I first saw EcoChallenge mentioned on my Facebook feed when I read a status update that said a friend of mine had completed a challenge. Used to seeing updates from FarmVille, Sorority Life and a host of other games that I'm not particularly interested in, I didn't pay much attention to the update and continued scrolling down the page.
A month or two later, when I was having dinner with the friend in question, he dazzled me with an eco fact that I had never heard before. When I asked where he learned it, he told me Eco Challenge, and I then inquired as to whether it was a green trivia game or something of that nature. With a laugh, he went onto explain the purpose of this unique app developed by a team at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in Germany. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try. Here's a summary of my experiences and some background about the app:
- Available for Phone, iPod touch and iPad models with iOS 3.0 or later. As of the date of this post, there is no version available for Android devices
- Free to purchase from the App Store
- Offers English and German versions
- Provides environmental facts around a specific green theme with topics changing weekly
- Includes a calculator that allows you to determine your own personal contribution to a specific environmental issue
- Offers two challenges that can allow you to make a change in your lifestyle and help with the week's eco concern
- Allows you to share your progress with friends on social media and complete challenges together
Reducing your eco-footprint can be overwhelming. Sometimes, I feel like the little changes that I can make couldn't possibly help, but EcoChallenge makes the change that I can affect very tangible. For instance, the calculator showed me how much carbon dioxide the non-organic cotton in my closet had released into the environment. Once I saw the number, I was anxious to do better, and the challenges immediately made it possible for me to do so.
For each challenge, the app gives handy tips that help ensure your success, and the social media capabilities make the challenge more fun. Even if you can't commit to taking a weekly challenge, the app allows you to participate in the green tasks whenever you're able, making going green a little bit easier.