Change of consumption patterns is required to tackle environmental challenges. But it is not easy to change your routines and habits. And more harder it gets, if you don’t know how to change them in order to make your lifestyle more sustainable.
We need real-time information on environmental effects of our actions in an easy form. In other words, we have two challenges to resolve: routines and signals.
Signals. There are several mobile applications for calculating carbon footprints of consumption (My Footprint, EcoFootprint, Be Green, CarbonCalc, EcoChallenge, etc). However, these mobile applications are often laborious to use and require information on energy consumption, water use, etc. We have to gather this information from several sources and fill out the information to the calculator. In addition, exiting calculators use miles, dollars or other measures that are not used in Finland. In addition, the social element is missing in most of the calculators, so we cannot share our results with others and get the peer support. Furthermore, none of the existing calculators provide feedback on the (un)sustainability of our consumption.
The extensive, and existing, data registries of our consumption create new opportunities for developing personalized solutions to follow and get feedback on our consumption choices. We want to gather this information to one place, a mobile app, and use this data to give real-time feedback on everyday choices. In addition, we want to make this information customized in a way that every uses gets the data in a form that is most informative and helpful. Does this mean visualizations, numbers, voices, comparison to others, or something else?
Routines. Lack of information is not the only barrier for more sustainable everyday living. If we own a car and are used to driving to work every morning, why should we change this habit?
We have plenty of good experiences from nudging, encouraging, peer support and other ways for changing our everyday habits and practices. What are the most efficient ones for making more sustainable consumption choices? What kind of “feel good” elements do we need to encourage the users of our application and acquire more users, so that more and more people would find out the environmental effects of their everyday living and ways to reduce these effects?
These are the issues we want to solve!