So I’ve been rockin’ the iPhone for a year now and have found that my experience with the utilitarian gadget can be summed up in two words: life-altering.  I’m a changed dude.  The mod chunk of metal and glass has become a part of me, an extension of my body, a reliable ally.  I’ve made my iPhone unique and personal by downloading a slew of the 50,000+ applications that are currently available.  I’ve discovered that scattered amongst the ridiculous and pointless apps are some tremendous ones that have been designed to make goin’ green convenient and cool… Here is a list of my fave eco-apps…. click on their name for a link to download for yourself.


GoodGuide is the MVP of the eco-apps.  It is bar none one of the coolest tools a savvy metro hipsta can have in their arsenal… Basically, GoodGuide is a database of over 50,000 products that have been tested to Health, Environmental, and Social standards.  All these products have scores in each of the three categories on a scale of 1 to 10.  A great resource in and of itself, but iPhone users recently got the hookup because the cameras on the phones can be used to scan products on site, instantly giving shoppers a score!  This technology has the potential to be a game changer, leveling the playing field by taking biz away from companies that cut corners and giving it to ones that are sustainably managed…. FREE


FindGreen is like Yelp with a green twist.  Access eco-friendly businesses quickly and easily with this app.  The LBS-enabled service finds everything from yoga centers to bicycle shops to organic restaurants near you. It has a database of 56,000+ green businesses, perfect for exploring a new city or uncovering a hidden eco-gem in your own community.  Organize your search by walking, biking or driving distances… I find myself in a new city almost on a monthly basis… FindGreen has been a rockstar, connecting me with tasty organic food and local green businesses with basically no effort whatsoever… $1.99


iRecycle makes it easy to find recycling locations anywhere in the U.S.  Track down that spot to drop-off your old cell phone (or water bottle or motor oil or… well, you get the idea), get directions and find out what else they accept.  The app features over 110,000 recycling and disposal locations for over 240 materials, making it impossible to say recycling ain’t easy!… FREE


TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is an annual conference that hosts some of the world’s most fascinating people: Trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons, and geniuses… Want to learn about transitioning into a world without oil, see biomimicry in action, or catch a performance by Imogen Heap?  This is your one stop shop… super great conference, and super jazzed that you can now watch the inspiring videos on the go…  FREE


Carbon Tracker calculates carbon emissions for various forms of transit.  It uses iPhone’s GPS to track the start and end point of a trip and returns an estimate on the amount of CO2 emissions your mode of travel generated.  Trying to decide whether to drive, take the bus or fly?  This app will help break down their impacts… $0.99


WalkScore calculates the walkability of any location and shows you a map of nearby amenities.  Also fun to see how walkable certain areas and neighborhoods are around the country… San Francisco, Chicago, NYC all walker’s paradise w/ scores in the 90s… Orlando, Jacksonville, Nashville have scores in the mid 30’s… just no good!  WalkScore is quickly becoming a valuable resource for the real estate market and rumors are going around that it might be incorporated in the LEED system, pretty cool!  FREE


Seasons is all about trackin’ down tasty food that is in season.  Search 170 fruits, veggies, fungi, nuts, and herbs in your area.  Includes local seasons and import seasons.  This one’s still growin’ on me… I’m sure the fact that there aren’t many veggies in season this time of year here in Minnesota has something to do with my experience with this app : )   $1.99


Seafood Guide This is a really fantastic resource here… Pick sustainably caught fish in restaurants and markets. App from the Monterey Bay Aquarium tells you which fish are safe, which are good alternatives, and which to avoid buying or eating… FREE


Green Sushi Selector is a bit more extensive in the sushi category than the Seafood Guide above… it lists all sushi fish by their Japanese names and their common market names, and tells you which are most sustainable. Keeps you safe by highlighting health alerts that may be in place for any type of fish because of elevated levels of mercury or PCBs, and tells you healthy limits for each type of fish… $0.99


VeganYumYum let’s you search, view and organize your favorite recipes from the award-winning food blog,… I’ve made many a tasty meal with this app as a guide… personal favorite is the Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes… Yum Yum indeed!  FREE


AccuFuel I use this application to track my MPGs in my Smart Car… i’ve done a couple experimental tanks of gas using hypermiling techniques and was able to compare them vs. normal driving habits.  Basic hypermiling gained me about 8 MPGs!  $0.99


iNewzGreen is my one stop app for all the latest in eco-friendly, environment-aware news.  You can select the category of green news you’re interested in, and a list of the latest articles will be displayed.  I’ve found the articles to be quite relevant and current… FREE


AmbiSci PM (Ambiscience Pure Meditation) has been one of my fave apps… I use it almost on a daily basis when I get my meditation on… it has 15 ambient tracks and 14 ‘Entrainment’ effects (different sound vibration options) that put me right in the zone.  Countdown timers that slowly fade allow me to set my session lengths w/o distraction… Om!  $0.99

So there y’all have it!  Certainly is getting harder to say that goin’ green isn’t convenient.  All the tools are here for us now, from connecting to local, seasonal and sustainable food, recipes to make it nice and tasty once you bring it home, tracking down eco-friendly businesses in your area, staying in the loop with the latest news, watching videos that inspire, etc…. Go ahead and get yourself connected!


About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.