Would-be environmental heroes, your time has come. Mission Zero – Sustainability News, created by digital scientists, is a companion iPhone app for MissionZero.org. The goal of MissionZero.org (and by extension, this application) is to inform and energize users about small changes they can make, or actions they can take, to rise up, help conserve the environment and, ultimately, “get to zero environmental footprint” — hence the name.
The Mission Zero application is, in essence, a newsreader focusing entirely on issues of environmental sustainability, pulled from over 300 sources. The home screen of Mission Zero – Sustainability News features a list of available topics: Agriculture, Architecture & Building, Business & Investing, Climate, Communities, Design, Energy, Environment, Food Health & Home, Natural Resources, Policy & Government, Science & Technology, Society & Culture and Transportation. (Phew!)
Once you’ve selected your topic of interest, each category has a list of relevant articles. Click on the title of an article to see a summary. Next to the title of each article is a bubble with a number; I can’t find an explanation of what exactly that number is (my first guess was the number of comments on that listing), but when I clicked the number, Mission Zero told me I had to be logged in to vote, so it appears that the numbers are how many users have voted for that article as helpful or relevant.
After clicking on an article, you can read the opening of the piece; to continue, click the “Discuss on Mission Zero” link at the bottom, which will shut down the Mission Zero – Sustainability News app and open a page in Safari.
The interface for Mission Zero is terrific; very clean and easy to navigate, and it runs quickly, without any trouble that I found. And the Mission Zero website, while not technically a part of the app, is also easy to navigate and chock-full of information.
My only real complaint is that Mission Zero – Sustainability News has no…”Hot News!” or “Latest Stories” or “Editor’s Picks” or anything like that, to possibly guide someone (such as myself) who has limited knowledge of these topics to articles that would be the most informative. Admittedly, Mission Zero is likely geared more toward people who are already interested in these topics, but if the goal is zero environmental footprint, it wouldn’t hurt to have something to get novices like myself involved.