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Green apps could spark environmental engagement

2013 April 17

The jury is in: green apps have a lot of potential! GfK, the organization that conducts the Green Gauge US survey writes, “mobile technology, specifically smart phone apps, may spark the next wave of environmental engagement” in their article, Earth Day Goes Digital. The article continues with more good news: “According to data from our most recent Green Gauge US survey, 29% of smartphone users have used an app in the past year to help reduce their impact on the environment.” We suspected that green apps were being used and now there are numbers to confirm it.

The article goes on to say:

“Demographically [environmental app users] are more likely to be men, younger, and well-educated (about half are college graduates). They are also ethnically diverse, with Hispanic and African-American smartphone users about twice as likely as average to leverage most environmental apps.

According to GfK’s Green Gauge research, the most popular “green” apps are ones that help people find the closest public transportation and monitor home energy usage. But smartphone users also use apps for educational purposes, information on recycling, and calculating environmental footprints. Perhaps most actionable for marketers, however, are apps that provide information about the environmental impact of products – 9% of smartphone users have used these.  (To see a listing of current environmental apps as compiled by the EPA click here: http://www.epa.gov/mygreenapps).”

So check out the GfK article and visit My Green Apps to download an app so you can make a difference.

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On another note, here are two large-scale events that may be of interest to developers and community-minded people.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a technology development event during which citizens from around the world work together to solve challenges relevant to improving life on Earth and life in space. You can participate in over 75 cities around the world or at home on April 20-21, 2013. See the 50 challenges that you can help solve!

National Day of Civic Hacking is a national event that will take place June 1-2, 2013, in cities across the nation. The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs from all over the nation to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country. National Day of Civic Hacking will provide citizens an opportunity to do what is most quintessentially American: roll up our sleeves, get involved and work together to improve our society.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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