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