Top 10 Green Widgets, Applications, and Websites
Across the internet, you’ll find a world of information on environmental news, how to live green, how to calculate your carbon footprint, tips on saving energy, and so forth. More sites, programs, widgets and applications come out every single day. Obviously, you can’t keep track of them all. How do you decide which ones are worth checking out? Are they legitimate programs or just another form of greenwashing?
Well, I’ve tried to save you some of the guesswork by creating this list. Here, you will find some green widgets or eco-friendly sites that are definitely worth checking out.
10. Trip Footprint
This is a good place to start if you like to travel a lot. Simple in design and extremely easy to use; all you have to do is enter your departure city, your arrival city, and click the number of total passengers there will be on the trip (including yourself). The Trip Footprint calculator will then show you which method would be the best to travel by: car, plane, or train. It will also calculate the amount of CO2 emissions that will be released for each option and will include potential nearby departure cities so you can compare which will be the better option. It may be a very basic website, but it is a big help if you want to calculate how to offset your traveling carbon footprint.
9. Eco Broker
If you have a construction project in mind, whether it’s for the home or business, this would be the place to come to. This site offers information on every green building thing you can think of, from materials to appliances, architects to designers, energy efficient mortgages, and a whole lot more. It’s definitely worth a look if you want to make your home or business more green, sustainable or eco-friendly.
This site I decided to put at number 8 because even though there are parts of the site still incomplete, it does have a lot of potential. This site contains a variety of options for people to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. You can calculate your carbon footprint, shop for a variety of eco-friendly products, and even purchase Eco Kits to help you get started down the green path. The kits include a variety of items, from energy monitors to outlet and light switch sealers, to reusable totes and bottles.
7. Brighter Planet
Yet another simple site packed with a lot of information. Brighter Planet offers you a footprint calculator (as seems to be the norm with most green websites), conservation tips, carbon offset advice and information for everything from business to the home to travel and even weddings! They also have a Project Fund program, where they will donate to a chosen cause every time someone uses a Brighter Planet debit card, credit card, or buys offsets.
6. GreenPrinter’s Eco-Calculator
Do you run a business or work in an office of some kind? Do you have to make prints or copies of business cards, office papers, brochures, post cards, letterheads or presentation folders? If so, you will love this calculator. You select your print job—business cards, for example. Then you select the percentage of recycled paper you will be using. After that you simply input the quantity and the size of the copies. The Eco-Calculator will show you your eco-savings, which includes: trees, wastewater, solid waste, energy, and (of course) CO2.
5. Local Harvest
Buying locally instead of globally is important; so is organic food. This site combines both of those things. Here, you are able to search for organic farms, restaurants, grocery stores, farmer markets, and a variety of other places. This way, you can find ones close to you (that you may not already be aware of) and as such, buy locally, support farms in your area, and take a huge step in reducing your footprint and helping the environment.
4. The Green Guide for Kids
You see them all over the place: they scurry underfoot, track mud across your “just cleaned” floor, leave toys in the strangest of places and can be quite the handful. Kids want to help the environment, too, and this site is a good place for them to start. It offers up a huge list of environmental information, art and craft projects, tips on how to green their schools, game ideas, and a lot more. If you have kids of your own, or maybe a whole classroom of kids, this site is definitely worth checking out to encourage them to become more environmentally active.
3. Earth 911
Can I recycle #7 plastics sometimes or not at all? Do cereal boxes count as cardboard recyclables? How can I dispose of batteries or car parts in an eco-friendly way? Earth911.com can answer all of these questions and a lot more. This site is completely dedicated to recycling. You can search by location and they will give you a list of recycling places near you and what items they will accept for recycling. You can also search by item and they will tell you where those items can be recycled. They also provide a lot of articles, tips and even contests for recycling!
2. Earth Aid
I stumbled upon this site recently and it is truly awesome. EarthAid.net focuses on saving energy in the home and thus, also saving you money. The thing that sets them apart from other (similar) websites is they will reward you for living green! All you have to do is create an account and input your electric, gas, and water information (Provider Company and your account number). EarthAid keeps track of your energy saving progress and will award you points for every kilo-watt hour of electricity, 10 cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 gallons of water saved. These points can be redeemed for a variety of things, from organic food restaurants to holistic spa treatments and eco-friendly products. You can also volunteer to be a part of their carbon market and sell your credits to individuals, small businesses and even fortune 500 companies. Plus, they also provide tips on how you can cut back on energy usage and you can compare your progress to your town, friends and family (provided they also use the site).
1. Google Earth
Yes, Google Earth, without a doubt, makes the number one spot of this list. Why? First of all, it allows you to view every bit of this planet, including the sky and (even more recently) the ocean. You can see every structure, every ecosystem, and all the good or damage that has been done to them. Another thing you can do is track animals or check out the ongoing efforts of certain organizations, such as Greenpeace, WWF, and Jane Goodall’s Gombe Chimpanzee Blog. Plus, there are a huge number of apps you can add to Google Earth (or in some cases view freely on other websites). These apps will show you everything, from different types of carbon emissions to the effects of climate change. With all the ways you can view the world and our impact on it, it’s no wonder Google Earth made the number one spot.
There may be some things I have forgotten, most likely because they are no longer available, haven’t been updated in a long time (since summer of 2009 or earlier), or I simply was unaware of their existence. Regardless of that, the things on this list should definitely help you out, whether you want to green your home or business, buy organic food, teach your kids the joys of eco-friendly practices, or other methods of helping the environment.
By Heidi Marshall
Tags: applets, applications, apps, building, Business, calculators, carbon footprint, ECO, eco-friendly, environment, environmental, Green, home, Kids, organic, programs, Recycling, tips, travel, websites, widgets