2009 has brought us dozens of "do-gooder" green apps that focus on the brighter side of environmental friendly living — apps that help you shop green, eat green, give to green charities, or live a more green lifestyle. But now EcoSnoop is contributing a much-needed dose of vigilante justice to the mix of eco-friendly iPhone apps.
The EcoSnoop app lets individuals report on wastage of water, energy, trash or toxic pollutants. You can view cases filed near you via GPS and add documentation using photos and commentary. You can create your own complaints if, for example, your grocery store is leaving the parking lot lights on during the day or your neighbor is dumping oil down the drain.
It's an interesting idea. Some reports say as much as 30 percent of total electricity is wasted, and certainly we have all witnessed examples of this in our own communities. Crowdsourcing may be one of the best tactics for identifying such waste, but it's not clear how these complaints will ever make their way to the property owners responsible.
Nevertheless EcoSnoop does offer a first step in documenting the easy fixes that a local community needs to make, and it seems possible that local authorities, for instance a water resource board, could use the data created by users to track down excess water violations, broken pipes, and so on.
You can check out reports that have been made on the beta version of the app website.
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