Climate change is important now than ever before. There are many simple lifestyle changes we can make to live more sustainably, and they are often overlooked. We decided to focus on energy conservation as it is relevant to almost all households across the world and wanted to show people how easy it is to save money and save the planet.

What it does

The BeGreen chrome extension is a tool for users to calculate their household energy usage. We built a calculator that can determine how much users can save every month by plugging in how many of something (for example, lightbulbs) they have and what brand it is. Users are also provided with additional guidance and steps they can take to reduce energy usage on certain products such as light bulbs, thermostats, and household appliances.

How we built it

The BeGreen chrome extension is a tool for users to calculate their household energy usage. The user interface is built with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS while the functional components of the calculator are powered by Java. We used GitHub to collaborate and review each other’s code.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into were related to design. Our goal was to program a fully functional calculator that could calculate the amount of money a user would save based on the products they buy. Although we knew how to code the buttons, basic calculator functions, and messages to print out, we struggled designing something that resembled a calculator. In the end, we were able to figure it out and it does everything we planned for it to do.

What we learned

We learned how to code a chrome extension and how to attach buttons to different functions such as connecting them to another page, making them print different things, having variables attached to them, and linking them to keys on a keyboard. Overall, we all learned more functions in CSS, JavaScript, and HTML because our team members were able to collaborate with each other and teach others new things about the technologies we used.

What's next for BeGreen Calculator

We hope to add features that remind users to do periodic maintenance such as changing out light bulbs. This feature could use Twilio API to send messages directly to the user through their phone number or email so it seems more personal. We would also like to convert this into a mobile app so it is more portable and accessible to people who do not use the Chrome web browser.

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