When it comes to green solutions, we’re often looking for something big, but the real game changers in history have often been rather small. Clay tablets from ancient Mesopotamia may not look like much now, but by storing and transmitting information in this novel format, they eventually lead to the game changers of the modern information revolution like mobile computing. And a technology with as much potential as mobile computing has the power to change the world for the better.
One of the keys to the power of smartphones is the ability of users to customize them with apps, acting as co-creators of their own individualized mobile computing device. And there’s a lot more to smartphone apps than Angry Birds. Many apps are being developed that try to bring us together and mobilize the power of smartphones for positive change. The iPhone app “Crazy Weather” tells a story for kids that helps them learn about climate change, and the “Happy Planet” app is an environmental game that teaches as well as amuses. The eco-app “Green Outlet” helps you find which appliances are draining your energy and your budget, and “Solar PV Installer” is handy for homeowners and installers both to make quick calculations about the cost and payoff from solar installations. And more environmentally friendly green apps, “Eco Apps”, are coming out all the time.
One of the dilemmas for app developers is whether they should have a free app, to get the greatest number of downloads, or charge for the app. A free app will have to earn its way through ads and upgrades. I’m sure eco apps face the same challenge. EcoAppsFree from Fullcircle Innovations, a startup based in Tokyo – Japan, helps developers and eco app fans to have it both ways, leveraging the power of Eco Apps with the power of free.
EcoAppsFree allows app users like you to download one of the eco-friendly apps available on a particular day (there’s a list on their site of previously featured eco apps), and use it free for 24 hours without worrying so much about whether you’ll like it or not. If you like it, great you can keep it knowing it’s worth the small price. If you don’t love it, then there’s no harm done.
Developers have already reported great success by having their apps featured on EcoAppsFree. “We reached new markets that previously seemed out of reach,” reported Cyndi with the Green Outlet app.
“I still can’t believe the results! In only 24 hours, the app has been downloaded 7K times!” reported the team that created the Pro Alarm app. “Before that it was downloaded about 20-30 times a day.”
“More than 15,000 downloads, number one in five countries, top ten in thirty countries, all in 24 hours,” confirmed Alejandro developer of iSleep Space.
“EcoAppsFree enables smartphone users to make the sustainable changes that our planet needs while they’re on the go,” said Flavio Souza, Fullcircle Innovations Founder and CEO. “Our EcoAppsFree motto ‘where greening the world goes mobile’ defines our distinct vision, distinguishing us from PC-based green websites that expect users to do those changes while sitting at their desktops. We also give app developers a channel straight to eco-conscious individuals that are their most likely users. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”
Fullcircle Innovations has more in the works as well as part of their overall goal of harnessing the power of IT to promote environmental action, protection, and innovation. “We are building a global system that will in the end go fullcircle in our care of our planet,” concluded Flavio Souza.
It’s time for a change, and having the right tools helps bring that change closer. One little tool like EcoAppsFree opens the door to many different possibilities, breaking down the walls that might hold people back from giving green a try. One app and one person might not change the world, but millions of people and hundreds of apps might change quite a lot. It might even change the people themselves, inspiring more people into action to be a part of much-needed environmental solutions.
Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses” and “Starting Green”, and the founder of Starting Up Green, helping businesses to start green and grow green.