x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

App of the Week: Even lazy geeks can come to see the 'go green' light

These smartphone apps can help colour your digital life eco-friendly by making better purchases and improving your carbon footprint.

The biggest mental block geeks have to overcome before they can obey the 21st century's moral imperative to "go green" is the whole "go" part.

Any profiler worth his salt would say that a typical techie leans towards a more sedentary lifestyle, averse not only to "going", but most action verbs in general.

Let's face it, when compared to an oak tree, many of us have about the same metabolic rate, and can post only slightly better times in a 5K run.

Fortunately, smartphone apps such as the ones featured here can, with little or no effort, nudge us in the right direction, making sure that as we move towards the light of progress, we're drawn to the version that has a more greenish hue.

Go Green

Did you know that laptops use five times less energy than desktop computers? I didn't until I downloaded this simple free app (iPhone, Android) that offers suggestions on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

Each time you open the app, a new tip appears, and the old tips go to "The Green List" for future reference.


When it comes to safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable consumer products, high-fibre maple and brown sugar flavoured Quaker Instant Oatmeal scores 5.9 on a 10-point scale according to this free app (iPhone, Android).

GoodGuide is a treasure trove of information that helps shoppers put more than 70,000 products and companies in the right green perspective.

This multi-featured app includes a bar-code scanner, giving you instant in-store access to all relevant information before you buy not just groceries, but also clothes, appliances and most any other consumer goods.


Take this app (Dh22, iPhone) on the road to measure your car's eco-driving efficiency. It displays results in real time to help you save money and reduce your commuting carbon footprint. Once you input data that is specific to your vehicle, it displays myriad graphs and scales that help you see the effects of aerodynamic drag and acceleration, and allows you to see how you can achieve measurable differences with simple adjustments, such as maintaining a consistent speed or rolling up your windows.

Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Curt Brandao at cbrandao@thenational.ae


To mark Earth Week, The National directs its focus on the environment with Green Issues, highlighting the need for education and attention to the needs of our planet.