Drinking coffee from day to day, most of time on the go our team struggled with coffee cup waste before. We tried everything - only having coffee home and in the cafes, bringing reusable cups and carrying them around all day or simply quitting coffee (which turns out not to be an option). Having the experience of getting our coffee where and when we crave it, on the run and in the reusable cup that we can later dispose of without feeling bad is THE DREAM! When looking at the problem of disposable coffee cup waste, one can’t help but think about how obvious the problem is. Millions and millions of cups wasted every day. Almost a bit too obvious. Like there’s a conspiracy working against us, and in this case also against the environment.
But one can, upon further reflection, conclude that a lot of the challenges lies less in the form of an elaborate conspiracy, and more in human nature. With this in mind, it isn’t simply a new solution that’ll be needed - but a solution as convenient and effortless as the disposable coffee cups themselves.
A disposable coffee cup can be picked up from anywhere, left anywhere, and used for however long you want. You don’t have to carry anything around. You don’t have to wash it. The friction of adoption is as low as it gets. Reusable coffee cups, though, comes with a bit of friction to its adoption. That’s where we’ve decided to focus in. Making the friction as low as possible by emulating some of the most positive aspects of disposable coffee cups, while at the same time leveraging the advantages of reusable cups.
What it does
CoffeeBin is a system for sustainable coffee on the go - it enables users to share reusable coffee cups. The cups is provided straight by your favorite local cafe along with the fresh sip of goodness. All you have to do is scan your own personal QR code, pay as you normally would and run wherever you're off to. You can even order and pay for your coffee ahead through our app to make sure you're not late to that important meeting. After you finished the deliciousness you can simply dispose of your cup with the use of our map of specially designed bins so the cup can return to the coffee shop. We even provide a system for SBB to track the cups and manage them back from the bin straight to the coffeeshop, so more people can enjoy their coffee.
How we built it
In order to build a working version within the time allotted, we’ve had to make some choices in order to limit the scope and increase our probability of success. We decided to use React.js for most of our user interfaces, in order to increase reusability across projects.
Since our app works better with real time communication, we decided to set up a websocket API that the user interfaces .
Challenges we ran into
Websockets took tons of time to deploy to the server. React could be challenging for team members with less experience. Too little sleep.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We did a lot this weekend, it actually works and hands down, we didn't use as many paper cups as we could have (though we did drink A LOT of coffee)! We like it and would use it and we are proud of our lack of sleep and committed teamwork.
What we learned
How to use React in every way possible, build Websockets from scratch, make cool stuff that we're definitely going to keep working on and collaborate.
What's next for CoffeeBin
We'd love to see it in action and help SBB make this a reality for the Swiss people. Ideally we would add a predicition service for them to be able to smartly distribute the cups back to the coffeeshops.