5 of the best green apps for your iPhone

There are some iPhone apps out there that can help raise awareness of environmental issues and assist users in their efforts to be more conscious of their energy use, direct them to energy solutions and alternatives, and make healthier choices for themselves and the environment.

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to look at a small collection of apps which can help you do your bit for the environment. The majority of these five apps are free, as an added bonus.

You might not have a smart car, but if you have a smartphone, your car – and you – can be more intelligent about fuel consumption. The GreenMeter takes advantage of an iOS device's accelerometer to measure any vehicle's fuel and oil consumption, power, and carbon emissions. Users enter in a few details about their car, the type of fuel they use, and the weather, then the GreenMeter is good to go. Drivers can monitor GreenMeter and adjust acceleration to get the most mileage out of their tank based on its feedback.

The GoodGuide app is designed to keep you on the straight and narrow when you're out shopping. The app grades cleaning products, personal care items, packaged food and beverages, household goods, and even clothing based on health concerns, environmental impact, and social responsibility. It’s very thorough, and users can scan the barcode of products to see the score of these individual items and an overall rating. While the product database is very much US-centric – with barcode scanning not likely to bring much in the way of results for Brits – you can still search for major brands via text input. It’s free, too.

Setting up a Control4 system at home and syncing it with the app lets users adjust the temperature, turn lights on and off, and even open and close curtains to manage energy needs from afar. Home owners can get feedback on their energy use and costs, and make adjustments to save money. Note, of course, that you will need a Control4 system installed in your home to use this, but it’s a great piece of software for those who do.

In the war to eradicate germs and grime, the environment can suffer, but it doesn't have to. Green Shine shows that simple cabinet contents can substitute for polysyllabic pollutants, categorising cleaning solutions by room, and offering handy tips. It’s a superb resource for those who are trying to be greener.

This iOS app is a green news monitor that tracks the latest developments from over 300 news feeds, helping you stay on top of everything sustainability-related. The broader aim of Mission Zero.org is to build a community of green-minded folks, and reach zero environmental footprint eventually (hence the name).

For more great apps for your Apple smartphone, see our top 25 must-have free iPhone apps.