There are scores of carbon footprint calculators out there, but most require the estimation and input of dozens of lifestyle variables before they can deliver an estimate. We know that transportation accounts for a majority of carbon emissions, but not all trips are planned, so total impact is usually hard to figure. Until now.
From the halls of SXSW 2013 comes GiveO2, a free iPhone app that calculates your transport-related carbon footprint and provides incentives to offset those emissions without any long-division.
Unlike other carbon footprint tracking tools, which require you to record or predict trip lengths, GiveO2 does all of the work for you. Using GPS and 3G connections, the app records all the movements you make throughout your day, whether they’re by foot, bike, or automobile, crunches them via a unique algorithm, and delivers instant an instant report on the damage your commute has caused. (Note: You do still have to register your car, location, and other basic information in order to get accurate and customized results).
According to GiveO2′s creators, the use of different algorithms minimizes battery use, so that you don’t have to worry about the application wasting your battery life (if you decide to give this app a try, let us know whether this claim holds up in real life).
After coming face to face with your carbon statistics, there’s likely to be some eco-guilt, which is why GiveO2′s creators built in tools for action as well. Just tab over to the built-in “Carbon Credit Market” to offset your carbon output. “We offer to plant native trees in the Patagonia,” says co-founder Joaquin Dufeu, “and soon we will have projects located in Canada and the United States.”
Users of GiveO2 also receive points and badges for offsetting their carbon footprint. And as an added incentive, those points can be redeemed for discounts in retailers like Amazon, GAP, Reebok, and Converse, notes TechCrunch.
GiveO2 is available in the iOS App Store now, with an Android version set to be released in the coming months.