Tech Tools For Learning about the Planet
For those of you looking for a few interesting apps that could help you discover more about our planet, I’ve put together a list of my top 5. Although I started out excited to share some goodies, for some reason this turned out to be surprisingly challenging, as many of the apps I had looked into were faulty or outdated. A quick Google search will lead you to other lists that are already over 5 years old and not quite relevant. This disappointment kind of amazed me, as I’ve been noticing and sharing real progress in the movement to address climate change and the growing social consciousness. There is however a serious gap on the application side of things. On the bright side, this might be an opportunity for one of my readers to address;)
Without further delay, here are some of the apps I have personally tried out and liked.
Learning About the Life Around You
This one is pretty cool! You can take/upload pics of the plants and animals around you, find out what they are, and see what others have shared in your area and beyond. While the above image link is for IOS (Apple), click here to access the Android version (Google Play).
“One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.”
A Planetary Perspective
Check out what the world looks like from space! NASA has setup this brilliant app that informs you of a number of environmental changes that are taking place on the planet we call home. The above image link is for IOS (Apple), click here to access Android version (Google Play).
“NASA’s Earth Now is an application that visualizes recent global climate data from Earth Science satellites, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and water vapor as well as gravity and sea level variations. Data sets are visually described using “false color” maps. Color-coded legends are provided to indicate relative strength or weakness of an environmental condition. The resulting 3D model of the Earth may be rotated by a single finger stroke, and may also be zoomed in or out by pinching 2 fingers. It was developed by the Earth Science Communications and Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with support from NASA Headquarters.”
International Climate Politics
Get the latest info on what’s going down at the United Nations (UN) with regards to the serious international struggle against human generated climate change. The above image link is for IOS (Apple) so, click here to access Android version (Google Play).
“This application is brought to you by the UN climate change secretariat (UNFCCC) to provide easy access to information about the UN Climate Change Process and to allow virtual participation of UNFCCC events.”
Your Personal Paper-trail to Climate Change
See how what you buy, use, and consume connects to the big picture. You can better manage what you measure, and this app helps with that, as you learn about your own personal carbon footprint, and what you can do about it. The above image link is for IOS (Apple) so, click here to access Android version (Google Play).
“Oroeco makes it fun, easy and rewarding for everyone to help solve climate change. Here’s how Oroeco empowers you (and all your friends) to become a Climate Hero:
- See how every aspect of your life connects to climate change, from your home energy and transportation decisions, to your diet, shopping and entertainment choices.
- Automatically track the climate impacts of how you spend your money with the world’s most powerful carbon footprint calculator.
- Save money and the planet with personalized tips and actions on how you can lower your impact for the environment.
- View your carbon offsets from award-winning clean cookstove projects.
- Compare, collaborate and compete with your friends, family and neighbors.
- Level up to earn badges and Climate Champion status for doing your part for the planet.”
Encouraging Conscious Consumerism
This neat app helps connect you with some of the background info on the product that you are considering to purchase. It also informs you of any relevant campaigns you’re interested in, and what you can do to help. This one is a work in progress, as more data is collected and the network is updated. Really cool concept, but don’t be surprised if everything you’re looking to buy isn’t listed yet. If anything, you can add to the database and help make it more awesome. As with the others, the above image link is for IOS (Apple) so, click here to access Android version (Google Play).
“Vote with your wallet using Buycott.
- Join campaigns to support causes you care about.
- Scan product barcodes to learn a product’s history.
- Make a purchase decision on the product and communicate your decision to the company.”
That’s A Wrap
There you have it, my rundown on some climate conscious, sustainability apps that can help you on your own journey to greater understanding (see also My Top 5 Climate Change Docs). As mentioned above, I was surprised there weren’t other really good ones out there, but maybe you’ve discovered some that you can share with us in the comment section below. Happy surfing;)