Appy days

Green Lifestyle magazine

Our favourite smartphone apps to help you make greener choices.


The Gardenate app is one of the favourites of the Green Lifestyle team.

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From sourcing sustainable seafood to sending e-cards and improving your car’s efficiency, there is an almost limitless array of smartphone apps to help you make greener choices. Here are some of our favourites.

Trying to decide what to plant in your vegie garden this spring? The Gardenate app allows you to select a climate zone and recommends vegetables suitable for planting each month. Detailed planting advice is available for each vegetable, and you can also connect with the online community to ask those tricky green thumb questions.
Available for: Android ($1.09), iPhone and iPad ($1.99)

Shop Ethical
Make ethical purchases at your local with this detailed list of products and brands. Assess the food miles, animal welfare, child labour and parent company credentials of over 3,800 goods to make informed choices at the supermarket. Information is gathered from organisations such as Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth.
Available for: Android ($4.94), iPhone and iPad ($4.49)

Sustainable Seafood Guide
Get a healthy dose of omega-3 from sustainable seafood with this handy app from the Australian Marine Conservation Society. It contains information on 100 types of seafood and independent advice on choosing sustainably harvested varieties via the colour-coded ranking system: ‘better choice’, ‘think twice’ and ‘say no’.
Available for: iPhone and iPad (free)

Eco Easy Home
Rate your home’s energy efficiency by answering a series of simple questions. This nifty app also tracks the solar gain of a property through the movement of the sun. If you’re in the market for a new home, the app rates properties at open houses and helps you compare homes’ efficiency.
Available for: iPhone and iPad ($4.49)

Just Start Walking
Walking is a great warm weather workout, and with this app you can track your walks via GPS, log your progress and find walking events in your local area. Developed by the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, it also helps you refine your walking technique and – if needed – locate a chiropractor.
Available for: Android, iPhone and iPad (free)

Track your travel choices and see how much carbon dioxide you can reduce with different modes of transport. This app combines Twitter-esque functionality with a carbon calculator, allowing you to calculate your carbon emissions, compare your reductions to fellow Twavellers around the world, and contribute to a collective reduction of carbon.
Available for: Android, iPhone and iPad (free)

Send your good wishes and save paper and postage emissions with hiCard. This app features over 200 hand crafted birthday, thank you, Valentine’s Day and Christmas e-cards, just to name a few. Cards show up in the email body – there’s no links – and are spam-free.
Available for: iPhone and iPad ($1.99)

Eco.To.Do saves paper by creating pages on the screen for list writing. Rather than scrounging around for scrap paper lists, the app keeps your digital lists colour-coded and together in one place. Lists come in seven different colours and can be emailed to friends and colleagues.
Available for: iPhone and iPad ($1.99)

Read the same books, magazines and newspapers on your phone that Kindle owners can buy on Amazon. As with Kindle, readers can change the font size, add bookmarks, notes and highlights. Shop on the Kindle store for more than one million different books for your smartphone. Plus, you can try before you buy and read the first chapter free.
Available for: Android, iPhone and iPad (free)

Are you a lead foot behind the wheel? This app gauges your car’s rate of acceleration to determine its fuel efficiency and carbon footprint. Place your smartphone on the dashboard or console between the front seats to help you stick to an efficient cruising speed. You won’t need a GPS so the app is perfect even for older smartphone models.
Available for: iPhone and iPad ($6.49)

Skeptical Science
Have all the answers next time you encounter a climate sceptic. Skeptical Science lists common climate change myths and provides simplified explanations of what the science says for each. You won’t be lost for words with responses for common remarks like ‘the climate has changed before’, ‘there’s no scientific consensus’ and ‘renewable energy is too expensive’.
Available for: Android, iPhone and iPad (free)