Why I might break down and buy a cell phone

I don’t own a cell phone – the idea of a phone following me around everywhere I go is honestly quite scary.  However, today’s smart phones are developing a series of apps that do create things I might want.  If I do buy a cellphone, here are the top apps I will add to mine.  (Plus, I believe, all the ones listed below are free).

The Good Guide

You scan any product in the store, the Good Guide gives you a rating on its environment, health, and societal impacts of the product.  The brief rating links back into a set of detailed background information on the product.  And if , like me, you lack a cell phone – you can always look them up at www.goodguide.com.


The water fountain, as with its friend the public pay phone, is growing harder and harder to find.  The Pacific Institute had developed a crowd-sourced app to find the rapidly disappearing water fountain in its native urban habitat.

Seafood Watch: Sustainable Seafood Guide

This app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium tells you whether the fish you are thinking of buying is healthy and sustainably caught.  Additionally, it has an extra crowd-sourced component that lets you look up where others have purchased sustainable seafood in the area.

Fooducate: Eat a Bit Better

Fooducate makes shopping a heck of a lot easier.  It sorts through all the labels and promises to give any food you scan a clear letter grade: A-F, just like in school.  Again, if you don’t have a phone, you can look items up by hand on the computer.