Green Tech: Four Apps That Make a Difference

Beth Ziesenis
By Beth Ziesenis

These days you can go way beyond a recycling bin to help eliminate waste and make better decisions for our environment. These four apps and tools help you make a green choice.

Eliminate Junk Mail with a Click: PaperKarma®

How many unwanted catalogs are sitting on your desk right now? According to PaperKarma, each American household receives about 850 pieces of unwanted mail a year. When you download the PaperKarma app, you simply snap a picture of the mailer’s return address and push a button. PaperKarma will submit your request to be removed from the spam list.

Note: PaperKarma works best with nationally known retailers and can’t get rid of many of the mailings addressed to “resident.”

Save Paper on Thank-You Notes: Paperless Post

A handwritten thank-you note trumps a quick email every time, but Paperless Post may bridge the gap. Paperless Post lets you create upscale emails that come enclosed in elegant yet virtual envelopes. Animation lets your recipients click on the envelopes to “open.” It’s a green solution with a wow factor.

Know Your Three Rs: iRecycle

We’ve heard Reuse, Reduce, Recycle a thousand times, but sometimes we don’t know where to start. This app identifies local recycling centers and tells you what and where you can give your waste a second life.

Track Your Green Decision: JouleBug

When it comes to saving the environment, it’s all about a lot of people each taking little steps. JouleBug gives you points based on little things you do, such as bringing a refillable coffee mug to Starbucks or taking a shorter shower. You compete with other JouleBug members to see who can do the most. The app can even track your energy usage and tally the savings.

BONUS! Reduce Landfill Waste and Donate Unneeded Items:

Your busy real estate office gets plenty of packages. Instead of recycling the cardboard, why not fill these boxes with items for charity? First, visit to print a shipping label for a partner charity. Then, fill your empty box with gently used clothing, shoes, and other household goods (no electronics, please). Attach the label to your box and drop it off at UPS or USPS. You’ve reduced waste, reused household items, and cleaned out your closet to boot!

Beth Ziesenis is Your Nerdy Best Friend. She is the author of several books about technology, including Nerd Know-How: The 27+ Best Apps for Work … & How to Use ’Em! Beth travels the country talking to organizations about free and bargain technology. Don’t miss her at upcoming Orange County REALTORS® educational events!