Being waste free doesn’t mean changing who you are. The current political climate in the United States frames going zero waste as a stance on types of legislation. Zero Life wants to uncomplicate and clear up the misconceptions of what waste free means. We know that not everyone can immediately make the change, so we created a manageable list where everyone can go at their own pace.

What it does

It creates a fun interactive experience that walks you through your own personal journey and playful narrative. This makes saving the earth and living healthier more fun. Simple day to day tasks that anyone can complete are assigned to the user and when they complete them they unlock digital trophies and pieces of the plot that push the story further. For the people that feel a need to do more, zero life also provides resources and ideas for d.i.y. projects that help take your journey to the next level.

How we built it

We created a GraphQL API based off of MongoDB and the Apollo express server that would store and update query information related to the game. The frontend is created using the React framework with custom components.

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenges to the app were constructing the assets and implementing a guidance system without telling people what to do. The last thing we wanted to do is build an app that was simply going to feel like someone is just there to go shopping, or that we made the app simply to advertise products. The app needed to be designed to give general guidance on things people should be looking for when buying a product. This is why zero life utilizes a forum feature where people make suggestions to each other. This way it feels a lot more like looking at reviews instead of shopping. The assets for our game are hand drawn and animated on a frame by frame basis to give it a personal flair. The obvious issue to this is that it is a time consuming process.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are happiest with the efficiency and the focused implication of the information put in. It feels focused rather than attempting to put in more that needed.

What we learned

Our group was very diverse in skill set. Some of us only really working in back-end or front-end development and some of us having no coding skills at all. I would say the biggest thing learned is how to communicate in a cross disciplinary manner. Explaining things in a way so that everyone could be on the same page.

What's next for Zero Life

Hopefully finishing the project to see how and if people will use it. Living waste free is incredibly difficult, so having a tool that helps break it down in easy to understand pieces is important if people are going to be expected to transition to it.

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