Environmental pollution is a major problem for human society. Carbon and plastic two of the major causes of environmental pollution. Therefore, we wanted to bring awareness of how much of a carbon footprint were people leaving behind and how much plastic they were consuming to give further insight into how much environmental damage people are causing to society.
What it does
Our automated emailing service gives a certain user (through a Gmail account) information about how much plastic you are using and your carbon footprint. The email a user receives also lets that user know where that person stands in terms of protecting the environment.
How we built it
We used the Gmail API for the Python programming language and scraped all the emails which contain Amazon purchases and flight ticket information. We kept track of the number of emails for both of these and put this into the automated email.
Challenges we ran into
- Learning Python, Matplotlib, and how to send emails in Python from a Java background
- Learning the Gmail API (not beginner-friendly documentation but YouTube videos came to the rescue)
- Team management across different time zones
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to use Linode and Google's Gmail API, both of which were a learning curve to us.
We utilized our mentor greatly. Our mentor was a great help as well.
As we are all beginners in cloud computing, we were able to work with both of these environments and manage to get scripts running in the cloud in the limited time this hackathon offers.
What we learned
- Gmail API for Python and how to set up a cloud-based development environment in Linode, a cloud computing service.
- We learned how to extract Gmails based on a search query and send an email to an email address with Python and JSON data
- Data scraping and Data Visualization somewhat
What's next for Eco-Email
- Using a carbon calculator to get a better estimate of the carbon footprint just from flights alone
- Using machine learning to legitimately detect Amazon purchase emails that contain plastic products
- Refining the email sent to the user of our service, with more professional language, more relevant alarming statistics, and practical, real-life advice for using more eco-friendly options.