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Even if you’re not able or ready to fully adopt an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, there are a number of ways to contribute to the well-being of the planet and environment. Anything from unplugging appliances and cell phone chargers to riding the bus instead of driving to work are excellent places to start. Hopefully you employ some of these tactics in your daily life already. But for those who are unsure of where to go from here, the answer may be in mobile apps.
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Our mobile phones are already revolutionizing the way we complete regular tasks. In fact, there are a number of apps available to help you lead a green lifestyle without much hassle. Here are five great ones.
1. For Business: FormMobi
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Best Feature: FormMobi offers templates for any type of professional. Users can also build their own forms by way of a convenient drag-and-drop feature, then share it with others to keep data consistent across teams. There’s the option to add photos, record voice notes, include signatures, and create graphs. The service offers unlimited pages for any size form, and requires no internet connection to gather data. Paper, ink, and storage costs become irrelevant, as you can email files to clients in any format or save your data securely to the cloud.
What to Consider: FormMobi includes a forms library for a variety of businesses and industries, including architecture, education, healthcare, recreation, shopping, and finance. Go here for a complete list.
Ideal User: Professionals that frequently fill out forms in the field. This includes architects, contractors, appraisers, inspectors and even medical professionals.
Cost: A personal package for one user costs $9.99 a month and offers 500 MB of storage. For five users, the cost is $49.99 a month and includes one GB of storage. If you need a large-scale option, FormMobi will custom tailor a solution to fit your needs. Check out the options .
2. For Transportation: Carticipate
Best Feature: The app taps into GPS to locate other users in the area. Carticipate knows it isn't practical to email, call, or text several people each time you want to share a ride, so it essentially completes the hard work for you. The app comes with a list of pre-loaded destinations, which you can edit or delete, as well as the option to add your own routes.
What to Consider: Depending on your location and the number of Carticipate users, the app may not turn up many results for short commutes. Users would benefit from encouraging their friends and colleagues to use the app as well.
Ideal User: Anyone looking to share resources and lower their carbon footprint will enjoy this app.
Cost: The app is free for iPhone users and can be downloaded at the Apple store .
3. For Shopping: GoodGuide
Best Feature: The scanning capability on your smartphone makes this application extremely convenient. When deciding between products at the grocery store, you can simply scan the barcode using the application and the product’s health, social, and environmental impact will be revealed.
What to Consider: Though the main ratings are determined by qualified scientists, contributors are able to comment, recommend, and review the products. If you are looking for clear-cut answers, the opinions of contributors may be a distraction for you.
Ideal User:The application is ideal for those individuals wanting to look past the marketing strategies of many products to find the real impact it has on health and the environment. For those who are socially, environmentally, or health conscious, this app will be a great learning tool.
Cost: The application is free and can be downloaded at and the .
4. For Home: Green Outlet
Best Feature: One of the easiest ways to lower your finances is to be aware of your energy consumption. In a tough economy, the application’s ability to help manage finances is extremely beneficial. Green Outlet predicts your monthly bill and lets you know which appliances are the most costly to help you make better decisions.
What to Consider: The application lacks some specificity when it comes to certain appliances. It also lacks a calculator for natural gas furnaces leaving a margin of error in the end of the month bill prediction.
Ideal User: Green Outlet is great for anyone looking for a rough estimate of the cost of energy in their household in order to cut down on monthly electricity bills. If you are an advocate for conserving energy, then this is the perfect application for you.
Cost: The application can be downloaded for $0.99 at .
5. For Lifestyle: Walk Score
Best Feature: The application’s apartment finder is a unique tool for finding places to reside in locations preferred by the user. You can search apartments by commute time, near public transit, and near places like grocery stores, coffee shops, schools, and car shares.
What to Consider: Just like most GPS’s, the application may have difficulty distinguishing your exact location, thus depending on Walk Score for walking routes may not be the most efficient way to do so.
Ideal User: The application is especially useful for those scouring the housing market and wanting to learn more about the neighborhood’s walkability. Also, individuals wanting to increase exercise in their daily routines will benefit from this app as well as those who are conscious about the effects of car pollution.
Cost: The application is free and can be downloaded at .
There are countless applications that are helping to improve our environment, but these five are a great start to encompassing environmentally-friendly lifestyles. As you can see, the benefits of these mobile applications go far beyond bettering our planet, as they promote healthy habits and well-being as well.
Have you downloaded any green applications for your smartphone? Share your favorite environmentally-friendly apps in the comments section below!
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This story originally published on Mashable .