Once every year, people around the globe turn off their electricity for an entire hour and consider the effect that their lifestyle has on our planet. Here are some apps that will help you manage your eco-footprint all year round.
Let's start off with the big one: the official Earth Hour app. This year, Earth Hour is urging you to think beyond an hour's worth of minimal electricity usage by making ongoing pledges that will be read by like-minded people across the world.
If you like to pay attention to where your money is going, "Shop Ethical!" is a great tool for use in the supermarket. Using data compiled from the Ethical Shopping Guide 2011, you can check the social and environmental records of major Australian brands and make an informed decision about which companies you want to support.
Cleaning your house with chemicals is not really the best thing for either you or the environment. Green Shine has a list of cleaning solutions made of environmentally friendly ingredients that you'll be able to find on your supermarket shelves for any cleaning application.
Actually, this one won't help the environment, but whenever you look at the time you'll be reminded of just how beautiful out blue planet is. It offers world time and weather patterns over a stunning 3D rendering of Earth.
In spite of overwhelming support from the scientific community, there are quite a few people out there who just don't believe that climate change exists. Skeptical Science collects the arguments and the scientific data and allows you to learn exactly what the issues and evidence are.
Keeping a garden is great; you're surrounded by beautiful plants and, if you keep a vegie garden, you're in control of exactly what pesticides do or do not get used on your precious food. The Yates Garden Problem Solver helps you identify what might be going wrong with your garden and find a solution.
Out-of-season produce isn't great for the environment; the cost of growing it in a false climate or transporting it halfway across the world — not to mention the contribution to your carbon footprint — is larger than it should be. Local, seasonal produce is better for the environment, your tastebuds and your wallet. Seasons helps you find fresh, natural produce in your area.
Before you chuck away that heater you don't need any more, or throw out an old mobile phone after upgrading to the latest model, jump onto Yoink!, where you can offer it up for free to someone who really needs it. Or head there before shopping to see if anyone's giving away what you need.
The Ecoki reader is a cool little resource for catching up on the latest green news from the Ecoki online community. You can read scientific articles, catch up on eco-lifestyle news, collect vegan recipes and check out reviews of sustainable and eco-friendly products collected by the Ecoki team. It's a bite-sized, accessible way of increasing your awareness of environmentally friendly lifestyle practices.
Greenpeace's app is fronted by a cute penguin mascot, Alex. You can play a clapping game with Alex (which is diverting for about 10 seconds), but the meat of the app lies in News tab, where you can catch up on what Greenpeace has been doing around the globe. You can also use the app to sign up to become a Greenpeace supporter, or to quickly and easily make donations on-the-go.
Using an easy-to-navigate interface with cute little icons, My Water Diary lets you calculate how much water you use in the course of day-to-day life, from flushing the toilet, to how much you drink, to what you use in washing. A simple slider lets you adjust the quantity of water you use, giving you an accurate representation of how much you consume over the course of a week.
Not only are to-do lists, diaries and planners on your smartphone a handy way of keeping your important notes on your person, they also cut down on the amount of paper you need in your life. Using this app will make you less cluttered and more green.