9 Free Apps to Help You Live More in Touch with Nature
If you’re looking for ways to better integrate nature into your life, there’s an app (or nine) for it. Below we’ve compiled our favorite apps for living a more nature-aware life, from calming meditation to hardcore water tracking.
If you want to channel mindfulness… Stop, Breathe, Think (Free)
Part of being a conscious citizen is keeping yourself healthy and ready to keep fighting the good fight. Stop, Breathe, Think is a new meditation app that capitalizes on the in between moments, rather than asking you to devote a lengthy half hour to meditation. There are a whole host of meditations to choose from, from Nature Sound meditations to Kindness meditations.
If you want to shop more consciously… GoodGuide (Free)
Reading labels and ingredients can be hard. (How many minutes of my life have I wasted Googling “[ingredient name] + bad” while standing in front of hundreds of shampoo options? Never mind– I don’t want to know.) All the research is out there, but it can be hard to find it all in one consistent place, especially if you’re shopping for multiple items. Which is where GoodGuide comes in. GoodGuide scans product bar codes and then offers information on how green the product is, based on scientific research.
If you want to boost your natural healing… Best Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (Free)
If you want to get more into essential oils (who doesn’t?!) Best Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Guide Pro is a must. The app lets you search, favorite, and view different oils, while offering “referential guidelines about the use of available single oil and oil blends” for a host of conditions from long-term issues like anti-aging to more acute issues like insomnia. For each of the oils named, the app outlines how they can be used topically, aromatically, or internally.
If you want to really shape up your transportation habits… GiveO2 (Free)
We’ve all taken that “how many earths would you need if everyone lived like you” depressing quiz– but GiveO2 wants to take that information and put it to work for you. By measuring your transportation activity automatically, GiveO2 helps draw attention to areas where you can improve your day-to-day CO2 contributions. You can keep track of how much CO2 you’ve reduced and emitted, and can choose to offset your CO2 directly through the app.
If you want to meet the day fully prepared… Poncho, Wake Up (Free)
Poncho (which recently competed on Planet of the Apps) is a personalized weather app that offers charming forecasts, in addition to updates on travel conditions, pollen count, and the UV index. While checking the basic weather doesn’t seem like the most obviously eco-conscious decision, being fully aware of what nature’s throwing at you (from pollen to sun) can help you better anticipate how to go about your day, thereby allowing you to pack up your favorite sun hat (instead of being caught off guard) or brewing some nettle tea (instead of stopping at CVS on your way to work to dose up on Allegra).
If you want to vote with your dollar… Buy Partisan (Free)
Looking for other ways to hold your representatives accountable, especially now that the upper reaches of government are rife with politicians who don’t believe in Climate Change? The cleverly named Buy Partisan wants to help you out. When you scan bar codes, the app will provide information on the political candidates the company has contributed to. In the era when corporations are contributing millions to campaigns (for better or worse), make your dollar count too.
If you want to start eating more seasonally… Locavore (Free)
Eating seasonally can be hard to keep track of, especially if you’re moving between climates or are confused by the fact that you can find citrus at any time of year. Locavore, a seasonal, local food network, takes the guesswork out of your shopping and gives you lists of what’s in season depending on where you live– ensuring you not only keep your habits in tune with the earth, but get better, fresher produce as well. (Peaches in December? Er, no thank you.)
If you want to keep better track of your driving… GasHog (Free)
By gathering information from your odometer, GasHog allows you to track the fuel economy of your vehicle and also offers helpful tips for improving your fuel economy. Simple, free, and with data that’s easy to export, this app is perfect for Excel nerds who want to pore over their own information. Even if you’re driving multiple cars, GasHog lets you keep track of them separately, to ensure you can derive the most information possible each time you get behind the wheel.
If you need to watch your water… Dropcountr (Free)
If your water bill is constantly leaving you stricken or if you live in a drought zone, Dropcountr lets you set realistic goals to keep your home in check. Users select which appliances they’d like to track (like dishwashers or sprinklers) and can view information around current and past usage, to compare their habits against themselves, while also setting their own water budgets. For those who have smart meters, Dropcountr provides leak alerts (for example, if the hose gets left on).