With over 2 million smart phone apps on the market - and many more premiering daily, my first thought is - isn't this just a new form of consumerism and consumption?  Is it a way to just fill our already busy lives with yet another thing to click on and to buy?  Can an app help people make more sustainable decisions?

When the producer of the new smart phone app "Sustainability Compass" contacted me to see whether I was interested in helping get the word out about this new app, I was hesitant. Being overwhelmed myself with social media, technology, and emails, I was not sure that I wanted to download an app that is supposed to help me think smarter and act smarter, but it also piqued my interest when he told me it wasn't going to tell its user what to do, it was going to ask questions to stimulate thoughts and dialogue about actions related to sustainability and human needs related to projects that people are starting.

The Sustainability Compass is simple and elegant in design - it is not a fancy, fast and furious app that "does" something, but rather an app that gives a person the chance to think out-of-the box about a new project or purchase. I mean, when we are thinking about moving to a new apartment, what comes to mind is location size and price, but the sustainability app presumes that there is more to think about. For example, it gives various not-so-usual categories to contemplate and choose from to think about which include, health, fossil fuels, creation, and enviormmental protection (to name a few) that might also be worth considering when choosing a place where a person undoubtedly will spend a great deal of their immediate time.  Under each category that is chosen by the user, there are then some further questions to consider that are related to the topic and the project.

A further cool addition to this app is a deck of downloadable, printable cards that can be used in a classroom or workshop setting to get people to expand their thinking about the bigger sustainable picture when making project decisions. No checklists here - those are available online and are actually constraining. The sustainability app and the cards ask questions to generate creative and smart thought - and we all know that the best way to come up with better and best ideas is by contemplating the bigger picture.

People who are downloading and using the app are sharing their Sustainability Compass user experience and ideas to help people think smarter and act smarter in their own lives.

Available on iTunes for iPhone, iPad, and IPod touch. Requires iOS 7.0 or later -  is optimized for iPhone 5. In English and German.

Available on GooglePlay for Android - in English and German Requires 4.0 and up.

For more information, go to: www.compass-for-sustainability.net (with YouTube channel and guestbook).  

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Thanks!  I downloaded the app - really like it! I have recently started reading more about sustainability and this is a good start for me - I have several projects at home and also one at the hospital where I work as a nurse that this app will be helpful to get me to think about other aspects.

Hello colleagues,

Are there any plans to have it for Windows Phone?
I'd love to download it!

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