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Apps for Living Sustainably
By: Josh Henretig, Group Manager, Environmental Sustainability
28 February 2012

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In the thousands of apps available for download on our phones, most of which used for entertainment or enhancing productivity, it is sometimes difficult to find those that serve as tools for us to contribute to our environment, and live more sustainable lifestyles. We’ve selected 5 of the best apps available today in the EU, and what’s more, they are all free for download on the Windows Phone Marketplace!

Application: INRIX Traffic

Use: Help reduce the carbon footprint of our journeys

If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic and wished you’d taken another, more efficient route to your destination, then INRIX Traffic app is for you. INRIX Traffic puts the power of real-time traffic flow and incident reports in the palm of your hand. It also provides you with a brief glimpse into the future by allowing you to “forecast” your departure time and assess the potential impact of traffic on your trip. The less time we can spend on the road, the more we save in time, money and CO2 emissions. The INRIX Traffic app is available in Spanish, English, Italian, French, German, Hungarian and Dutch. You can find out more about this app and its specific uses in Europe at the INRIX website.

Application: Love Clean London

Use: Engaging with local government to keep streets clean

Love Clean London makes it easier for Londoners to report environmental crimes, receive feedback from London boroughs on progress, and save London boroughs money. This app encourages a greater level of engagement between citizens and local government officials. Suppose you observe spilled paint running down a local storm drain, or garbage left out on the street, you can take a photo and report the situation to the relevant authority immediately. The app also keeps you informed of progress in a variety of ways, including text and email messages and the Love Clean London web site.

Application: Treehugger
Use: News & information

TreeHugger is a leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. They strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. The app mimics the Treehugger website, providing useful information on living "green" organized by appropriately themed categories such as Latest News, Business, Climate Change, Green Jobs, etc.

Application: eBay
Use: Enabling second lives from products

With more than 97 million active users globally, eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, enabling second - or third, or fourth - lives from products that may have been intended to have just one. From promoting the use and re-use of things that already exist to harnessing the efficiencies of the internet to reduce waste, eBay is empowering its users to make more sustainable choices. eBay has also recently partnered with clothing maker Patagonia to encourage people to buy less, and buy used. The eBay Mobile application itself allows eBay members to search, bid, and check their activity on the go. Buyers can submit that last-minute bid on a hard-to-find item, sellers can check on their sales, and act on time-sensitive information on the spot without a computer.

Application: Skype for Windows Phone
Use: Accelerating communication capabilities to reduce carbon emissions

Skype for Windows Phone supports the most important Skype features you've come to know and love. You can make free audio and video calls to your Skype contacts over 3G and 4G or WiFi, make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit,  and create and hold one-to-one and group chats. Skype is being used with increasing frequency for virtual participation in international meetings, allowing users to incorporate climate consciousness into their everyday activities.

Feel free to share with us your favorite green Windows Phone app!

This article was originally published on the official blog of Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability team. You can find it here.

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