The fires of Australia have been burning for months, and have consumed more than 18 million acres of land. Close to 500 million animals have died trying to escape the fires, or through serious burn injuries. The root causes of the fires are tied to record breaking high temperatures, prolonged drought conditions and harsh winds. In the past decade, some placed have seen temperatures higher than 7 degrees than the measured average. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. The textile industry is one of the highest GHG emitters, ranking 5th. Manufacturing a single pair of denim jeans produces up to 44 pound of CO2 emissions, roughly equivalent to driving a car 80km. Another factor to take into account is the transportation of the textile to the store. Textiles that need to be transported shorted distances produce lower levels of GHG. Our Goal was to create an app that would include these factors when helping customers make purchases like Greta Thunberg would and not like Jermy Clarkson.
What it does
EcoStep allows you to scan the barcode of clothing and shows an "eco friendly" score that can be used to help you make wiser decisions when purchasing clothing. When calculating the eco score, the algorithm uses the matriels used by composition, manufacturing location and the size of the apparel.
How we built it
The project uses a MongoDB collection of different apparels, each document containing information about the item used for score calculations. The back-end is developed using express.js deployed using Heroku. The Front-end was developed in Android Studio, using Kotlin and java. The prototyping and mock-up was done using Figma and proved to be crucial.
Challenges we ran into
We wanted to incorporate hardware in our project by using a RPi and a webcam to scan scan the barcode instead of a phone camera. We were not able to get the the RPi working and with no easy access to a monitor, we had to scrap that idea. Getting Heroku was challenging because it was the first time anyone on the team has used to host a server.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating a front-end, back-end and a database from scratch, with technologies new to us. The logo is super clean and was designed by a non-designer, who isn't particularly artistic. He really stepped up. We think that this app can be genuinely helpful in assisting customers make smart eco smart purchases and this gives us the greatest satisfaction.
What we learned
We learned/practiced a proper development methodology to create this application. We first start to learn the feasibility of the idea and along that journey we learned many new things about the carbon emission of the textile industry and the negative affects it has on climate change. Technology wise, we learned to merge a full stack web application together using a REST API. We also managed to create mock ups for our UI's and were able to gather the user's experience to further optimize the layout and design of the application.
What's next for EcoStep
EcoStep lacks the data that is needed in order to implement this technology on a world-wide basis. The next steps would include gathering more data for a more accurate calculation. We would also like the application to be able to recommend products that are economically better for the environment. This will help reshape the thinking of the newer generation to always make purchases that are in the interests of the well being of our planet. We love mother Earth. <3