Methods of environmental sustainability are hot topics of debate as the world's climate reaches the point of no return. Advances in technology have never been faster, but we must not forget the negative impacts these advancements have on our environment. Our team wanted to focus on reducing e-waste and methods we could curb electronic pollution in our ever-advancing world. Following the sustainability tenets of reducing, reusing and recycling, we created a website with features that upholds these values in order to promote a more renewable way of living in this digital era.
🌱 Our Solution
Following the idea of reducing, reusing, and recycling, this website serves 3 main functions in an effort to curb e-pollution. The first function uses a Sentiment Analysis API to determine the overall sentiment toward the selected model as well as an Auto Chapters API to produce a few comments about the phone, laptop, or any other electronic device of the user's choice. This allows the user to make a more informed decision on the selection of their device, increasing user satisfaction and device long-term retention thus reducing the overconsumption of electronics and its subsequent environmental impact. Then, the website guides the user to the marketplace where second-hand devices are sold by users, promoting the reuse of electronics rather than buying them brand new. Lastly, the website brings the user to the final page where the user can enter their location and using a Google Maps API, nearby electronic recycling depots are marked in order to encourage the proper disposal and recycling of end-of-life electronics. This website allows people to participate in the world's digitalization in an environmentally sustainable way.
💻 How we built it
- Conducted a user research survey regarding the ownership and disposal of electronics in order to define the problem space and determine user needs.
- Created a user persona to help guide our motivations and provide a sense of direction.
- Made a user flowchart in regards to the UI of the website.
- Illustrated a Figma to layout each page of the website.
- Built a user-friendly web interface using React to input user device requests, guide users toward the marketplace, and a page where it locates nearby electronic recycling depots.
- Configured the YouTube Data API to fetch YouTube video links based on user input in the frontend.
- Downloaded and parsed the returned YouTube links into mp4 files, then sent to the AssemblyAI Audio Intelligence API to run sentiment analysis and summarization.
- Constructed the Flask backend to create API endpoints such that the frontend can make GET and POST requests to receive/submit data from/to the backend.
- Stored data return from the AssemblyAI Audio Intelligence API inside a MongoDB database for easy accessibility to the data in the backend.
- The prototype visuals of the web application in Figma
- Working prototype with the sentiment analysis running
- Configured Google Maps API that shows electronic recycling depots around your location
- Functioning front-end website prototype
- Integrating the Google Maps API into our web interface
- Connecting the backend logic to the frontend interface
- Constructing the frontend interface to resemble the Figma prototype
- Switching frontend frameworks from StreamLit to React as we discovered that StreamLit did not meet our needs
💪 Accomplishments and what we learned
- Learning how to work with new APIs
- Learning how to code in React with little to no prior knowledge
- Combining all the APIs to create a functioning backend
➡️ What's next for PE3R
- Figuring out how to integrate the Google Maps API into our website
- Implementing a feature where users can search for their key needs and the website returns some device recommendations
- Expanding towards different types of products (not only electronic devices) in an effort to further our mission of environmental sustainability
- Figure out ways to optimize our processes to reduce our carbon footprint
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