Our Favorite Tech from Surfing to Sustainability

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Digital tools can help us navigate our way to more sustainable habits. Find your way on an eco-conscious route with Google Maps, or download green apps: Small changes in our day-to-day life can have a collective impact on climate mitigation. Here are a few of Bluedot’s favorite tech tips, tricks, and opportunities.

Green apps

TrailsMV

Created by the Sheriff’s Meadow Organization, TrailsMV includes updated maps of trails, maps of conservation properties, descriptions of the areas, and GPS to show you where you are on your hike. Create an account, and you can also post photos of your M.V. adventure to the app, as well as like and comment on others’ posts. The All-Island Trails Committee has a dedicated page on The MV Times site, so you can see all Island trails in one place

Earth Hero: Climate Change

Answer a short questionnaire and discover how your carbon footprint compares to your country’s average, and to the global average. This app suggests more than 100 actions, ranging from easy to ambitious, that have their own impact score. Earth Hero helps you set a target to reduce your emissions by making everyday changes, and keeps you on track for a more sustainable lifestyle. 

LiveGreen Daily Carbon Tracker

This app tracks the impact of your car trips and flights, and the footprint of your utilities, purchases, and food. By connecting with the Apple Health app, LiveGreen rewards you with points each time you choose to walk or bike, which can be used to plant trees in reforestation projects across the globe. For a fee, you can join LiveGreen Plus, and can offset what you can’t reduce by funding certified carbon-removal projects through LiveGreen’s partnership with the United Nations Carbon Offset Platform.

More digital fun

MV Plant Trading and Gardening 

MV Plant Trading and Gardening is a private Facebook group of 1,500, where Islanders can ask each other questions, share tips, help identify plants and species, sell and trade plants or items, and show off their gardening achievements. 

To connect with the group, log on to Facebook and request to join “MV Plant Trading and Gardening.”

Ecosia

Ecosia is a free search engine, similar to Google, Bing, or Yahoo, that uses your searches to plant trees across the globe. Here’s how it works: Ecosia takes the profit generated from the ad revenue of each search to plant trees in biodiversity hotspots at risk from deforestation. Since its launch in 2009, Ecosia has helped plant over 123 million trees at more than 9,000 planting sites around the world.

With over 15 million current users, Ecosia helps plant one tree every 1.3 seconds. Ecosia also keeps track of each user’s searches to show how many trees you’ve planted.

Go to ecosia.org and click “Search with Ecosia.” You’ll find instructions for downloading Ecosia depending on your current web browser. A mobile app for your smartphone means you can search on the go. 

–Kyra Steck

Google Maps go green (thanks, Grist, for clueing us into this)

“One of the world’s biggest tech companies is taking on transportation emissions, one Google Maps user at a time. The navigation program, which has more than 150 million users, will soon recommend the route with the lowest carbon footprint as the default option in situations where that route has roughly the same estimated arrival time as the fastest route, according to Dane Glasgow, vice president of product at Google Maps. And when the most eco-friendly route is a bit longer than other options, the program will still list it alongside the fastest route, along with the emissions associated with both, so that users can make informed decisions. 

“Transportation is the single biggest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., so even marginal changes in driver behavior could mean large emissions reductions at scale. Google’s revamp of its maps comes on the heels of the company’s 2020 announcement that it had eliminated its ‘entire carbon legacy’ — and its pledge to power its operations with carbon-free electricity by 2030.”

–Adam Mahoney, grist.org

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Bluedot Living
Bluedot Living magazine is published quarterly (three times in 2021) by The Martha’s Vineyard Times, publishers of The Martha’s Vineyard Times weekly newspaper, Martha’s Vineyard Arts & Ideas Magazine, Edible Vineyard Magazine, The Local, The Minute daily newsletter, Vineyard Visitor, & the websites MVTimes.com, VineyardVisitor.com, & MVArtsandIdeas.com.

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