We were inspired by the WWF footprint calculator, wherein the user has to answer a series of questions for the app to estimate the carbon footprint of the user. The problem with the WWF app is that it is a one time calculator that does not present users a meaningful solution. It is important for the user to be aware of the environmental consequences of their actions and at the same time be incentivised to reduce their carbon footprint. Keeping this in mind, our original motivation was to have an interface that not only informs consumers about their daily carbon footprint but also incentivises them to reduce it through the accumulation of reward points. While we did not have enough time to build a reward system, we have made some progress in other areas.
What it does
Simply connect Google Calendar with the app. The app reads daily routine data (which includes location) and extracts a list of places the user will be in on any particular day. For this list, it displays a path from each place to the next. Based on user inputs of transport type (driving, cycling, walking, or transit), it calculates an overall carbon footprint for that day. It also displays an efficiency metric for each of the transport mode types, thereby optimising the transport mode that would not only ensure that the user reached his / her destination relatively fast, but also in a more sustainable manner.
How I built it
The backend was made using Python to interface with Google Calendar and Google Maps through the Google API Client, while the front-end was made using Node.js, HTML, and a bit of CSS.
Challenges I ran into
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
What's next for CarboTracker
1) Using a machine learning model based on the phone sensor data to automatically track a user's daily commute and present a dashboard of the information. This concept has been proved in several research papers. 2) Building a reward system wherein reward points are awarded for choosing the most efficient mode of transport between two cities and / or walking wherever possible 3) Building and publishing an app that helps users intuitively track their carbon footprint and make informed decisions about moving into a carbon-neutral future.