Sustainability can be interpreted in multiple ways, with the most obvious being creating a more sustainable environment for everyone around the world. "The total generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018 was 292.4 million tons... and more than 146 million tons of MSW (50 percent) were landfilled. (EPA, 2020)" Sustainability can also be interpreted on a more local level, with people helping each other out to create more sustainable communities. So we thought, "why not build sustainable communities while creating a sustainable environment at the same time?"
What it does
Sustain is an app that connects you with local charities and nonprofits to easily schedule times to donate goods! This way, you can easily donate things on your own schedule, especially when you don’t need them anymore. There is a big communication gap that exists between people who want to discard goods and charities who would gladly accept them as donations, and we believe that by bridging that gap it becomes a win-win situation for both parties.
To start this,
How we built it
We built a front-end mobile application using React-Native which allowed us to run our app with Expo. We used a NodeJS/Express back-end to connect to a charity navigation API, allowing us to search up local charities on the app.
Challenges we ran into
Creating a full-fledged user interface that was mobile-first and compatible between iOS/Android. Neither of us are UX designers but we took inspiration from various Google searches and designs we found that fit our overall theme. Also ran into trouble integrating different React Native libraries together and making sure they were all compatible.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Currently supporting charities on the Charity Navigator API.
Currently sending successful donation schedules with the Twilio API.
Currently supporting local search of charities based on address and finding a route from the user's location to the charity.
What we learned
Sometimes different libraries don't necessarily work with the latest version of iOS/Android, so we had to downgrade our system version to run it on Expo
Twilio functions are very convenient to use
What's next for Sustain
To really establish a connection between community organizations and those in need within the community, we want to support an opt-in registration for people who need donations to receive updates whenever their local charities of choice receive new donations.