Hootroot's 'Green Your Route' Travel App Wins EPA Innovation Award

Hootroot App Details Green Routes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named the pioneering Hootroot travel app a top winner in the agency’s Apps for the Environment Challenge. Hootroot was created by Brighter Planet, a leading provider of carbon and energy calculations.

Brighter Planet’s Hootroot app, which allows users to find the most efficient ways to travel between two points using Google Maps, was first runner-up in the Best Overall App competition. The awards will be presented Nov. 8 at the EPA’s Apps for the Environment Forum in Arlington, Va.

Brighter Planet’s Hootroot app combines directions and carbon footprints for travel by car, airplane, mass transit and human-powered transportation on any route. Hootroot helps you navigate efficiently from point A to point B. Powered by web services from Brighter Planet, Google Maps, and HopStop, the app provides directions and carbon footprints for driving, transit, flight, and human-powered transportation options on any route.


A quick example of how Hootroot works: Traveling from DC to NYC takes about 4 and half hours by road. If  I drive, I am responsible for almost 240 lbs of CO2, while a bus ride costs me only about 18 lbs. Flying takes a lot less time (not really if you consider the time to get to and from an airport, while a bus can take me to the city), but emissions cost me a whopping 440 lbs! Good to know!

Andy Rossmeissl, co-founder and product design director of Brighter Planet, which has operations in Vermont and California, says

“We are witnessing a revolution in finding ways to harness massive amounts of data to empower individuals, companies and governments to make smarter decisions. The EPA has emerged as a leader in the push for opening government data and engaging the developer community in creating apps that are innovative as well as user-friendly. This competition really showcases these efforts and we are very honored to be among the winners.”

Rossmeissl will address the Nov. 8 EPA Apps for the Environment Forum.

The data used for the Hootroot carbon footprint calculations is amassed from the EPA’s U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory and eGRID database, as well as data collected by the Department of Transportation, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics and other sources. It is powered by web services from Brighter Planet, Google Maps and HopStop.

Give a hoot, green your route!

Brighter Planet is a leading provider of carbon and energy calculations that help businesses and clients operate more efficiently build brands and find innovative sustainability opportunities. Brighter Planet has received a Social Innovation Award from the Financial Times and was named Best Small Business of 2010 by Discovery Channel.

About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+
  • Great article Priti! There is an app developed by Transloc.com that you should check out. It lets users track their buses in realtime, so they can plan the most efficient route using public transportation. TransLoc is already in use at 35 colleges across the US, and recently partnered with the Cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill to do the first ever multi-region integrated app. The project is known as GoLive and it will be the first of its kind nationally to integrate several transit agencies’ trip info into a single, elegant mobile app and web interface.

    Another cool project in green transportation is the Electric Vehicle Experience (EVXP). It is an all electric vehicle rental company that focuses on outreach and education.

    If you would like more info on either of these amazing companies and projects, please feel free to give me a call (336)686-3037 or shoot me an email (jmhalwei@ncsu.edu) and I’d be happy to provide you with more info including contacts at both.

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing your future articles on sustainable transportation.

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