With an exponential growth world's population, one of the most significant issues that face our environment aside from Global Warming and scarce resources is the amount of waste we produce daily. Similarly, the increase in pollution generated by erroneous recycling and disposal techniques causing the release of toxic chemicals, and trash piling up to an enormous size. Generally, the decomposition of waste can take up to years and even worse decades, costing millions to sustain and disintegrate, leading to an endless loop that keeps growing as time goes by. The most basic human illiteracy about recycling is one of the stepping stones in that cycle, which can be slack by educating people about the impact of each choice they make in dealing with rubbish. Given that research journals and posts are less attractive and text-heavy to a young population, an interactive game created to show the impact of the five most common recycling choices on an environment. Additionally, explaining and showing actions that users can take to reduce waste and reuse it.

What it does

The app allows the user to (1) choose wastes, and (2) pick one of the following options for disposal and understand it's consequences: burn, bury, throw, recycle, reuse. The decision results in a message showing an impact, and the status of outcome that is either good, bad, or neutral.

How we built it

With a demo in mind as the final project, we determined that Bubble, as user friendly platform meant for building websites, would be our best tool. We ideated on a problem and determined a solution that would drive impact at scale. We determined that a program or app to educate consumers on waste has the most potential for impact. Through the night we determined high-level and relatable scenarios that the average american would face, including disposing of a plastic water bottle, organic materials, and e-waste or batteries. We walked through different potential options for disposal and laid out the consequences, both negative and positive. We built out a page for each scenarios with simple button choices. To add a lens of gamification, users can keep trying until finding the best option for disposal and then explore another type of trash.

Challenges we ran into

Due to limitations in free versions of Bubble and lack of experience with software the graphic visualization of a webpage lacks smooth transitions, and formatting. Similarly, programming language such as python could not be utilised due to inability to connect it with Bubble. In order to create a viable product/concept we need varied skillsets - backend programming, front end development, building out logic, and then the capability to bring it all together. Testing and quality assurance is imperative. Front-end development presents very unique challenges as users have different device sizes and zoom preferences so effective coding and design needs to be adaptable.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As a group of strangers from different walks of life with varying education levels, were able to learn a new platform overnight (Bubble) to create a minimally viable product/concept that can be built upon for use in the real world with little to no prior experience.

What we learned

When building a product/concept, it’s important to have a team with varied perspectives and skillsets. For example, across our group we had skills varied across different coding languages including python, R, C++, Java, SQL and more, as well as having business experience, psychology, and marketing. When implementing these perspectives and skills it’s important to understand how to integrate various tools. For example, we couldn’t leverage python because there wasn’t a simple (and free) plugin for Bubble, which we used for the front end development. Instead, our coders built out the logic for the website flow. Those with marketing and psychology expertise focused on the front end for a seamless user experience. From this project, each of us gained exposure to a new skillset. Some of us learned how to build a website in bubble, another learned how to write logic for a website, another learned how to write a video script. We all learned how to use the varying tech platforms, hop-in and discord and all learning about the importance of proper trash disposal.

What's next for Garbage Project

The opportunities for the Garbage Project are VAST. The current model includes a very simple and basic walk through to teach people about the proper ways to dispose of trash. In terms of further development, the vision includes building out more logic to showcase additional everyday trash items including cardboard, tin, liquids, etc. There is an opportunity to leverage python algorithms to gamify the program with a point system where users can log the trash items they have disposed of/recycled/re-used properly and show the reduction of their individual carbon footprint over-time. With minimal development, this can easily be leveraged to teach younger children about sorting trash and recycling.

Leveraging connecting APIs, we could build in a database to capture the different products that consumers are disposing of and getting quantitative data to understand how consumers interact with their trash at scale. Once a critical mass of data has been accumulated we could categorize products, and overlay decaying rights to teach consumers about the detriment to the environment by NOT disposing of waste properly and gamify the benefits of doing so for the environment. Similarly, we plan on using Google Cloud Vision AI Object Detection API to allow users to identify to which category an item in their household belongs and options on how it could be recycled or transformed.

Built With

  • bubble
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