Best Apps & Online Tools for Calculating Your Carbon Footprint
This may be something that interests you from a morbid point-of-view, or something that you want to work out so that you can offset your personal carbon footprint by planting trees. Given the Western World’s appetite for fossil fuels and fast cars, it might be that you need to buy a lot of acorns!
Here are the best ways you can work out how much damage you do to poor Planet Earth:
Well, if the UN releases a carbon footprint app, you’d expect it to be good and this doesn’t disappoint. Input the relevant data and they’ll tell you how that equates to the required replanting in a particular ecosystem. So if you wondered how much of an Amazonian rainforest you’d need to restock to offset that car journey to the south of France on holiday, this is the app for you. Free of charge
Listing the steps you can take to reduce your personal footprint, this app was developed in Chile. Connect with friends on Facebook to compare results as well as world averages. You can go directly through to offset payments. Free of charge.
The Extra Mile
Calculate your carbon dioxide emissions before you even set off. Perhaps you’ve set yourself a limit on the journeys you’ll take? This will help you plan to avoid going over that limit or see where you can make some cuts in general.
For android phones, this app is fun for kids and adults. Visualising your carbon footprint with your own slice of the planet. Your choices and actions daily affect your planet and only you can help to keep it as green as possible. Free of charge.
Calls itself the web’s leading carbon footprint calculator and is for businesses of all sizes. Great for companies who want to know that they’re doing their bit for the environment. Improve your ‘green creds’ with official ratings and certificates. People like that sort of thing.
WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator
Measure your footprint in just 5 minutes with the World Wide Fund for Nature. Go through food, travel, home and ‘stuff’ questions. It’s really quick and easy and will tell you how many planets would be needed to support such a lifestyle. (For the sake of full disclosure, the author got 2.94 planets… scary!).
Direct Gov Calculator
Very nice visual calculator from the government with a tailor-made plan for you to follow at the end. It’s much more detailed than the WWF one above and takes into account fuel bills, appliances and travel. Set aside quite a bit of time to fill in the details correctly for the best use of this calculator.
How to Track your carbon footprint with apps and sites?
Becoming carbon-neutral or carbon-negative has been a goal of many companies and individuals for a long time now – at Pocket-lint we’ve decided to offset our carbon footprint by planting trees (see Ecosia) but there are other ways you can take action of course.
But how do you track your carbon footprint in the first place? Obviously, before you can offset you need to work out how much carbon your various actions emit.
Various calculators and apps are available online and we’ve featured some of the very best here.
The best apps and sites for tracking your carbon footprint
This app enables you to track things like the type of food you eat as well as the carbon you use getting about. It can predict your mode of transport and calculate accordingly. You can also set a weekly goal to see how you measure up against friends as well as compare your own emissions from week-to-week.
There are also tips to reduce your carbon emissions, while you can also choose to offset through recognised forestry projects.
Map My Emissions
This simple carbon calculator doesn’t enable you to track other stuff in your life like food or energy, but it does its singular job rather well – you can calculate the carbon debt of any journey by (almost) any means.
It’s all based around Google Maps and you can feed the calculator quite granular information on your transport methods – so engine size for cars
Once you’ve created an account with this app, you’ll be encouraged to put in some personal information such as the type of vehicle you drive and whether you have solar panels or who your energy supplier is. You can also enter your gas and electricity readings. You’ll be able to see what impact each answer has.
The app also asks you what type of diet you have and so gives you a score based on food use as well as travel and energy consumption.
UN Carbon Footprint Calculator
This is a simple calculator that takes into account transport and lifestyle and what’s more, it also auto-adjusts for the country that you live in as well as the number of people in your household. You can also enter the size of the house that you live in as well as different information about your diet and other factors.
It’s certainly a good way of getting a decent understanding of how much carbon you’re using week-to-week.
WPD Carbon Tracer
This is a bit niche in terms of area covered, but if you’re in Wales, the Midlands, West or South West of England this will show you energy generation data. However, may other energy suppliers have similar apps, too.
+13 Green Apps For Environmentalists
Remembering to live green can go further than setting a reminder to put out the recycling, buying organic, and saving all your peelings for compost. Apps for environmentalists, it turns out, are actually a new frontier for green lifestyle, both for sustainable crusaders with all their local organic food stalls memorized, and those of us who’ve just woken up to the whole living-green thing. In case revamping your life to get a bit more eco-friendly seems overwhelming and difficult, no worries: there’s an app for that. And, luckily, it’s probably served without any sanctimony.
The diversity of green apps out there reflects the fact that there are many ways in which to eco-fy your daily grind, from commuting choices to shopping decisions to energy consumption. A lot of these suckers just focus on tracking your actions and suggesting how to make them a little greener — like taking public transport, or switching off the clothes dryer. Others are collections of ideas for improvement, or data about different places and companies.
They’re resources, not life-changers: we’re not yet at the stage where an app can sort the trash, put sustainably caught fillets of fish on the table, and convince Liz the stubborn intern to join the carpool. But that day may be coming. Until then, here are 13 apps to push you into Captain Planet mode.
1. GoodGuide (Free)
The GoodGuide is a guide to environmental shopping, but it’s not meant to make you run screaming just because you see “chemical” in the ingredients list. It’s more nuanced; letting you scan a product’s barcode or search it, then giving rankings based on health, environment, and societal impact. It can even show up more info on the parent company’s environmental policies. It’s only available in the U.S., for now.
2. Commute Greener (Free)
Commute Greener does what its name suggests, giving you tailored suggestions for your daily commute to make it as low-emission as possible — from the most efficient map routes to ride-sharing suggestions in your area. It’s also meant to make you feel mildly competitive, accumulating badges and rewards as you become as green as possible. It’s the commuting Olympics.
3. Rippl (Free)
Rippl has the potential to be incredibly annoying. It’s a curated, personalized reminder app to give you tips and tricks on greening your lifestyle, and could easily sound like your nagging (very eco-conscious) mother. That it doesn’t, and gently encourages you to incorporate small changes into your routine every day instead, actually makes it pretty useful.
4. iRecycle (Free)
This is pretty basic. If you have absolutely no idea where your local recycling facility is, download iRecycle and it’ll find it for you. You can customize your search based on what you’re trying to recycle — including old VCR tapes! — and it’ll find the nearest place for you, with all their contact information and restrictions.
Brought to you by Earth 911, Inc., iRecycle is helps you to find convenient recycling options in the U.S. It boasts more than 1,600,000 ways for people to recycle upwards of 350 materials here in the U.S. It’s a quick way to find nearby recycling opportunities, whether you need to recycle your computer, glass, construction materials, household items, and more.
This app is free on iOS and Android.
5. Carma Carpooling (Free)
Carma is a carpooling app for various parts of the U.S. that helps you find people to carpool with and makes the whole begging-for-gas-money thing redundant: every member of the pool pays 20 cents per mile using credit on their app accounts, and most of that goes to the driver. You can find strangers along your route or use it to coordinate trips with friends.
6. Leafully (Free)
Leafully isn’t designed to be complicated: it’s an energy use app that alerts you when your energy consumption is going overboard and needs to be pulled back. It can only be used on four energy utility companies at the moment, but if you’re one of their members you can use it to monitor your consumption — and, cutely, it measures your energy in trees.
7. Plugshare (Free)
Exclusively for those who’ve taken the next step and bought an electric car, Plugshare is an app-map: it plots out every electric charging station across the U.S.. Obviously, this is a massive bonus when you can’t just pull into any station you like to charge — though hopefully, that’ll be the case in the future.
8. Climate Counts (Free)
Climate Counts is an activism and advocacy app. Its database contains most of the world’s big companies, and it ranks them according to their work on climate change. Are they addressing it, ignoring it, releasing details on how green their production is, blocking environmental laws in their country? Climate Counts has the answers — the implication being that, if a company scores low, you should vote with your feet, and your money.
9. PaperKarma (Free … Initially)
If you’re being assaulted by junk mail that’ll just have to be recycled, PaperKarma is on the case. It asks users to take photos of offending mail, including your name, address, and the sender’s details — and then it does the wrangling on your behalf to get them to stop it. It’s hardly automatic, and there are charges involved, but it does seem to have a high success rate.
10. greenMeter ($5.99)
Yep, you have to pay for this one — but it’s worth it. The app greenMeter is an energy consumption tracker for your car, and it’s designed to detect and change your driving habits in order to conserve fuel. If you happen to be a fuel hog and have no idea why, calibrate the app to your driving and see what it says.
11. Pollution (Free)
Pollution is more than an air quality measuring app (though its air quality ratings cover much of the U.S. and many international destinations). It also identifies potential sources of pollutants in air, water, and soil, from factories to power plants — which is not going to give you much peace of mind, I’m afraid.
12. Joulebug (Free)
Joulebug takes the whole making-life-sustainable thing and shapes it into a game. Every suggestion about an eco-friendly habit or practice that becomes a reality is a way to earn Pins, Trophies, Badges, and other assorted goodies. You can compete with people in your neighborhood for greener-than-thou status — but you’ve got to tell the app whenever you take its advice.
13. Green Travel Choice ($1.99)
Like Commute Greener, this is an app that tries to minimize the environmental impact of your trips — but GTC, one of Commute Greener’s partners, is focused on international tourism. If you want to jump on a jet plane, this is the app to tap to make sure your worldwide travel is as green as possible. Plus, they’re linking up with ecotourism businesses to guarantee your holiday’s sustainable, too.
New 15 Eco-Friendly Apps
Recycling, reusing, reducing emissions… being “green” is so important in today’s day and age. If being “green” is your mission, achieving your goal has never been easier, thanks to eco-friendly apps – and not just a few apps, but tons of them.
If you have a smartphone, and you want to have information to help you make the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly choices possible, you have come to the right place! The 15 apps listed here, which are available for either iOS, Android, or both, will assist you in making the most sustainable choices to help you reduce your carbon footprint and make the earth healthier for future generations.
Sustainable Living Apps for Android and iOS
Visit your Play Store on your Android or iPhone, and you will find that there are literally dozens upon dozens of options. To help you sort through these apps, and find the options that best meet your specific “green” living lifestyle needs, here is a collection of excellent apps to help you make the most sustainable choices possible in different areas of your daily life.
If using water as efficiently as possible is your goal, the Waterprint app will help you achieve it. This app was created by Water Efficiency magazine as a way to provide people with an easily accessible way to learn how much water they use, and how they can effectively reduce their water consumption.
This app is free on iOS.
This multi-functional app was created by the World Wildlife Fund. It keeps track of the amount of energy you use, the food you eat, and the carbon emissions you put out on a daily basis. Click on the section title, “Ways to Improve Your Results” to find out how you can reduce your footprint.
This app is free on Android.
3. Zero Carbon
With this app, you can keep track of the CO2 emissions that you produce via your transportation habits and the amount of energy that you use, and how the greenhouse gases that you create impact the climate. You will also find tips to help you reduce your emissions.
This app is free on iOS.
4. My CO2 Calculator
With this intuitive app, you can easily keep track of your carbon footprint over long spans of time. By utilizing information that you input into the application, the app will estimate your footprint while completing your daily tasks, like driving your car or taking the train. You can also set monthly goals to assist you in reducing your impact on the environment.
This app is free on Android.
When you use this app, an alarm will sound when your electronic devices are completely charged, which will not only help you stop using unnecessary energy, but will also increase the life of your batteries. The app also offers tips that will allow you to be energy efficient while staying connected.
This app is free on Android.
This app offers ratings for different products and companies, helping you assess their environmental, health, and social performance. Browse the database or scan barcodes to find the most environmentally-friendly products for your home. It helps you to quickly find socially responsible and green products based upon scientific ratings.
This app is free for iOS.
You’ll receive points for the eco-friendly activities that you do on a daily basis when you use this app. Whenever you do something that’s good for the environment, like recycle, or conserve water, you’ll receive points, which you can use to order rewards.
This app is free on iOS.
8. Give O2
With this app, you can automatically offset your carbon footprint. Utilizing your phone’s GPS, this app helps you learn more about your carbon footprint, and how your daily activities impact it. For example, when you are driving, the app will track how many miles you have traveled, how much gas you have used, and how much carbon emissions you have put into the atmosphere. You can also earn discounts and rewards at retailers who participate with the app.
This app is free and available for both Android and iOS.
9. Carma Carpooling
This is another app that helps you reduce emissions and the amount of money you spend on commuting. Carma Carpooling allows you to find people in your area who are traveling to the same destination, or somewhere on your route. You pick up the passengers, and they contribute to your costs; or, another driver picks you up, and you contribute to the driver’s costs. Users of this app can make secure payments using a credit card, and 85% of what users pay goes straight to the driver.
This app is free on iOS and Android.
This iOS app uses your phone’s accelerometer to keep track of and rate the efficiency of your driving. The app will let you know if you are accelerating too fast, or braking at the last minute so that you can find out how efficient your driving techniques are. In addition, GreenMeter offers real-time results pertaining to the power of your vehicle and the amount of fuel it uses.
This app is $5.99 on iOS.
With this app, you can learn about eco-friendly ideas that will help you combat climate change. You can also share these ideas with your friends on social media. The app gathers the most useful climate change efforts that have been set out by different organizations. It also gives you stats that will help you keep track of your personal impact on the environment.
This app is free and available on the developer’s website and iOS.
12. Wise Up on Waste
Do you want to limit the amount of food that you waste? If so, then this is the app for you. The Wise Up on Waste app keeps track of food waste and food spoilage. By keeping tabs on the amount your food spoilage, you can limit the amount that you waste, and this app will help you achieve that goal by reducing the amount of food that you throw out by 20%, or more!
This app is available on both iOS and Android (and your desktop) for free.
Thanks to this app, you can reduce the amount of water that you use in your home or in your office. Simply connect your water utility company to the app through your smartphone, and you will receive customized budgeting messages regarding water use, droughts, and leaks. You can see how much water you use, and set a water budget.
This app is available for free on Android and iOS.
Find locally grown foods from markets around the world; 8,700 markets, to be exact. You’ll be able to locate the markets closest to you, and also see what’s happening at nearby markets. You’ll see when markets are open, find directions, and see photos that have been shared by other people who have shopped at each market. If you’d like, you can also post your own photos to the app and share them with other users.
This app is available for free on iOS, and there’s also a mobile web version.
15. Light Pollution Map
Light pollution is a problem that every resident of a big (and not that big) city, probably understands: just remember the last time you saw the stars at night. You can monitor the situation in your city with the help of apps for amateur astronomers. According to ItRate.co, this app is just for the thing – it has a large map (“The Light Pollution Map”), which you can use to assess the pollution level or, e.g., to find places where you can observe the stars. In addition, there are other functions, like NASA’s “Picture of the Day”.
You can help scientists assess the scale of the issue using another app, “Loss of the Night”, created with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany. The authors point out that this is not only about the stars in the sky but also about the resources we spend on illuminating the city; to understand what is happening where you live, you need to spend a few nights checking if you can see the constellations offered by the app.
If you would like to make the world a better place for today and tomorrow, and you have a smartphone, the apps mentioned here are an excellent way to start your mission toward eco-friendly living.