Team Name: JMSS
Discord Usernames: SahilB #9713, kuth_ulu #5750, Janvi Nandwani #2112, Syna Sharma #2039
The growing threat of climate change to our world and communities inspired our team to create an app to encourage sustainability through a lens that is not always at the forefront of everyone's minds. Thus, our team decided to encourage users to eat in a sustainable manner to combat climate change.
What it does
Our application is a tool for users to plan sustainable meals. Users are able to pick ingredients based on their carbon emissions to plan recipes. The application also calculates the carbon footprint of each user's planned recipe. The user can also use a calendar application that links to one's personal Google Calendar to create weakly meal plans based on the recipes the user would create in the app. Lastly, the app provides users with information about the environmental impacts of food production through each step in the supply chain.
How we built it
To build our app, our team used block-based programming on MIT App Inventor. Furthermore, we used distributed computing in order to use CO2 emission data from a Google Sheet in our application to encourage users to eat sustainably. Lastly, we used a Google Calendar API to allow users to create sustainable meals and import that information to their Google Calendar using a .ics file.
Challenges we ran into
While building our app, our team initially struggled to import data from a CSV file into a list in MIT App Inventor. However, after much research, our team was able to figure out how to import data from an active Google Sheet by importing a URL into our application and converting this data to a list that could be used in the application. Furthermore, our team initially struggled to save data from one screen of the app in a list that could be used across multiple screens of the app. However, after further researching our issue, our team was able to use the TinyDB database in MIT App Inventor to store data in our app that could be used across all screens and even after exiting the application. Lastly, We struggled to identify bugs in our project when we encountered a challenge because MIT App Inventor lacks extensive debugging tools for users.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Despite lacking extensive experience with app development, our team is proud of creating an application that can be used for social good. Furthermore, we are proud of persevering and effectively incorporating external data from a dynamic Google Sheet into our app, so that our app automatically updates with changing data. Furthermore, our team is proud of using distributed computing to import recipes in our app into a .ics file to update a user's personal Google Calendar.
What we learned
Through building our app, our team learned about how to use, save, and access external data into an application. Furthermore, our team learned about the large carbon footprint associated with various different foods, especially non-vegetarian food.
What's next for Sustainable Eating
Next, our team plans to encourage others to eat sustainably by planning their meals using our app!