Which App for Climate Action do you like most?

Originally posted at eaves.ca

Yesterday, at 5pm PST the Apps for Climate Action team at the Province of British Columbia released the list of 17 applications created using data from the Apps for Climate Action data catalog.

At the moment anyone can register and vote for the application that they think is the best. I’d encourage people to click over to the website and take a look.

The Apps for Climate Action is a demonstration of what can happen when we begin to make government held data freely available to the public: people can bring to life, even make fun, engaging and useful, what are often boring stats and numbers to bridge what Hans Rosling calls the last 6 inches (the distance from your eyes to your brain, a reference to the failure in design where we make data we can see, but not that captures our imagination).

In a month where our federal government cited imaginary data to justify policies on crime and has eliminated the gathering a huge swaths of effective data necessary for the efficient governing of our cities and rural communities as well as ensuring critical services will no longer reach innumerable Canadians, it is nice to see a province trying to do the opposite: not only understand that effective data is the cornerstone to good policy but to enable everyday, ordinary Canadians to leverage it so as to make smarter decisions, influence policy debates and empower themselves. It’s what a modern democracy, economy and civil society should look like.

The Apps for Climate action team and the government deserve a ton of praise fro striking out and trying something new and different. I hope they get worthwhile acknowledgement.

I for one am looking forward to the tough job of serving as a judge in the competition.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

If I could vote, I would select:

1. Vancouver Bike routes (need more people to give up their gas guzzlers)
2. VanTrash (can this one be tied an alarm that wakes me up BEFORE the trash truck arrives 🙂
3. Canadian Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Industry (do you think citizens would put pressure on – i.e. boycott) companies if they knew who were the biggest polluters?)

Would love to see over time if any of these apps lead to demonstrable behavior change by citizens.

Robert Giggey

I didn’t try it out on the iphone, but looking through the site I like the ETHO app. You can pick up a product, scan the barcode, and it gives you a set of ratings on environmental, social, and health factors. You can then compare it with other products in the same category. You can also search for products in categories and make and save lists. If nothing else it could help show people, including myself, the few companies actually supplying the food industry.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to look through the other ones, and like Andrew said it will be great to see how some of these might be actually influence behaviour, like Math Tappers for kids or BCEmissions.ca. Also will be good to see how some of these ideas are built upon and strengthened with better/more data and/or more programming resources.


I dig the Etho App as well – actually I feel like I’ve seen something in US that does the same. I always really like ideas that I think people will actually use.

Also dig the VanTrash app.