How Gamification Can Help You Be More Environmentally Responsible
People are aware that some of Earth’s most valuable resources are finite. It’s no secret that landfills are overflowing and, that isn’t our only problem. Humans have also inflicted quite a bit of damage to the oceans and the air as well. While we may have, in the past, been largely ignorant to the real (and sometimes permanent) effects our actions have on the environment, in modern times, the environmental, or “green”, movement has gained powerful momentum and is now taking the country by storm.
These days, most people will do what they can to lessen their individual impact on the environment. We shut off the tap while brushing our teeth. We try to remember to bring those reusable grocery bags along, when we head to the supermarket. The problem is, other than these, very few, popular green habits, most people are at a loss when it comes to living a more Earth-conscious lifestyle. So, now what? How do we get people to not only invest their valuable time learning new green habits, but also expend the energy necessary to implement these new habits into their daily life?
The answer is simple. We use gamification. In addition to improving education, engaging businesses, and encouraging better health- you can now add “inspiring environmental responsibility” to the list of gamification achievements. Sustainability apps are making almost every aspect of green living simple. With the help of these gamified apps, more and more people are becoming committed to their own environmental responsibility.
So, what about you? Are you ready to join in? If so, here are 5 apps that can get you started, then help you stay, on the path to green living.
1. Green Me!
This app is great place to start for people who are looking to create new, more sustainable, lifestyle habits. It provides users with hundreds of ideas, separated into categories (like, Green My Clothing) to help them live a greener lifestyle.
The interface of Green Me! is structured like a calender, and each time the user logs a green activity, that date on their calender turns a darker shade of green. In this way, the users can visually track their progress on the calender.
You can learn a lot of new information about the green movement, and look up different green definitions. And, you can even submit your own green ideas.
2. Joule Bug
This app will help you conserve a ton of energy. Joule Bug shows you lots of ways to make small changes in your daily habits, that can lead to big savings in energy. The app even connects to your home utility account and shows you how much you’ve saved!
You can earn rewards and badges, for each conservation action you take, and you can even find some healthy competition on the leader-board. Share your experience and results on Facebook, and get your friends in on the game too!
3. Paper Karma
If living a more sustainable lifestyle earned no other reward than this, it would be worth it. Paper Karma gets rid of your junk mail! And who doesn’t want to get rid of the ridiculous amount of wasted paper, that daily clogs up your mailbox? All you have to do is take a picture of the offending piece of junk mail with your smartphone, click a button, and just like that- you’ve been unsubscribed. It’s nearly miraculous! (And think of all the trees you’re saving)
4. Good Guide
Sustainable living isn’t just about changing bad habits. It’s also about creating better habits, like supporting other individuals and businesses, who share your commitment to environmental responsibility.
The Good Guide app, makes identifying companies with strong green practices, a cinch. Whether people realize it, or not, the products you choose to purchase have a huge impact on our environment. Every dollar you spend on a product, is a vote for the business that produced that product, and the methods they used to do it. You want to make sure that your votes (dollars) are being cast in support of companies that operate in sustainable and ethical ways.
The Good Guide app is a directory of over 200,000 consumer items, and it allows users to learn more about the eco-friendly nature of each item. If an item ranks low, then Good Guide provides users with safer and ethical alternatives, within the same general price range. Each product is rated in terms of health standards, safety, social and environmental impact. Just use the barcode scanner, to scan the product you want to buy, and get instant ratings.
Here is a fun app that encourages you to complete at least one green task per day. Just tap your screen to roll the die, and get your green activity. You could be instructed to separate some trash today, or walk/bicycle to work. You might even be instructed to conserve water, by showering with a friend. Oh, the sacrifices we make in the name of environmental responsibility!
There are many more applications out there that gamify sustainability and conservation, and people are getting on board in ever-increasing numbers. This only goes to show that, if you’ve got the right motivation, and a little creativity, you can make a game out of almost anything. And sometimes, those games can even help save the planet.
Image Credit: Wikipedia