According to the Global Carbon Project (GCP)'s analysis, carbon emissions reached a record high of 37 billion tons in 2018. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore in humanity's carbon footprint, is the primary event associated with global warming. This causes billions of economic losses every year.
What it does
GreenGO is an app that compares the carbon footprints of various routes between user-inputted destinations and starting points. It helps people decide which mobility options to take, based on three dimensions: CO2 emissions, time spent and costs. We designed the app to incentivize users to reduce their CO2 footprint, earning "eco-Tokens", a digital currency that will be used to acquire eco-friendly services, and comparing their archievements with their neighbors. This comparison can be made in multiple scales, e.g. in their cities, regions, state, or country, in an effort to reveal different behaviors around the planet and nurture unity.
How we built it
We defined the idea after two rounds of brainstorming and one of slicing ideas off. During the brainstorm, we focused on quantity instead of quality, producing as many ideas as we could. Then we went to the second stage, group brainstorming, mixing ideas together, and making new ones. In the last stage, we picked one idea we liked most and constructed our product based on it. In the end we finished with a mix idea of an Eco platform to give user awareness of his/her CO2 mobility footprints, using gamification concepts to incentivize them to reduce CO2 footprints (competitively).
Based on the selected idea, we built an A) mobile app that connects to a B) back-end service. The app requests to the back-end the three dimensional features (CO2, time and costs) for moving from one address to another. The back-end, in its turn, requests routing information to the HERE API services for different mobility options (car, bike, and public transportation). Besides, we calculate the CO2 footprint based on estimates we found on scientific articles. This way, we provide many mobility options to the users, and let them chose what makes more sense for them (optimize CO2, time or costs), now that they have the information to proceed.
Challenges we ran into
We could not get the Google Home Assistant in time!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In few minutes we think we got a very good idea to develop, that unites equitable, eco-friendly, and moreover, very likely to be economically viable. The product can help people to make clever decisions based on the information provided about the mobility options they have, focusing on CO2 footprints. As we are developing the product with gamification concepts, it is likely to have a network effect, i.e. people may use and spread the product naturally.
What we learned
To deal with one another in stress (sleepy, hungry)
What's next for GreenGo
We plan to give 'Eco-tokens' to the users when they use eco-friendly services (such as Jump e-bikes), but we haven't closed the business model for it yet.
To make it spread, the users could receive carbon credits that can be exchanged for cash or sold to large companies.
In addition, the platform crowdsources data from specific regions to provide insights on the eco-friendliness to allow cities, schools, and even countries compete against each other to be the most eco-friendly. We can imagine that a city that is very eco-friendly most likely not only has a population with environmentally-helpful habits but also has an infrastructure that supports low carbon transportation. Thus, a measure of eco-friendliness becomes one to aspire for.