April 25, 2017

LIVING GREEN: Make the most of your smartphone

By Becka Gregory

Observer staff

Over 50 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. While playing games like Candy Crush or checking in with friends on Facebook is a popular use for these high-performance mobile devices, there are many apps that can help you “green” your life on the go. The follow apps are available for free through the iTunes store.

PaperKarma can help cut down on your junk mail with a quick photograph of your unwanted mail. The average American adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year, which equates to the carbon footprint of six gallons of gasoline consumption.

GoodGuide can help you navigate the grocery store or pharmacy with confidence. This app allows you to scan the UPC of a product and see a rating of 1-10 based on factors of health, environmental, and social impact. The ratings are generated by scientists and technology experts and available for a variety of products from baby food to T-shirts.

Go Green is like training wheels for sustainability. Every time you open the app it provides a lifestyle tip to help you help the planet. Free and easy to use, Go Green eases you into making sustainability a priority.

My Carbon Footprint is a carbon footprint tracker disguised as a game. Learning how to reduce your emissions is fun and kid-friendly with this app. Swap out Flappy Bird for My Carbon Footprint and green your game time.

Dirty Dozen takes the guesswork out of the produce department. Created by the Environmental Working Group, this app ranks produce from safe to risky depending on the amount of pesticide residue typically found on an item. Knowing when organic methods make the biggest difference and when it’s OK to buy conventional can help your wallet and ease your mind.



  1. youngvt says:

    I am writing in response to Mr. Hoxworth’s article on transportation costs for the poor in Vermont. I would like to suggest further research on this topic before we simply just give another handout or tax credit. The poor, may, have a higher disproportionate burden on their transportation costs than the wealthier residents of Vermont; however, they also have a lower disproportionate burden on taxes and housing. Pick your evil.
    We can simply just give every poor Vermonter an energy efficient car, gas card, free tuition, renter’s rebate, etc.…but the only way out of poverty is through the combination of education, hard work, and discipline. Education and degrees are not handed out or purchased; a person has to EARN them. This seems to be the only way out of poverty—sorry, there are no shortcuts.
    If we continue this trend of enabling, our entire state will be a welfare state.

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