Our team was inspired by the challenge that the food prompt presented creating variation in the food quality based on transportation and storage methods. With this, we were dedicated to bring awareness to the global impact of the particular food and transportation method.
What it does
The ‘Carbon Emissions Calculator for Food’ allows users to type in individual foods, select the storage of the food, and how it was transported to calculate the total carbon emissions (CO2) created and quality grade of the food. An additional feature is to add individual foods CO2 emissions to their daily total which may allow the user to calculate their cumulative impact for the day.
To create more perspective about the users impact, their calculated CO2 emissions are compared to how many miles could be driven in a vehicle with the equivalent CO2 emissions.
Challenges we ran into
The database that is currently being utilized for this web server is a free test database from the Eaternity. This could result in slight inaccuracies among the calculations and the reliability of the web server output overall. With more efforts and a contract partnership with Eaternity, the non-testing database could provide dependable results for the user.
There appears to be a positive outlook when it comes to sustainability of this project. The sole cost would be obtaining a contract with eaternity to gain annual access to the database. With the future plans of user login information, the webserver would need to add database references in order to store user information rather than the current browser term sessions.
What we learned
Front end development using React and Flask as a base to communicate with the back end. Graphical UI Designs in React. Back end development querying large database and handling large amounts of data.
What's next for Food Production Carbon Emissions Calculator
Future plans and ideas for this project include allowing users:
- View, add, and remove items from their daily CO2 consumption with the quality grade in a listed view.
- Login to track daily, weekly, monthly CO2 consumption in a graph view.
- Create leader boards among mutual friends comparing CO2 emissions.
- Modify the amount of food (in grams) consumed for a precise CO2 emission calculation.
With additional features: + Present additional comparisons for their total CO2 consumption to create greater impact on users (i.e. 1 mature tree absorbs ~22 grams of CO2 per year. For grams there needs to be trees to absorb the CO2). + Present tips/fun facts on ways to reduce your CO2 impact (potentially while loading pages and have a resource print out available).