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Suggest an idea for an app

2012 November 30

Last summer people suggested over 100 ideas for green apps in the Apps for the Environment Challenge. We narrowed the list down to 70 ideas for green apps that are not repeats and we want you to tell us which ones developers should make into apps. If you have ideas for apps or you want to provide more detail about these ideas, just write them in the space below.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here 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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20 Responses leave one →
  1. jerry winkle permalink
    November 18, 2014

    i need an app to read current air quality and compare to air quality from the 1950’s-1980’s

  2. Robert permalink
    October 6, 2014

    I want an APP that can scan a barcode and tell the environmental cost of a product.

    I would like it to focus prominately on bottled water. Primarily show the environmental cost of consuming a liter of that brand of bottled water vs consuming a liter of water from the local tap. Factor in treatment, plastics, bottle manufacture, removing water from the ecosystem, transportation, bottling costs, disposal, etc..

    And if possible factor in the FDA vs EPA quality standards for each liter.

  3. Kenya permalink
    June 13, 2014

    EPA should make all proposed rules available as a Kindle e-book to make organizing highlights and comments easier. I am a policy analyst and being able to read and make notes on a Kindle could increase efficiency of drafting comments.

  4. Kenya Stump permalink
    June 13, 2014

    As a policy analyst, it would be great if EPA would make proposed and final rulemakings available as Kindle e-books. This would make reading these rulemakings easier and the ability to quickly highlight and add notes. The great think about Kindle is that it provides a great summary of highlights and notes for the reader. This would make developing comments on regulations easier and make reading proposed and final regulations more portable.

  5. Joanne Firth permalink
    October 25, 2013

    I came up with an idea for an app with which people can share what they did to help the planet each day. A simple app where actions and ideas can create excitement about steps we can all take to help. I think this app would help motivate us as well as learn about what other people are doing to help the planet. It would have to be easy to use and interactive. It would be fun and I bet we could all learn a lot about what each of us does to try and make a difference. And there you have it. Thank you for you time and consideration.

    Joanne Firth
    Coventry CT

    cc: file

  6. James Hatchitt permalink
    August 22, 2013

    I’d like an app like with the same functionality as riverwatch or creekwatch but to record sprinkler activity. We have water use guidlines that not everyone in our county is aware of and reporting the location, date and time of a violation could be used to help educate the public on these restrictions.

  7. Kathy permalink
    July 9, 2013

    How about an app that challenges neighbors or communities to reduce their energy use – it would be nice to tie it in with their smart meters if possible. Make it a contest to help engage residents

  8. Kristin Koepke permalink
    June 24, 2013

    Do you have any idea if there is an actual working micro-volunteering or foodsharing app in Spain (Barcelona)?

  9. Ajowa Ifateyo permalink
    April 25, 2013

    I would love to have an app that would identify plants that grow in the grass, leaves and flowers so I can tell what is growing around me how they affect or might affect each other.

  10. Paul Sandman permalink
    April 4, 2013

    I would like to see an app developed that would allow school networked desktop computers along with mobile devices (ereaders, smart phones, tablets etc.) allow any number of schools to compete in a “green” spelling bee. The theme of the terms (words) could be related to the conservation of our eco-system. It woul educate on more than one level, it would kickstart a competitive spirit and best of all it would support an even more open dialogue or awareness about the environment.

    Here is how it could work. The teams or individuals would log onto a central game server that could be powered by solar or wind energy that randomizes the words presented for spelling. Once each round has begun, the first school (team) or individual to respond with the word spelled correctly wins the round. The way that individuals are eliminated is if the FIRST response received from any individual team or school is incorrect, then the sender of the sms or text with the incorrect spelling is eliminated from the spelling bee. In other words groups could compete in a networked spelling bee even if over mobile networks…

  11. emcmah02 permalink*
    January 24, 2013

    Thanks for contributing these ideas! The Ideas for Apps page ( now includes your recent suggestions so you can “Like” the ideas and see what other people like. EPA has listed its data that could be used to make the apps (see the spreadsheet on this page That should help developers convert the ideas into apps. Keep the suggestions coming!

  12. Janet Luce permalink
    January 11, 2013

    I would like to see an app that can be used by marine law enforcement officers and marinas (with pump-out facilities), to track when anchored vessels are emptying their marine sanitation devices. The law requires that a vessel operator cannot discharge raw sewage into the water unless they are at least 3 miles offshore (10 miles in the Gulf). The app would also be used to monitor anchored boats that exhibit conditions of neglect or abandonment, which puts them at risk of becoming a derelict vessel (sinking or breaking anchor), which can also result in negative environmental impacts and significant costs to remove. Some of the vessel conditions to be tracked are heavy barnacle growth on the hull, standing water inside the vessel, or missing components necessary for navigation). After a baseline inventory of anchored boats, an officer can use the app’s augmented reality to quickly scan the waterways to monitor, track, and share updates through the cloud. In addition, a vessel owner with this app could receive notification if his vessel received a welfare check by a marine law enforcement officer. I did a presentation on this conceptual mobile application for monitoring anchored vessels at a Boating and Waterways conference in 2012 and have screen shots of what the app would look like.

  13. Watrgi permalink
    December 26, 2012

    I’d like a fishermans’ friend app! Knowing all the fishing rules for a given location and time of year can be complicated, and even costly if you end up getting fined for keeping a fish you aren’t supposed to! Also, I know there are advisories associated with whether you should eat certain fish caught from certain areas. So I’d like an app that would take into my account my location and time of year to tell me what size, type and how many fish of a certain species I’d be allowed to keep, and that would tell me if that fish was safe to eat. Ideally, I think it would be great if the app could have a photo-based fish identification feature, and integrate other features like weather, maps, and tides. Thanks for this awesome web page!

  14. Anonymous permalink
    December 17, 2012

    I would like an app that tells me what is recyclable and what is not in the community where I am located.

    What is accepted in the recycle bins varies widely from place to place and from time to time. I often have questions about specific items such as egg cartons and milk containers even in my home town. When I travel, I have no idea.

    A GPS enabled app could provide information on what is recyclable locally.
    Note: This idea is also posted on an older list of suggested ideas. Please use this page for ideas for apps from now on.

    • December 17, 2012

      Thanks for your idea because municipalities recycle different materials. Does anyone have suggestions about this subject?

      In a similar vein, there is an app that helps you find the location of recycling containers. It’s called Recycle Me, and it was submitted to the Apps for the Environment Challenge in 2011. The link is .

    • Susan Larsen permalink
      December 20, 2012

      Earth911 has just released its updated version of iRecycle, which geolocates recycling for every ZIP code in the U.S. iRecycle is based on Earth911’s Recycling Directory with over 1.6 million ways to recycle 350 items. It’s available for iOS and Android systems and your tablet. You can read more and download the latest version at Thanks for the question!

  15. john craig permalink
    December 13, 2012


    would like to see an app that individuals, businesses and schools can sign on to show who composts their food scraps or would be willing to give their food scraps away (coffee shops, grocery stores,food courts…), who accepts food wastes and who sells compost or compost supplies.

    • December 17, 2012

      Sounds like a good idea. Does anyone know of apps that help people find places to compost or places that accept food wastes?

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