Inspiration

70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to 100 companies. Love it or not, you gonna accept this: It's the consumers that actually burn and demand the fossil fouls that these companies provide - thus reducing carbon emission is related to everybody. Well, the good news is that people have compassions in a way companies don't. According to our market research, about 50 percent of our respondents are willing to pay a company to compensate for their carbon emissions with an average amount of about 100 pounds. What they need is a platform, which is why Treequilibrium is born.

What it does

_ Treequilibrium _ is all about connection. We connect eager customers with responsible landowners. On our platform, customers are able to make investment offers. Landowners who can use that money to plant most trees will receive the money. We hire specialized partner companies to oversee the planting of trees and make sure landowners keep their promise. The platform will then give timely follow-ups to contributors and update the percentage of their footprint which they have compensated for.

How we built it

An app is fit for the Treequilibrium project as it's very accessible and easy to use. So we decided to develop an Android app on Android studio. The key components are the user interface and the bidding system. A good UI will motivate people to donate more, as well as a reasonable bidding system. Therefore, we spent lots of time considering what features we would include and details of the bidding algorithm. It seems natural that a customer should be able to see the percentage of his annual carbon consumption which he has compensated for. So we first implemented the function of showcase users' contribution. In terms of the bidding algorithm, we think it's a good idea to let the customer who donates earlier get a lower price for reducing one ton of greenhouse gas emission - as this will encourage people to "buy" earlier and having a bigger influence. So we decided to use a linear data structure to store all available "carbon shares", which is sorted ascendingly according to their price. We also recorded a "pointer", which tells us which is the cheapest available carbon share. Following this strategy, we implemented the APIs for customers to purchase and for landowners to offer. We then deployed a cloud database to store all the information related to customers, designed a user sign-in/up page, and developed a tool to visualize real-time data about how many tons of greenhouse gas users can buy with 100 pounds (which is updated at the beginning of every month).

Challenges we ran into

As for challenges, our team has very limited experience in developing on Android Studio. Therefore, it was a challenge to learn how to get started with the development tool. Debugging the code and researching appropriate APIs required a lot of effort.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite the struggle of getting started with a new development tool, we are proud to have completed a UI and were able to add some basic functions to it. We also implemented the bidding system, which serves customers on a come-earlier-get-cheaper basis. This allowed us to have a demo and present our ideas to more passionate people. We are also proud of our project because we firmly believe that Treequilibrium will bring a real difference!

What's next for Treequilibrium

We are eager to add new features for Treequilibrium in order to further motivate people to contribute. We will definitely add a global ranking for customers to view who make the most contribution in the month, and perhaps a function of adding friends on this platform. We are aiming to let people have fun on this platform while at the same time reduce carbon emissions.

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