As a climate change conscious team, we wanted to build a solution to reducing carbon footprint while traveling. Precisely, targeting alternative means of transport to planes - the biggest issue.

Global air travel has been responsible for 918 million tonnes of CO2 last year. And 2019 is setting a new record expecting 4.6 billions passengers between 45 millions flights.

Just before the hackathon, we took a flight from Barcelona to Berlin to attend the event. 2 hours and 40 mins of flight + 2 hours of airport transfer commute got us thinking: “How much CO2 did we generate?”, “What would have been the alternative route?”.

What it does

Ecotrip is a platform that offers a solution to planes’ large CO2 emission by showing routes from user’s origin point to their desired destination, suggesting alternative means of transport ordered by their level of sustainability.

How we built it

User research to 20 people

  • 47% of people took 1 - 5 flights in 2019
  • 13% took 6 - 10 flights
  • 13% took 11 - 15 flights
  • 27% took more than 20 flights. The highest number of flights an individual took was 67!
  • 100% of the most frequent flyers said they would be willing to take alternative means of transport that are more sustainable than planes. 14% of the least frequent flyers said they wouldn’t consider other options.

The biggest concerns they had about alternative means of transport were:

  • 50% Time consumption
  • 40% Competitive prices offered by low-cost airlines
  • 10% The poor infrastructure of their countries wouldn’t allow long distance alternative transport.

Search for the data

  • Based on the ux research, we want to gather information on how to get in the map from point A to point B by different means of transport.
  • We want to calculate the CO2 emissions generated by all the different transport options.
  • We want to find an available api that already has this data.

Divide and conquer

We divided the tasks into 2:

  • Design and develop the UI.
  • Integrate the map functionality with the right api.

Challenges we ran into

  • Finding an api that provides the data that we needed.
  • Ignoring all the “nice-to-have” parameters in order to build a mvp.
  • Staying awake all night

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Learned a lot about map implementation.
  • Tackled an overwhelming huge issue by breaking it into smaller and simpler parts.
  • Built something that we cared about.
  • Worked together as a team pushing our boundaries and getting out of our comfort zones.
  • Gained more consciousness on sustainability. We know way . too much about CO2 now.

What we learned

  • Our flight from Barcelona to Berlin generated 200kg of CO2 per person.
  • The majority of users want to participate on environmental issues.
  • We like Vue
  • We like Googlemaps
  • We like Tomtom

What's next for ecotrip

  • The possibility to add multiple stops so the user can plan a bigger route.
  • Build a native app or a mobile friendly experience.
  • Improve the CO2 footprint calculator accuracy.
  • Suggest the most recommended route based on the lowest CO2 emission-price-time-value.
  • Possibility of purchasing tickets through our site or transportation site.
  • Link to accommodation sites to receive affiliate commissions.
  • Allow users to offset their carbon emission through sustainable projects, like
  • Promote sustainable practices during users trip. (e.g reduce single-use plastic materials, recycling, etc)
  • Allowing users to filter their search by time, price and mean of transport.
  • Adding a user profile where they can keep track of their CO2 discharge.
  • Build our own api responsibly.
  • Keep testing and improving the user experience.

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