Environment Apps for Children

In an age of an-app-for-everything, here's some for climate change awareness

Nilofer D'Souza
Published: 25, Jun 2013

I was a Features writer at Forbes India, where I wrote primarily on healthcare and explore retail as a sector. The technologies that make both these industries tick interests me greatly. For story ideas or feedback you can reach me on Twitter @Niloferd

Today, President Obama is expected to announce a national plan for climate change in the US. Last week, the White House released a video leading up to a speech he would give today at Georgetown University.

In the video, President Obama says, “There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change.” But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.”

Almost every country resonates with this thought. The High Commission of Canada had a competition last year for children in India to draw paintings of the cleaner world. Their 2013 calendar released the best drawings in that competition.

While governments are increasingly recognizing the importance of addressing issues related to climate change, individuals and technologists are doing their bit.

In an earlier interview to Forbes India, Chetan Maini, chief of technology and strategy, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, said, “I read my son this book ‘If I ever built the car’. It is about this eight- or 10-year-old sitting in the back seat of his dad’s car, and how it [the car] has polymer panels but it also had this thing that while it goes out, it will give out fumes which clean up the air.”

“I enjoy reading it to him, because that is what it should be,” Maini Says. He isn’t alone in his enthusiasm. Another environmental enthusiast, Suma Shivakumar, a home maker, says how she runs a summer camp every year in her neighbourhood, where the children learn about various ways they can conserve energy.

She does so by teaching them how to build their own solar lanterns, how to conserve water, etc. Every year, without any advertising, at least 300-350 children turn up for the summer camp in Bangalore. “It is easy to talk to the children about these concepts rather than the adults,” says Shivakumar.

While Shivakumar ropes in her environmentalist husband to do the technical training, here are a few simple ways you can introduce your child to the environment:

Disclaimer: These are in no particular order and cater to an varying age group.

1. Earth Day Carol

This app is a retake of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. While it was positioned as an Earth Day app, what makes this interesting is one, it uses the story-telling format to highlight issues of plastic. Two, each time a section of the story is narrated, the app has four factoids which are informative and written concisely. It releases them as you tap the screen.

It is available on iOS, Android, Nook apps, and Amazon appstore

2. Recycle Hero

If your child is not into a story-telling app, you can download the ‘Recycle Hero’, a gaming app. While designed as a game, the app teaches children how to recycle, and has six different mini games. It goes on to show children how to recycle in three different surfaces: sea, land and space.

It is available on iOS, Android, and Nook apps

3. Let’s Go Chipper

This is a character-driven app that takes a child into eco-educational adventures. Through music and fun, Chipper, a city squirrel, teaches children how to take care of the environment and respect all creatures.

What makes this interesting is that the app spills over into educational content through DVDs and CDs. It is a paid app that costs $2.99 and is available only on iTunes.

While there are many apps in various app stores, these three stand out because of the reviews, design, and functionality features for children.

If you would like to know more on environment apps for adults, you can go to the 2012 Apps for Climate Winners by the World Bank here.

 

 

  • Russell Seitz

    On August 22, 2000 , Forbes ran ' Paint The Town White', an 'On my mind' column on the same subject .

    on Nov 29, 2013
  • sushant

    nice blog

    on Oct 17, 2013
  • Rahul Mishra

    This was very interesting NIlofer...both as a read and also as a story thought....intend to share these apps with my 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son....thanks

    on Jun 25, 2013