Has commemorating Earth Day on April 22 got you in the mood to save some energy? There's an app for that.
My Earth — Track Your Carbon Savings uses a simple diary format to help make you aware of the energy you're using during your daily routine.
The app tracks your energy consumption in areas like electricity, travel and food, and within each category, there are suggestions for doing things differently to help conserve energy. Some of the suggestions are simple (like recycling) and some are complex (like installing a high-efficiency water closet). As you take up the suggestions, you accumulate carbon units and can quickly see how much energy you are saving.
A cute visual device — a polar bear perched on an iceberg — depicts your progress. The more energy you save, the bigger the iceberg gets.
Nancy Wong, the app’s designer and professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said on the institution's website that in many people what looked like a lack of concern for the environment was really “a failure to connect individual action to that bigger picture.”
She explained that "Hopefully the app could help you understand actually whatever you do is not insignificant, and this is how you can contribute.”
The app is based on software developed by Sulabh Agarwal and Kevin Kamel.