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HELP SAVE THE PLANET APPS

With Earth Day 2016 now behind us, we’d like to keep the vibe going and share a short list of apps geared towards saving the planet.  We found this list on Dailydot.com, a site worth checking out. In this age of touch and click, these apps may give you a sense of involvement when it comes to what we see. These apps are for the everyone who wants to learn more about climate change, and  how you can help climate scientists and related researchers do what they are doing to document and ameliorate its many impacts. The apps are free and can be accessed with both iPhone and Android.

First on the list is iNaturalist. Have you ever seen a different bird in your neighborhood or an unfamiliar nocturnal animal going for the garbage? If you do, you can use iNaturalist to describe what you saw, and others logged in can help identify it. This information is logged into a database after a registered naturalist confirms an identification. Also looking at this database are ecologists checking to see if you have spotted a creature who has drifted out of its normal range. The app is open to any strange or unusual observations that could be of scientific interest.

Loss of the Night This site is all about Light pollution emanating from cities at night, which is rough on many nocturnal animals. The app simply asks if you can see a particular star; your response lets the app know how much light pollution there is in your sky on that particular night. The data syncs with the GLOBE at Night project, which is tracking light pollution around the world.

Marine Debris Tracker If you vacation at a seaside resort or if you live near a beach and can’t stand seeing trash or debris washing up on the shore, Marine Debris Tracker lets you log the trash you see, information that gets to researchers keeping track of debris problem areas. This could help efforts to remove the trash to keep it from drifting out to sea, where it can harm marine life. All you have to do is log it after a walk on the beach.

Hummingbirds at Home Hummingbirds are amazing. They’re almost always literally starving because their metabolisms are so fast. And still they persist, acting as a critical pollinating species that several plants depend on for their own survival. Also, they’re super cute. So it would totally suck if they went extinct. You can help prevent that with Audubon’s app, Hummingbirds at Home, where you can survey from the comfort of your own backyard or window box and help ornithologists keep track of these important creatures.

Bee-Friend your Garden It’s no secret that bees are seriously important pollinators of a lot of ecologically important plants that we need food and tons of other things. They are also very environmentally threatened. But you can “bee-friend” your busy neighbors by observing them. In particular, the app Bee-Friend your Garden wants you to identify which plants in your garden are most attractive to a variety of bees. Essential for the avid gardener, you can help ensure that your backyard enables these threatened species to thrive.

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