We're targeting SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Try our website out at https://techshare.x9du.repl.co/
Electronic waste -- or e-waste -- is a sustainability issue that continues to grow rapidly more critical. The Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership, founded in part by the United Nations University, documented a record 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste generated in 2019 alone -- up 21% in five years, demonstrating the enormous burden humanity has put on themselves and the environment through excessive material consumption. However, even though numerous consumers and corporations dispose of e-waste every day, only 20% of e-waste is ever recycled.
At the same time, wealth inequality has created a great imbalance of access to technology both globally and within the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these differences, and made it harder for working adults and children in distance learning to access the tools they need. More than two-thirds of countries have introduced a national distance learning platform, but among low-income countries the share is only 30 percent. Before this crisis, almost one third of the world’s young people were already digitally excluded.
While our old technology lies around collecting dust after updating to the latest models, other consumers and facilities are in need of secondhand technology. To solve this issue, we developed a website designed to facilitate the reuse of electronic products as well as provide funds and secondhand technology for those in need.
What it does:
TechShare is a marketplace for technology exchange. Individuals and companies can donate or post listings for their electronic products, and, unlike other for-profit corporations, sellers can choose to have 20-100% of profits donated to charities for expanding access to technology, COVID-19 relief, etc. Additionally, public facilities like schools, libraries, and shelters can request donations of computers and other technology. This would help reduce the number of digitally excluded students around the world and allow more schools to implement distance learning platforms during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How we built it:
Challenges we ran into:
Accomplishments that we're proud of:
We successfully integrated a Firebase database into our project, allowing users to sign up and create their own accounts, as well as keeping track of which user is logged in on each page. We also figured out how to store each user’s own listings with their profile as well as products that they’re interested in buying. Although we ran into several issues with the Buy page as well as front end UI, we solved them within the hacking period and created a product that all of us are proud of.
What we learned:
What's next for TechShare:
Next steps for TechShare would be an expansion on some of the features that would improve the functionality. Options such as filtering, and sorting our searches, and creating bids for item listings were functions that didn’t quite make the cut this version. A system for dealing with payments and a more robust encryption service will also need to be implemented.