Even though most people probably don’t look at it as such, the smart phone is an excellent piece of technology to help us clean up the planet. With so many green initiatives being launched and so much awareness of the challenges facing our environment, we need tools like mobile devices which enable us not only to be informed of environmental issues, but even help out by taking action.
As we move forward into an increasingly polluted world dominated by human waste and the products of industry, it is more important than ever for both businesses and individuals to become more aware of the impact their actions have on the environment. Mobile devices provide a gateway to environmental activism everyday, giving users the chance to hold businesses and even individuals accountable for their harmful (and maybe even illegal) actions.
An Eye on Pollution
While plenty of laws have been enacted in countries across the globe to prevent pollution, deal with illegal dumping, regulate the disposal of hazardous materials, reduce emissions and all sorts of other legislation, we still see all of these problems occurring time and time again. Yet thanks to the help of vigilant mobile users, we now live in a society where practically everyone has the ability to take pictures or film straight from the device in their pocket.
The result of this is far better reporting on violators looking to break pollution laws. Everyone can now take action against major polluters by capturing evidence of their environmentally harmful actions. Where previously one would have had very few and questionably reliable outlets to bring such issues to public attention, a modern smart phone can upload a damning photo or video onto a social network in seconds, often enough to elicit a response from major corporations. As simple as it seems, this technology gives activists the power to make big impacts from the palm of their hand.
Eco Friendly Apps
Even if you aren’t ready to don the mantle (or the collar) of the watch dog and tote your phone around as your weapon of choice for environmental activism, there is still quite a bit you can do to help the environment. As an example, the #climate app provides users with in depth information on how they can take steps in their everyday lives to help fight climate change. The whole thing is wrapped up in a social network, giving users access to other like-minded eco-friendly mobile users, enabling the app to provide a broad range of ever evolving goals and ideas.
Other apps like Dropcountr take a more pragmatic approach, synching up to data provided by water companies to give you precise tracking over your usage, which can be used to save both water and money on your bill. Apps like Farmstand let you easily source locally grown foods and support local farmers, helping you vote for environmental sustainability with your wallet.
Keeping Track of the Environment World Wide
Given the boom in environmental consciousness, it may not be long before we see our phones equipped with a few simple devices to give us a better picture of our environment. By equipping mobile devices with basic technologies such as air quality meters. If metrics like air quality were being constantly collected by the billions of mobile devices across the planet and fed into a service to analyze this data, researchers and authorities would have a massively useful tool to monitor air quality across the globe.
Sensors which test air quality already exist and could in theory be integrated into our phones. But if they will is a matter of how environmentally conscious mobile users become. Already, there is an app for Android devices called the Visibility App which uses the device’s camera to attempt to measure air pollution based on data visible in the photo. Pretty neat!
More Numbers, Better Decisions
Mobile technology does not, in itself, help the environment. It is important to remember that the creation of mobile networks as well as the manufacturing of mobile devices has a negative environmental impact in itself. However, what these devices enable us to do is collect better data on all kinds of issues relating to the environment. It allows us to build better models, collect more real world information, and truly know what is going on across the planet’s entire environment. It also allows us to hold ourselves and others accountable for their impact on the environment, and even provides us an opportunity to learn about and track the impact our actions have, be they big or small.
Check out some of the apps we’ve mentioned above to get started today working on your own efforts to combat pollution, avert climate crisis, and take other eco-friendly steps to hopefully leave the planet a nicer place than you found it.