Manage your carbon footprint with green mobile applications for your phone. Rasmussen College Director of the School of Technology and Design Hap Aziz discusses six of the best apps to increase your green awareness in this WMAQ NBC Chicago news segment. The mobile applications discussed include ecobee, vRideAlong, NoDryClean, GreenSpace Map, Locavore and Green Gas Saver.
Want to learn more about how to create green apps such as the ones mentioned above? Explore the Rasmussen College Software Application Devleopment degree and learn the in-demand skills necessary to create mobile applications such as the six green mobile apps featured here.
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Ginger Zee: Welcome back. In Ginger's Green Scene this morning, Hap's got apps to make us green. Hap Aziz, Director of the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College, is here to show us there's an app for that, even when it comes to green.
Hap Aziz: Thank you, Ginger. Yes, there are many apps that are available on iPhone devices, Android devices that help people manage their carbon footprint or their impact on the environment, which is a good thing.
Ginger Zee: We run, I run my whole life off my phone. I don't know what to do with myself without it. So, why not add a little green element? We have four different things that you can look at. The first one we start with is ecobee?
Hap Aziz: That's right.
Ginger Zee: And what does this entail?
Hap Aziz: Ecobee is actually a remote for a thermostat that you would install in your home. The ecobee thermostat is WiFi enabled, and it does things like detects the weather locally. So, you're able to change your thermostat based on humidity factors.
Ginger Zee: Nice.
Hap Aziz: If the weather changes around your home and you're out of town or you're at the office, you can more efficiently use the heating/cooling system you've got.
Ginger Zee: Super helpful and save money.
Hap Aziz: Yes.
Ginger Zee: vRideAlong, what does this one do? Or vRideAlong, we're not sure either way.
Hap Aziz: It can be pronounced either way as far as I can tell, but vRideAlong is a carpooling tool that allows you to subscribe and find people that are riding in the direction you're riding. It's also got a carbon footprint calculator so you can tell how much money you'd be saving by carpooling. You'd plug in the distance to your office, for example, and the gas mileage you get and you'd figure that out.
Ginger Zee: I love that because it gets so personal.
Hap Aziz: Yes.
Ginger Zee: This one is a big issue to me, dry cleaning. So, this is called NoDryClean.
Hap Aziz: Yes, NoDryClean actually allows you to find the different green dry cleaning shops in your location. It will use your GPS to help you find the shops. There are several different, really, environmentally friendly dry cleaning methods. There's a wet clean method that is great for delicate laundry that you have. There's also a carbon dioxide method of cleaning, which, interestingly enough, does not affect the carbon footprint because it uses industrial waste carbon dioxide, so to speak. So, there's no addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Ginger Zee: My dry cleaner, I use Lake City Cleaners. They're up in Evanston, but they go all over. So maybe you'd find something that would actually come to you that you wouldn't have known about before.
Hap Aziz: That's right. There's a whole database of the dry cleaners, including their phone number. So you can see what's close. Just press the little icon that you see on the screen, and then you'll be able to get in touch with dry cleaner.
Ginger Zee: So easy, and then we have GreenSpace Map. So what does this one do?
Hap Aziz: This is interesting especially if you're looking to move someplace. It's a map that will show you what toxic environments or toxic waste environments are nearby. That's good to see. It's interesting to see what's available on the map.
Ginger Zee: Locavore, this one's farming? Or farmer's markets?
Hap Aziz: Well, it's farmer's markets and it tells you what's in season locally. So, you can find out where you can get some very, very healthful and very fresh fruits and vegetables. But, at the same time, if you're buying what's in season locally, that has the impact of, if enough people do it, you'll reduce the shipping of fruits and vegetables that come to your location.
Ginger Zee: Back in the day, strawberries had a season.
Hap Aziz: Right.
Ginger Zee: Now, you can know when that is. Green Gas Saver.
Hap Aziz: Green Gas Saver is an application that helps you drive more efficiently. It uses the accelerometer in your device and helps you brake and turn more smoothly so that will improve the gas mileage of your vehicle.
Ginger Zee: We've been talking a lot about that throughout the last couple of mornings, obviously, gas a big issue. So, if you missed any of this, Hap, thank you for being here.
Hap Aziz: Thank you.
Ginger Zee: You can find links to him and we have Twitter and all that stuff on our website. If you go to NBCChicago.com, go to the little search box on the top, type in "Weekend Today" in about an hour and this will be here. So a lot of info to take in, but a lot that we can learn from our apps. Kim?
Kim: All right, thanks very much, Ginger. Hey, some of those apps that she was pointing out can come in handy with our rising gas prices. That story about the gas prices still ahead.