Not all nature enthusiasts are technology averse. In fact, many, like me, are using technology to enhance their connection with nature and live greener lives. Mobile devices have made it easier than ever to get the information we need when we need it to make greener choices on the go.
Check out the following list of some of my favorite (mostly free) green apps:
The Dirty Dozen
From the Environmental Working Group, this app is your go-to-guide when shopping for produce. Buying organic can mean a big hit to the wallet. But even experts agree that eating non-organic fruits and vegetables is better than not eating any at all. The good news is that buying organic matters more with some foods than with others. This app helps you make smart shopping choices by listing the dirty dozen, the 12 foods that it is most important to buy organic because they have the most pesticide residues.
BeeSmart™ Pollinator Gardener
with is becoming increasingly important in sustaining healthy eco-systems and . This app by the Pollinator Partnership and Catch is a handy guide for selecting plants for pollinators that are specific to your area. Enter your ZIP code and peruse the database based on the type of pollinator you would like to attract, bloom color, level of sunlight, type of soil, or type of plant. When adding new plants to your garden, check the guide before you buy.
Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder
Connect with nature no matter where you are. With this app, you can instantly search a database of more than 50,000 federal, state, and local parks and other public lands. Learn more about a particular park, search for parks nearby, or search for parks based on city and state or by ZIP code. You can also search based on 30 activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, water sports, picnicking and more.
Want to sharpen your tree identification skills? Check out Leafsnap. This nifty app lets you browse tree by common name, scientific name, or photo. See a tree you want to identify? Snap a photo and let Leafsnap identify the tree for you. You can create albums and collections, which you can map. You can even play games that test your leaf identification skills.
Even novice birders will enjoy the Audubon Birds app, which makes it fun and easy to learn about our feathered friends. Search the database or browse by shape, family, name, and more. See images, get descriptions, listen to bird songs, learn about where they live, report sightings, and more. Audubon offers a whole suite of mobile field guides for a wide range of plant and animal species and geographic regions.
Check web sites for details about app availability for your mobile device. Some apps require an account to take advantage of all features.
Have a favorite green app? Tell us about it in the comments!