Food waste is a significant social issue. Almost 1/3 of all food produced worldwide gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans. 1 in 6 people in America face hunger and 4 in 10 of University of California students "do not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food.” In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty. Therefore, food waste is not just an environmental issue but a social and economic one. We wanted to tackle this issue because it is multifaceted and we believe that sustainability is the key to protecting our environment and natural resources.
What it does
Consumplate is a mobile application that strives to eliminate food waste. It connects restaurant vendors to users who want to buy their food, at a steeply discounted price, at the end of each shift (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Customers do not know exactly what they are buying, rather they arrive to the restaurant, pack the standard brown to-go box that is given to them and stuff as much food as they can into it. Users must weigh their boxes as they purchase the meal. The information is sent to a database and collected to determine how much food waste is being prevented. The information is also sent to each user to allow them insight into how much food waste was prevented through their purchase.
Note: No, it's not the unfinished meals left by customers, but rather perfectly untouched food that would otherwise be thrown out at the end of the day.
How we built it
Sketch & Invisionapp with outline in React Native
Challenges we ran into
We were not able to build a functional app with the time and WIFI bandwidth constraints. We tried implementing the app using Swift for iOS but since it was one of the developers first time with mobile development and programming for iOS, we weren't able to produce a functioning application. Additionally, the other developer lost a large portion of time as she needed to download Android Studio and various plug-ins to run the emulator with React Native. Due to the connectivity and bandwidth issues with the WIFI, the installation process took hours.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to work on an awesome app with really talented designers and developers. We were able to create a fully-fledged idea and work through it.
What we learned
That time constraints are extremely limiting and tools need more time to install. Working with different people in different roles (i.e designers, front-end/back-end developers) can be challenging although very rewarding. Each member was able to gain new skills through experimenting with new programs and ideas.
What's next for Consumplate
Implementation of the design and outline into an actual full-fledged app.