you can make a difference. Tips cover everything from green workplaces to green Halloween celebrations. It even has tips on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.

45. Green Charging _ 99 cents Green Changing reduces your energy consumption when you charge your phone. Launch the app when you start charging and it'll notify you with sound and vibration when your battery is fully charged. Some of the best things are so simple.

46. Green Wars _ $1.99 Based on the classic Drug Wars game, Green Wars requires players purchase environmental products for cheap and resell them for a profit. Manage your inventory to make the biggest profit on buying and selling recycled paper, LED light bulbs, reusable shopping bags, recycled paper and fixed-gear bicycles. Once you've earned some street cred by making deals, you can buy and sell high-end goods like solar items, geothermal pumps, carbon credits and hybrid cars.

47. HuffingtonPost _ FREE The notorious, liberal news website HuffingtonPost comes to iPhone with the latest green, political, media, business and entertainment news.

48. iGreen _ 99 cents Stay current on the latest solar, hybrid, green and green tech news. Aggregated new sites on iGreen include About My Planet, Azo CleanTech, VentureBeat, Green Biz, Green Computing, Hybrid Car Blog and more.

49. MeterRead _ $2.99 Read your meter with ease using your iPhone. Check it again later and MeterRead provides you with data to better control your power bill. This app from Zerogate displays the total kilowatt hours used since the last reading and calculates your total usage for the next 30 days.

50. WiFi Finder _ FREE Never worry again about locating a WiFi connection. The WiFi Finder database includes close to 300,000 free and paid locations in over 140 countries. You also can download the entire hotspot directory for offline use. Quick and easy weekly updates mean you always have the latest data.

___ (Coupon Sherpa is the penny pinching, coupon clipping, deal digging, Himalayan haggling, he-man of bargains. Visit http://www.couponsherpa.com/ for more shopping advice, insider tips and coupons.) ___ (c) 2010, http://www.couponsherpa.com/ Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

_____ TO SUBSCRIBE TO GREEN Items in the Green package are not included in your MCT News Service subscription. You can subscribe to the Green package or purchase the items a la carte on MCT Direct at www.mctdirect.com. To subscribe, please call Rick DeChantal at Tribune Media Services at (800) 245-6536 or rdechantal@tribune.com. Outside the United States, call Tribune Media Services International at +1-312-222-4444 or e-mail tmsisales@tribune.com.

_____ PHOTO (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): KeyWords:: BC-ENV-GREEN-APPS:MCT BC ENV GREEN APPS MCT

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