The beginning

The question that came to mind when I thought of sustainability was," How can I get people to actively adopt sustainable habits in their everyday life? " and this led me down a rabbit hole of discoveries....

Research

So I put on my thinking cap and pulled out my laptop ready to dig around the internet to find answers for some important questions like:

  1. What motivates people to be sustainable?
  2. How does one start this sustainability journey?
  3. What resources are available? How helpful are these resources? How easy is their access?

Here are some interesting Insights among those I've been able to gather:

  • Two major people types based on motivation, People who want to save the planet and people who want to follow the trends.
  • Another important segregation, is people who want to be sustainable on a budget and people ready to spend money for eco causes.
  • Very less male presence in the sustainability community. ( only 3 of the top 100 sustainability influencers are men )
  • People have a perception of all in or nothing at all.

So, what I am trying to tell is that,

If people have a way to make their journey towards sustainability easy, not hard on their wallet and a fun experience rather than viewing it as a sacrifice of their "comfortable life" towards a good cause. They will stick to it and gradually it will become a habit.

The Idea

I did a bit of brainstorming, quite a bit of it, and decided to go with a gamified educative app as my choice of approach for this particular problem. That's because, well quite frankly games are fun, but the main reason is that

A varied variety of people play online games from kids to elders, so a game version is a good way to break these principles to people.

A game is a less serious but more fun approach to get practical advice across without sounding like a boring textbook.

The Concept

The backbone of the game is its Quests and its Community.

Quests:

They are small to mid-size challenges that the player sets out to complete. As proof of completion, they are asked to take pictures of their completed tasks. Coins are rewarded on task completion

These quests are tailored to be simple but educative, they prompt the individual to "Take action" instead of passively learning.

An example quest:

Counting the number of natural and artificial light sources in the players home.

The goal with this task was to bring awareness to their light usage, the quest ends with asking the player if they think they can swap out an artificial light source with a natural one.

Community:

If the quests are the brain of this game the community is its heart.

  • Depending on the player's interests they can visit hubs/small communities dedicated to specific areas of sustainable living ( eg: gardening, recycling).
  • They participate in community curated challenges, that foister a sense of togetherness and collective good.
  • Finally, the coins earned through the quest's can be donated to local charities of choice, this establishes a better incentive for following through on the quests.

The Execution:

Once all this was done, I started out on developing the designs for the project first.. it was the most time-consuming task and yet the one I enjoyed the most ( sorry, design geek, alert! )

I've used Illustrator and Adobe XD to make all my screens except for 2 background illustrations, which have usage permission for personal and commercial projects.

This game is meant for both mobile as well as tablet users, but I've decided to prototype the game in tablet mode as it puts the bigger picture for visual clarity.

Check the Prototype Click Here

The coding part was the most challenging as I wasn't the techiest person, but I did manage to put together pieces of the concept to the best of my ability. This proved to be quite the learning experience for me. The code is written in Javascript.

Final Thoughts:

Working solo has a lot of negative challenges, although the experience was educative, I think working together as a team might have produced better quality output, under the stipulated timelines.

I am proud of how far ahead I was able to come in executing this Idea despite working solo.

What's next for Prana

I want to work more on the reward-donation program that I have ideated. I want to research more on what goes into making this program practically viable.

I also want to team up with some of the amazing folks that I've met through this hackathon and work towards finishing a full-fledged app.

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