Making green and sustainable choices is very important in ensuring that the planet and its environment remain hospitable and stable for future generations. However with busy lifestyles it can be very hard to make informed decision about the products we buy which is why we wanted to create a service that would help make more green decisions when we buy common products.

What it does

When you are shopping you see everyday products on the shelf that you are interested in. Our Web app allows you to take a photo of it and then using AI we recommend green alternative products for that product category! This allows you to make better choices for the planet!

How we built it

We used a node.js/express with react and MongoDB to make our web service. For image recognition and labelling we used the Google Cloud Vision API and for product recommendations we used the Walmart Labs API. For deployment we pushed every thing to an EC2 AWS instance and hosted the backend and database there and the front end in s3 and all networking was done on AWS Route 53.

Challenges we ran into

One of the biggest challenges we faced was making the google cloud vision work properly. From having our key leaked and abused by scammers to making the image upload properly we found using the API very challenging. After numerous trial and errors we were able to make the process work.

Another challenge was making sure the DNS for our domain was set up properly and pointed to the right micro services. Making redirects and propagating those changes across the web required a lot of research and time.

Lastly we UX front end was challenging because we had to enable mobile camera activation to send images to our service and we had to make sure the service worked on all browsers, with Safari being the most difficult to optimize for.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Extensive use of AI tools to make smart recommendations for users. A full cloud native deployment in the cloud, scalable and fault tolerant.

What we learned

How to use Google Cloud and it's API's for the first time How to use a Node.js/express react app How to set up and deploy a Database in the cloud

What's next for Green Beans

More product category detection and bigger featured/suggested product database

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