Want your business to go green? (It’s Earth Day, after all.) There’s an app for that! There are a number of iPhone and iPad apps that can help make your small business more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Whether it’s finding 100 percent recycled toilet paper or locating a green manufacturing partner, here are 10 green applications that you can download to reduce your company’s carbon footprint — and in some cases your business’s expense account.
1) Fuze Meeting (30 day free trial) – Available for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, the Fuze Meeting app allows your company to host or attend meetings over the web, with full presenter controls and desktop sharing. For meeting attendees in different geographic locations, this mobile meeting tool provides a way for your company to do its part in curbing global warming by decreasing travel-related fuel consumption.
2) Green Card (Free) – Simply create your digital business card in your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to share it directly with your contacts. When you make a change to your electronic card, your contacts are immediately notified. While you may receive groans from those who like to collect those 3.5 x 2-inch old-school business cards, you can feel good knowing you’re saving a tree.
3) Route4Me (Free) – One of the top navigation apps in the App Store, Route4Me is a must-have app for any mobile salesman, service technician, delivery driver, or real estate agent. Its multi-destination feature re-organizes your route so it’s more fuel-friendly. You’ll not only save fuel and CO2 emissions, but time and money to boot.
4) SoundNote ($4.99) – Save a tree or two with SoundNote, which enables you to type notes on your iPad while attending meetings, interviews, or conferences, without using a scrap of paper. What’s more impressive, Sound Note records audio, so you’ll never miss an important detail. Sound Note also has a powerful drawing tool for quick sketches. If you’re not all that comfortable with the touch screen yet, try out WritePad ($9.99), which you can use to hand-write notes with a special stylus pen or — if you prefer — your finger and convert the scribble to text. While WritePad isn’t as versatile as SoundNote, it’ll still help with note taking while letting you go paperless.
5) Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper (Free) – Want to do your part in stopping the flushing of ancient trees down the toilet? Thankfully, toilet paper can now be manufactured from recycled paper. The Greenpeace app, developed by 3rd Whale, makes it easy for you to figure out which brands of toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels and napkins are made from 100 percent recycled content, at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled content, or are bleached without chlorine toxic compounds. So, don’t allow your office to run out of toilet paper again — stock up on environmentally-friendly TP. Here’s a hint, Green Forest, Natural Value, and Seventh Generation all receive a thumbs up.
6) Green Charging ($0.99) – Did you know that many phones and other electronic devices continue to use electricity while plugged in, even when fully charged? Since electricity is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, any efforts companies can make to save electricity can make a notable difference in the volume of CO2 released into the atmosphere. This app from Impetus Technologies, Inc. sounds an alarm and makes your phone vibrate when it’s fully charged. Another feature: Displaying how much talk time you have left based upon your current battery condition.
7) iRecycle (Free) – Does your business use a lot of recyclable materials? If so, iRecycle, developed by Earth911 helps you to look up locations in your area that accept trash for recycling. With over 240 materials available to be recycled, surely your company can do its bit in reducing the amount of waste filling up landfills.
8) 3rdWhaleMobile ($1.99) - To better partner with or patronize local sustainable businesses, check out the 3rdWhaleMobile app. While the name is unusual, what this app does is impressive: Its GPS-enabled service allows you to find listings and locations for over 60,000 green businesses, with turn-by-turn directions to get to your green destination sooner.
9) Good Guide (Free) – With more than 70,000 product ratings, the Good Guide app helps you purchase safe and sustainable products for your business. From organic food products to eco-friendly paper products and cleaning supplies, businesses can make their next office supplies purchase count by helping the planet. You can even scan a product bar code with your phone to quickly looking up its health, environment, and social responsibility rating.
10) Commute Greener (Free) – The Commute Greener app “turns your phone into a mobile CO2 calculator.” This iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app is designed to help individuals, companies, and communities make a positive climate change. Based upon your daily commuting choices, this ingenious application tracks your greenhouse gas emissions. More importantly, it encourages you to set reduction targets. There’s a clever social aspect to this app too, which allows you to compare your carbon footprint reductions with others. Why not conduct an office contest to see who can be greenest?