The aim of our project is to raise awareness of the overuse of resources and high emissions across the world, which are driving climate change and destroying habitats world-over. In order to motivate this, we have developed a Shiny App which enables the user to input details of their journeys, including mode of transport, starting location, end destination, and then compare their consequent carbon footprint with the national average of their home country. By giving the app the element of comparison, it becomes less of a negative thing and gains an aspect of improvement and competition.
What it does/how we built it
The app has been designed in Shiny App (because none of us have any expertise in app or website development), using R, using emissions data from the World Bank for the per capita country averages. We also used World Bank data on automobile emissions for various brands, models and fuel types and similarly for buses, trains and aeroplanes. By inputting the start location and end destination of their journeys, the app calculates the journey distance for the chosen mode of transport and thereby finds the resulting CO2 emissions.
Finally, the app compares the total journey emissions against the national average, where it can be decided whether the user has beaten their nation or not.
Challenges we ran into
Lack of expertise in app or web development. Different coding language expertise.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The variety of parameters choosable in the app. For example, when travelling by car, the user is able to specify brand, model type, year, fuel type... and more!
What we learned
How to use Shiny App and calculate carbon emissions for almost any journey, via various modes of transport.
What's next for Can you beat the average?
Ideally, we would also like to include calculations of the CO2 emissions resulting from household gas and electricity usage and factors concerning waste and food miles, in order to get a complete picture. It would also have been good to make an actual app or game, for nicer user interfacing.