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Eco Apps for a Complex World

These first year Computer Systems Technology Diploma student projects brought sustainability into the computing classroom. Students were challenged to build an EcoCity Standards-inspired mobile-first solution (the apps look best on a phone/tablet). Students followed an iterative design process:

  • Observe the world; empathize
  • Define problem, opportunity, or niche
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test
  • Implement

We’re really proud of their resulting creations!

ZapShare

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Our goal is to increase electric vehicle adoption by improving the availability and convenience of electric vehicle chargers in the city. We’ve built a web application that extends the current charging infrastructure by utilizing unused chargers at home locations. Home owners are incentivized to become a host by monetizing their personal chargers.

This web application serves as a platform for electric vehicle owners to connect with home owners, providing a convenient means for drivers to charge their vehicles.

Here’s the pitch or check out Zapshare.

Emission Planner

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While people are becoming more aware of the negative effects of CO2 emissions, it can be hard for them to see the actual effects that each trip choice has on the environment around them.

Emission Planner seeks to track emissions per car trip and to provide alternate transportation methods to lower the amount of CO2 emissions on our roads. It quantifies the impact each individual makes to the overall environment by calculating the kilograms of CO2 their preferred transportation type emits over a specified distance. Kilograms of resulting CO2 are then represented via 16” party balloons in order to help the users picture their vehicle emissions. This will encourage users to take the greener options to travel around the city, and help them understand the difference they are making by switching over to greener transportation option.

Please watch our teaser and overview video or use Emission Planner.

IcoPico

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IcoPico is a web game involving a creature whose well-being depends on the ecologically restorative tasks that a user completes in a day. The app suggests eco-friendly tasks that the user can complete for in-game rewards, such as pet happiness and pet food, and features an in-game currency to buy accessories.

Being consciously eco-friendly on a daily basis is difficult to do. By incentivising and raising awareness and gamifying the experience, players will be more likely to adopt these practices in their daily life. Our app targets a wide audience, most notably teens and young adults who enjoy mobile games. Our older user base may appreciate the similarities in our game to Tamagotchi, a retro handheld pet game that was popular in the 90’s.

The game focuses on responsible handling of resources/materials and environmentally friendly transportation. It helps encourage people to get into the habit of caring for the environment, including taking public transportation, recycling, and other ecofriendly tasks that can be completed each day.

Here’s a teaser, video, or play IcoPico.

ReStyle

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The commercial fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, depleting non-renewable resources, emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases, and using massive quantities of energy, chemicals and water. ReStyle addresses these problems by promoting the reuse of lightly-used clothing by allowing users to organize and perform clothing swaps. Users can see a list of clothing that they might be interested in, and add their own used clothing to offer up for trades. Once a user finds a piece of clothing they are interested in, they can ask for it in exchange for one or more of their own pieces of clothing. If both users agree to trade, they can organize a time and place to meet and make the swap. No money is exchanged during a swap.

ReStyle is primarily targeted at fashion lovers who like to update their closet often but want to minimize their environmental impact.

Watch our pitch, video or try ReStyle.

WhichBin

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Our application eliminates the confusion of how to properly sort and dispose of the waste we generate in our daily lives. Based on Vancouver’s own recycling system, we have developed a child-friendly application that has the capability to be integrated within British Columbia’s numerous municipalities.

Many other applications use walls of text to explain where recyclable items belong, but who has time for that in these modern times? Instead, users can relax and watch the simple animations, or even try an Angry Birds-style recycling game.

Using our application, people will be able to easily and responsibly dispose of their waste. In turn, their waste will be properly disposed of, which will substantially reduce our carbon footprint and accompanying negative effects on our environment. Garbage disposal should be simple, not complicated; with WhichBin, our aim is to cut the confusion.

View the teaser, video, or use WhichBin.

Pickr

pickr iconChoosing eco-friendly can be tedious, we want to make it easy to get started! The team designed a fully working web application that provides eco-friendly suggestions to travelers and new Vancouverites. Pickr features a simple interface for finding local activities and attractions. You are able to filter activities by category, cost, and distance, and the XP system challenges you to try activities outside your comfort zone.
Pickr emphasizes a clean and responsive UI, with familiar and intuitive design patterns of popular apps such as Tinder.
Here’s a teaser, overview, or try Pickr.

EcoLibria

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EcoLibria is a web-based game in which the player assumes responsibility for the creation and maintenance of an ecologically sustainable community. The player’s primary objective is to reduce carbon emissions produced by traffic, industry, demolition, and creation of city infrastructure; carbon sinks, such as urban landscapes and parks, are also a component of game play.

Although presenting a simplified model of an urban ecosystem, EcoLibria provides the player with the ‘big picture’ of how transport options, the proximity of employment, and other essential aspects of urban development are integrated, and how they can be made more efficient. While immersed, the player gains an understanding of the challenges and complexities of reducing green house gases and carbon emissions.

Check out our 30-second teaser and short overview video, or play EcoLibria.

ShipGreen

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ShipGreen provides an alternative shipping method to give users information about the environmental implications of each shipping option, rather than just having it be a cost/time consideration. It encourages them to choose the greener shipping option rather than just going for the two-day fastest free delivery.

Our application helps users to become more environmentally friendly, which means fewer half-loaded trucks sent on the road. By lessening the traffic, we lessen carbon emissions. By being just a little bit more patient, online shoppers can also help online sellers save money by reducing spending on fuel: a win-win situation.

The main target of our app are people who understand the need of the hour, about the environment and increasing carbon emissions, and who are ready to show a little patience to receive their products to help future generations live a better life.

See a pitch, watch the video, or ShipGreen!