Technology has limitless capabilities! There is so much we can accomplish using technology. However, our Earth is struggling to deal with climate change, and we are still far from sustainability. Our schools inform us about climate change and make us write essays, but no change is ever implemented. As a result, Vestigium was created to make a positive impact on the environment!
What it does
Vestigium allows you to analyze your meal for the impact it has on the environment. In particular, the carbon footprint. In essence, the user takes a picture of their meal and the program returns the total carbon dioxide equivalent value of that meal. Not to mention, for better perspective, the user also receives a kilometre value equivalent to their meal's impact. For instance, an output could be: "Your meal is the equivalent to driving 5.4 kilometers in a fuel-powered car". The goal is for people to buy food that has a smaller carbon affect on the environment.
How we built it
Vestigium was built using python, flask, html, css, web-scraping, and the Clarifai ML API. Python was used to incorporate flask, call the API for results, cross-reference the ingredients database, and return the result to the user. The flask library was used to create a web-app that had a user-friendly layout. In addition, html and css were used to design and style the web-app. Moreover, web-scraping was used to create a JSON file with CO2e values for various ingredients. Finally, the Clarifai ML API was used to detect ingredients in the picture.
Challenges we ran into
I had never used the Flask framework before, so I found it difficult to incorporate all of the functionalities I wanted. For example, I wanted to be able to add a "file upload" section, but I was unable to do so. Instead, I had to rely on a URL to perform the ingredient detection. I was also unable to publish the page. Thus, it only runs on a local server as of now.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I am proud that I was able to use flask and manage to give the user relevant output on their food's carbon impact.
What we learned
I learned how to use the Flask framework. I was able to understand how different variables can be received through the various 'app.routes("")' on a web-app.
What's next for Vestigium
The next step for Vestigium would be to add the "file-upload" functionality, along with publishing the page for everyone to use.