Inspiration

Climate change is one of the 21st century's foremost challenges, and we all live our daily lives barely thinking about it. There are many ways that we unknowingly accelerate climate change, and one of those ways is online consumerism. Many people have moved to online consumerism because of its convenience, but that convenience comes at a cost. With so many options, it's common to pick the fastest and easiest option, but we hope to allow people to make an informed purchasing decision by showing the environmental cost of each choice.

What it does

Our Google Chrome extension parses Amazon search results for the manufacturer and ingredients of each product shown. We compare this information to a MongoDB Atlas database we constructed from a variety of sources, including API's and websites. This database contains information on which companies have been sustainably certified and which ingredients produce the largest carbon footprint.

How we built it

In order to construct the database of certifications, we used the EPA API as well as the Selenium API to scrape websites for certifications of thousands of companies. The database of agricultural materials was pulled from an open source database, collected by European agencies.

Challenges we ran into

No one on our team was very familiar with Javascript, which is what Chrome extensions are built with. We spent a lot of time learning the fundamentals of this language. We also had difficulty finding good sources of data to pull from.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully scraped the web for certification data of thousands of companies using API's. We also created our first chrome extension.

What we learned

We learned how to use MongoDB and Javascript, as well as a lot about emissions and the environment in general.

What's next for Carbon

We hope to expand this extension to have support in browsers such as Firefox as well as additional websites outside of Amazon. We also hope to expand the sources for our database so it can be more comprehensive.

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