From finding the most efficient light bulbs to discovering the greenest way to get around, the winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Apps for the Environment” challenge are definitely things to be thankful for.
Taking home the prize for best overall app is the Light Bulb Finder mobile app by Adam Borut and Andrea Nylund of EcoHatchery, Milwaukee. The app takes inputs about your home fixtures and incandescent bulb styles and uses that info to provide suggestions for more energy-efficient bulbs and even enables you to purchase them through the app. You can also use it to see just how much you can reduce CO2 emissions from every incandescent bulb you choose to replace. The best part about the Light Bulb Finder? It’s free for download on iPhone, iPad touch, iPod and Android smartphones.
The runner up for best overall app is Hootroot by Matthew Kling of Brighter Planet, Shelburne, Vt. Developed as a student project at Huxley College of the Environment, this web-based app, available at http://hootroot.com, uses the help of Brighter Planet, Google Maps, and HopStop, to help you get from point A to point B and tell you what your carbon footprint would be in the process. Data for footprint calculations comes from the EPA’s U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory and eGRID database, as well as from DOT, EIA and others.
EarthFriend by Ali Hasan and Will Fry of Differential Apps and Fry Development Company, Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, N.C., and J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, N.C., took home the prize for best student app. This educational app uses information from the EPA to provide you with both games and data to help you learn more about pollution and help you take action to go green. The app is available for free download at the Apple App Store.
Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping received the runner up prize for best student app. This app, available here, uses data from the EPA 2007 Abandon Uranium Mines and the Navajo Nation: Atlas with Geospatial Data to give citizens access to basic information on unregulated water sources and abandoned urnanium mine features. The map also enables citizens to recognize potential environmental hazards.
Capturing the popular choice award is CG Search by Suresh Ganesan of Cognizant Technology Solutions, South Plainfield, N.J. This mobile app will enable you to compare the air quality index, air pollutant levels, energy consumption of various U.S. cities. The app works by using data that the U.S. government has been collecting from certain cities to create an educated prediction about how clean the air is in a given location.
Click here to learn more about these and other eco apps.
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