All online shoppers get suggested products to buy. What if we could tweak this suggestion process to recommend groceries shoppers to buy food that has less environmental impact?

What it does

The Foodprint Chrome extension for Instacart checks the shopping cart of an online shopper on Instacart. Foodprint will then provide suggestions on which products to be substituted to reduce the environmental impact of the food bought.

How we built it

We referenced academic and research papers that attributed CO2e kg to each kg of food bought. We then tweaked those values (e.g. whether it was organic, frozen or produced locally). This results in our proprietary Foodprint score. We also created an associative rule model to better understand which products an online shopper is more likely to buy that also has a lower environmental footprint.

Challenges we ran into

We faced some difficulties in the development of a Google Chrome extension. Cleaning up the data was also difficult due to less-than-ideal data from Instacart.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Development of our Foodprint score

What we learned

We learnt how to develop a Chrome extension. We also learnt how interlinked and complicated the web of food production and transportation is. It is extremely hard to quantify exactly how much CO2e emissions can be attributed to each food product.

What's next for Foodprint

Moving forward, we would like to refine our Foodprint score to differentiate the food products more. (E.g. Chicken from Farm A vs Farm B). To allow Foodprint to be more economically sustainable, we will collaborate with online grocery shops (Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Safeway) to provide suggestions which may have less environmental footprint but also help these stores clear excess food stock at the same time.

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