If anything is going to save the environment, it will be economics. Unfortunately, that seems to be the sad truth about human nature. But saving money and saving the environment actually have a lot in common. Both involve living more efficiently, eliminating waste, and learning to get the most out of everything we use. Recycling is a great example. Rather than throwing out that empty soda can, you can take it to the recycling center and trade it in for some spare change. Not only do you save yourself money, you also play a small role in saving the world’s resources.
So it should come as no surprise that learning to live a greener lifestyle will go a long way toward reducing your living expenses. There are hundreds of apps out there that can help you go green and simultaneously save cash. Here are the top ten:
This free app rates products based on their health and environmental impacts, helping users make informed buying decisions at the market. Featuring a barcode scanner, the app tends to work best on products in the US, but is also effective in the UK.
Made by Volvo, this app tracks the carbon footprint generated by your daily commute. With support for a wide variety of transportation methods, from walking to taking flights, CommuteGreener encourages carbon-reduction goals and shows you ways to save on fuel.
The Green Book (£3.49)
Though this app represents little more than an iPhone-compatible version of a New York Times best-selling book, it nonetheless provides valuable eco-friendly tips to help you save energy, money, and time––both around the house and at work.
Seasons is a simple app that tells you what fruits and vegetables are currently in season. Used as a shopping aid, it will help you find the most responsibly grown and healthiest foods available throughout the year. It also features a fairly comprehensive map of local farmers markets to help you find the freshest produce around.
This nifty accelerometer-based app tells you if you are being an environmentally responsible driver. Are you accelerating too fast from those red lights? Are you waiting until the last minute, and then slamming on the breaks? If so, you are killing your car’s fuel efficiency and wearing out break pads and transmissions faster than you ought to. Save money, your car, and the environment by following the GreenMeter’s advice.
Simply enter your utility meter readings on a regular basis, and this app provides detailed charts and stats to track your household energy consumption habits. By understanding your usage habits, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement.
Avego Driver (Free)
This networking app helps you fill unused seats in your car during commutes. Connect with users, meet, register your trip, and log it completed when you drop off your passengers (who pitch in for petrol!).
Log your odometer readings and petrol expenses, and this app tracks your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
GreenOutlet estimates your electricity bill and carbon footprint based on the appliances you use. It can help you save cash by identifying areas of waste.
Green Genie (£0.99)
Green Genie is the ultimate app for the handy homemaker. It provides 100 DIY home improvement projects that will help you save by giving advice on everything from the heating bill to recycling those obsolete cell phones you have laying around.
What most of these apps have in common is their emphasis on tracking consumption. A large majority of waste is caused by simple ignorance. We consume without realizing, and it costs us money while depleting natural resources. Becoming aware of our impacts and consumption habits is the first step toward living a more sustainable lifestyle.
This article was contributed by UK home insurance service, PolicyExpert.co.uk; experts in home, buildings and contents insurance.