Apps that bring tree huggers and iPhone and iPad lovers together for the greater green are few and far between. While they might be in relatively short supply at the moment, there are a handful of green apps out there to help minimize your impact on the earth.

So, go on — green up your device. We’ll give you a head start with 5 environmentally friendly apps we dug up and planted with care for you below. (Stay tuned for 6 more in our next Green Your Tech.) All of them are educational, fun, and easy to use.

1. My Carbon Footprint
Price: Free
Download: My Carbon Footprint

Brave enough to see what your carbon footprint really looks like? Then let My Carbon Footprint be the judge of how clean and green you are. Te ll the enlightening app how you live, work, eat, and entertain yourself, and it tells you how you impact Mother Earth and her fragile atmosphere. The app sends you a fresh daily crop of encouraging eco-tips and rewards you with cool badges and bragging rights on Facebook for good, green behavior. Bonus: You get to be the fearless leader of your very own virtual planet.

2. Solar Panel Advisor
Price: $1.99
Download: Solar Panel Advisor

Solar Panel Advisor is a bright, eco-educational app that lets your iPad or iPad 2 show what a solar panel could do for you. (But don’t expect your tablet to charge itself or anything else by the sun, okay?) Launch the app, face your iPad in the direction of the sun, and find out how much solar power could be generated by any size solar panel under the same strength of rays. You’ll learn how solar energy takes the heat off the atmosphere and your electricity bill, plus how cloud cover and precipitation impact solar energy output. People who’ve already unplugged and gone sustainable can use the app to remotely monitor solar panels at home and get automatic panel maintenance and cleaning reminders.

Too bad Solar Panel Advisor doesn’t use the free (and pollution-free) energy of the sun to power your tablet like Voltaic’s Solar Spark iPad charging case would, for example. Want more mobile solar gadget choices? Check out our hot list of sun-loving iPad and iPhone chargers and more.

3. Beekeeping Guide
Price: $2.99
Download: Beekeeping Guide

When you give honeybees a safe, pesticide-free place to buzz (and get busy), you protect the winged hexapods from Colony Collapse Disorder, help them them pollinate our landscape, and do your part to ensure the future of our food supply. Get your own hive off the ground with Beekeeping Guide, an easy-read ebook app with everything you need to know to create your own honeybee sanctuary. If New York City apartment dwellers can raise bees on their rooftops, imagine what you could do in your backyard. 

4. My Recycle List
Price: Free
Download: My Recycle List

Recycling: It’s good for the bottle, and it’s good for the can — that is, if you know how and where to recycle them.’s free app uses your iPhone’s built-in GPS tech to take the guesswork out of finding recycling locations near you. Its user-friendly database lists some 120,000 locations in the United States and Canada. Search it by zip code (or with the interactive map) to locate drop-off centers. Leave it to the app to untangle which recycling facilities accept what and how, including: e-waste, plastic, metal, paper, glass, household appliances, hazardous substances, and automobile and yard waste.

E-waste recycling centers aren’t the only place to eco-consciously ditch your unwanted gadgetry. Check out our insider’s list of e-cycling alternatives, and turn your antiquated electronics into the other kind of green we should save  — money.

5. Control4 My Home
Price: Free
Download: Control4

Control4 My Home turns your iPad into an energy-efficiency remote for every appliance, light, and electricity-sucking device or utility in your house. You’ll have total control over your home (or workplace’s) computers, web cameras, and home theater, cooling, heating, and security systems, all with the swipe of a finger across your tablet’s screen. There’s only one catch: The app only works with existing (incredible and incredibly pricey) Control4 all-in-one energy-saving automated home systems. But you get the omnipotence to mess with the volume, music, lights, and thermostat anywhere in the house, any time — without anyone knowing it was you. Oh, yeah!

[Image credit: mindfrieze]

Editor’s Note: This story is a cross post from our friends over at Tecca. Author credit from Tecca goes to Kim Lachance Shandrow. Curious about more? Read more from Tecca – Green Your Tech: How to e-cycle your cell phone

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