This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the winners of its “Apps for the Environment” challenge, which encouraged developers to use EPA data to create new and innovative smartphone and web applications.
“Innovators from across the country have used information to help people protect our health and the environment,” EPA’s Chief Information Officer Malcolm Jackson said in a statement. “The winners of the Apps for the Environment challenge demonstrate that it’s possible to transform data from EPA and elsewhere into applications that people can use.”
Check out the five winners:
Winner, Best Overall App: Light Bulb Finder
Need to upgrade your home’s lighting to be more energy efficient? Enter your zip code and simple information about your home’s existing lighting, and the Light Bulb Finder app will instantly recommend energy-efficient bulbs with the right fit, appearance and quality, while calculating cost and energy savings. The Light Bulb Finder is a free download for your iPhone, iPad touch, iPod and Android smartphone.
Runner-Up, Best Overall App: Hootroot
Hootroot helps you plan your next trip, providing directions while comparing the environment footprint of your different transportation choices: driving, walking, biking, flying and public transit. Available as a web app, Hootroot requires no installation; simply head to hootroot.com to start using the free tool.
Winner, Best Student App: EarthFriend
Developed by an app firm and high school students in North Carolina, EarthFriend is an educational game, providing instruction on climate, water and pollution issues, while offering tips on what you can do to contribute to a better environment. You can download this mobile game for free for your iPhone, iPod or iPad at iTunes.
An environmental planning and policy student at Western Washington University was named runner-up for the best student app category; he developed an online interactive, participatory map to give members of the Navajo Nation access to EPA data on environmental hazards in their community.
The winner of the popular choice award was CG Search, an Android mobile app which helps Atlanta residents choose which other U.S. cities to visit based on their eco-credentials, comparing their air quality index, air pollutant levels and energy consumption with Atlanta’s.