a cartoon recently that shows the attendees of a "Climate Summit", with a single naysayer yelling out from the back of the crowd "What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"We saw
Well, in the spirit of creating a better world for nothing, we bring to you three iPhone apps that we hope can help do just that.
In her panel on "Handheld Awesome Detectors: World Changing Mobile Apps" last week at the South By South West festival in Austin, Rachel Weidinger got to talking about a number of iPhone apps that could help us all do just that - change the world. While some, like Ushahidi are certainly world changing, they're not much use for day to day life, so we decided to let you know about three apps she clued us in on that can help you make world-changing decisions in your simple, everyday life.
Seafood WatchSeafood Watch, the free iPhone app put out by the Monterey Bay Aquarium helps you make sustainable choices when buying fish. But how does it do this?
The app offers a seafood guide, which customizes content according to geographical region, lets you search according to what type of fish you're considering buying or eating at a restaurant. The guide rates your choices according to a number of criteria, from whether or not it is overfished to how much the methods employed are affecting the environment. The ratings also take your health into account, warning you to avoid certain types of fish because they may contain chemicals.
So, while everyone always says to eat fish because it's good for you, download this app and it could be good for the environment too.
LocavoreAnother bandwagon you have may have seen careening past in recent times, and may have even hopped on yourself (good for you!) is sustainability through eating locally grown and harvested foods. This can be a difficult endeavor at times, though, and Locavore is here to help you. The app sells for $2.99, which is chump change in comparison to those organic, locally-grown, vine-ripe tomatoes, but it's all for a good cause, right?
Locavore shows where and when certain types of foods are in season, nearby farmers' markets and links to Wikipedia and Epicurious to help with context on 234 different fruits and vegetables.
GoodGuide is the more all-encompassing package, looking at more than 60,000 products and rating them according to "health, environmental and social performance". The guide gives you information about the product your buying, from whether or not it contains carcinogens to how the company handles water management. Here's a quick explanation from the website on how GoodGuide arrives at its ratings:
GoodGuide aggregates and analyzes data on both product and company performance. The team employs a range of scientific methods--health hazard assessment, environmental impact assessment, and social impact assessment--to identify major impacts to human health, the environment, and society. Each of these categories is then further analyzed within specific issue areas, such as climate change policies, labor concerns, and product toxicity. Currently, GoodGuide's database includes over 1,100 base criteria through which we evaluate products and companies.
The guide is still in the beta stages - and this is quite an ambitious project - but if you can have and pay attention to this sort of information, then you can get past flashy advertising and get to the bottom of where you're spending your hard earned money.