Neutrify is a hackathon project turned community venture working together to help reduce climate change.

Product Designer
+ front-end development
Hackathon project → Community startup
48 hours (January 2021)

How did Neutrify come into existence?

During the 2021 Hack the North Hackathon at UW, I virtually teamed up with some awesome people to create a chrome extension that aimed to educate consumers about their carbon impact and to decrease the barrier to making more sustainable choices.

We were interested in the sustainability space and saw a need to explore how we could leverage technology to reduce climate change.

Our goal is to make the Neutrify chrome extension the “Honey for sustainability.”

We want to reduce carbon impact through the online food purchasing experience, as online groceries becomes more popular in the future.

In the US, aound 80-90% of water consumption is dedicated to agriculture production.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases, with methane (waste product of livestock) being much more destructive than CO2.
Livestock rearing and meat processing are responsible for 30% of the greenhouse emissions in the world.
the challenge
Understand how we care about food sustainability, and how does that translate over to our food purchasing behaviours?
Get started with research
Starting with seniors-
Hello Google forms ~

With a 48 hour deadline, we started ahead with understanding more about the problem space. Why did people care about sustainability? Or why not? What were their current behaviours like when it came to buying groceries online?

After 66 replies, we became to get a clearer picture of the disconnect between the desire to be more sustainable and reality.

Forming our hypothesis
  • Becoming more sustainable is a very abstract concept for most people. Meaning that while they may care about the mission of being more climate friendly, the execution is much murkier.
  • Having a monetary reward associated with being sustainable has a stronger reaction than education, which was another strong reason for lack of action.
What's on the market?
How were other products combating this issue?
  • Many other chrome extensions tracked overall shopping experiences and their carbon emissions
  • You could contribute small monetary amounts to offset carbon impact, whereas other extensions allowed you to donate or plant trees
  • One common issue is that carbon impact data is hard to find and can be inaccurate

Understanding the competitive landscape, we set out to define user goals and product features through ideation.

A quick design sprint and delivery
Implementing it fast

For the hackathon, we settled on using Instacart as our demo environment for the chrome extension. An extension allowed us a short timeline to build and test our original direction:

How do people care about climate change and food, and would an intervention like this help them change their behaviours to become more carbon aware?

And that was a wrap in 48 hours!

Neutrify is now currently a community venture where over 40+ individuals are working on this mission to reduce carbon emissions together.

We'll be launching our website and chrome extension soon.

Next steps & reflections
More research!

While the concept of being more carbon friendly is very attractive and well-received, it'll be really hard to convince individuals to actively make changes, especially when it conflicts with their personal habits, convenience and food preferences.

If there was more time, I would research more about how to engage users and increase user adoption based on intentional interviews & secondary research.

Starting with seniors
Starting with seniors
Learn by getting involved

I'm probably as carbon friendly/sustainable (or barely even healthy ha) about my food choices as the next average person, which is why I was intrigued by this topic.

I wanted to understand more about how to make carbon friendly choices, and explore the challenges of empowering consumers to make sustainable impact!

Thanks for reading!
See my other projects →