Inspiration

Ripple was created to help show how small impacts can add up to big change. Focusing on 4 aspects, Water Conservation, Electrical Conservation, Food Waste reduction, and Plastic Waste reduction, Ripple invites users to take a look at their habits and find small ways to change things up. Ripple was first thought up to focus on plastic waste alone, but I decided to expand into 4 different categories in order to make a broader change. It also shows how you can help a variety of efforts in some small way, rather than focusing attention on just one problem. Most of the actions suggested won't dramatically change your individual life, but if everyone tries these actions it would have monumental impacts for good.

What it does

Ripple breaks down into 4 categories and helps guide the user to simple tasks to remind and assist in their conservation journey. This app is perfect for someone who is looking to make small changes.

Each page has a color theme, and a "Did you know" section to motivate the user. Below is then a small action item for that specific category. The idea was simple and measured results to motivate users to keep going!

Water Conservation:

  • Shower timer: Lets users set a timer while they are in the shower to let them measure how much water they are using. The timer displays the number of gallons of water associated with minutes in the shower so that when users are picking a time they are seeing the direct water impact. Hopefully, this will encourage shorter showers and more water saved!

Energy Conservation:

  • Lights Off Calculator: Asks users to go around the house, and turn off any unnecessary lights. It will then total amount of money saved by the number of lights turned off showing the direct result of their actions.

Food Waste Reduction:

  • Food Waste Calculator: Allows users to upload their grocery items, and then go back later to check off what was thrown out. This is a way to show how much money and type of food that is wasted. This will hopefully encourage smarter shopping and less food waste

Plastic Waste Reduction:

  • Remove Plastic Checkbox: Shows users things they can replace in their day to day life with a reusable alternative. Lets users check off once they have replaced all items
  • Reusable bag reminder: When a user's location is at a store, the app will send a notification reminding them to bring in their reusable bag ( and a fack mask during the pandemic )

How I built it

This app was built using the Swift UI on XCode. This was my first time creating a mobile application and it was a challenge. I am used to building websites, but I felt this product would be better suited in a mobile form allowing us to send the user notifications as reminders to bring a plastic bag to the store, or to turn off the lights at night.

Challenges I ran into

Initially, I set out to create an app with React Native. I have been using React to build websites for some time and thought this hackathon would be a great opportunity to give it a try. Boy was I wrong. I spent almost the entire first day starting and restarting the project. I had my concept flushed out but I was having a problem after problem getting react-native to run on my computer (good news is, I'm now an install troubleshooting pro). After my 7th attempt at using a boilerplate, I decided to put down my computer and take a break, thinking I would try to quickly create a website. When I woke up (early) today I completely switched gears and decided to try to create the app one last time using Swift. I set out to create an app and that's what I was going to do. Luckily I found swift to be a million times easier, and I am very proud to have a product to submit!!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I have an app!!

I may not have all the features I wanted but I created this in an entirely new language, using a program I had opened only a handful of times and actually created a pretty cool app.

What I learned

I learned a lot about react-native, although I never got the product off the ground. Now that I dont have a deadline I would love to go back and try again. I'm confident I can get it to work, and with a framework, I am familiar with. I also learned a ton about Swift and was able to create somewhat of an app!

What's next for Ripple

I would love to complete all the features of Ripple, most importantly the food waste section. I was able to accomplish the receipt scanning portion with React in another project, and I would love to try and tackle it with a mobile device.

Once MVP is completed, I would like to create user accounts to have trackable metrics so users can see how well they are doing on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. I would also like to create more small action items for each category, so users can also pick what best fits their lifestyle, and make the right change for them.

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