Mobile App for a Sustainable Lifestyle

The Problem

What can an individual who cannot afford expensive solutions do to make a difference without breaking the bank?

The rapid and drastic climate change has put immense pressure on people to make eco-friendly choices and lead a sustainable lifestyle. However, the information available on this subject is often complex, contradictory, and overwhelming, leaving individuals puzzled about how to contribute to saving the planet. Although solutions like solar cells, electric cars, and expensive organic food are available, they may not be affordable for everyone. So, what options are there for individuals who cannot afford these solutions, and how can we make it easier for them to contribute to the well-being of the Earth?

 

The Solution

Maximize sustainable living with a smart pot and an innovative mobile app that facilitates food purchases

We targeted a specific group of students based on their financial situation and identified opportunities that can easily be offered to this influential group in society. This group feel a great responsibility when it comes to reducing carbon footprint. We focused on how we can educate people about their climate footprint and encourage them to make better choices without causing shame, guilt, or stress. We also explored ways to make it easier for students to make good choices and take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

A new digital service has been developed that helps users understand their carbon footprint with every food purchase and encourages them to make better decisions to reduce their climate impact. The service consists of a physical artefact and a digital product, which are linked together. The physical artefact is a pot with a plant, and the digital product is an interconnected application. The design aims to motivate users to make better choices without causing them anxiety but rather by providing reassurance and making a positive, caring impression. 

My Role

UX designer

 

My contribution

Concept, research and production:
Research on the subject
Interview
User flow
Interface sketching
Graphical elements
Colour theme
Logo
Mockup

Team

I collaborated with four fellow students, Ramzi Nsaibia, Fanny Tedeblad, Anna Wingårdh, and Sara Jernbergerto, to conduct the case study.

Communication

The study involved participants situated in Sweden and was communicated in Swedish. Thus, the artefacts presented below are documented in Swedish.

Timeline

February-March 2022

Research on the subject

Deepening in the subjects of sustainability and climate impact

As part of the research process for this project, a thorough investigation was conducted into the subject of sustainability work, climate impact, and climate measures. This involved studying articles and research reports from various sources, including statistical authorities, environmental agencies, and independent environmental and nature conservation organizations.

Information was obtained from credible sources such as the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a Swedish association that works with nature and environmental issues (Naturskyddsföreningen) and a state administrative authority for food matters (Livsmedelsverket). The insights gained from this study were used to develop interview questions and create context and content for the digital service.

The purpose of this research was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and gather inspiration for the development of a future service that provides official information on climate impact.

Findings

Based on research from open sources, I identified areas of our daily lives that have the most impact on the environment. These areas are listed in order of their impact on the climate, with the first having the greatest impact.

1. Travel, transportation and use of fossil fuels
2. Eating habits, consumption of animal products
3. Housing – energy use in our homes
4. Other – refers to goods and services that households use to meet their needs.

Each person in Sweden generates around 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year through consumption. (Naturvårdsverket, u.å).

Household consumption is a major source of emissions, accounting for 59% of the total. This includes transportation, food, and housing as consumption areas. 

About one-third of household emissions come from our food choices, according to Livsmedelsverket. By reducing meat consumption, choosing eco-labelled products, and opting for seasonal fruits and vegetables, we can minimize our impact. Being able to say how much animal products you can eat in an average week for you to come under a total climate impact depends on how much you travel and consume in general. Studies suggest that it’s more effective to eat fewer animal products rather than going vegetarian or vegan.

A food calculator was developed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an environmental and nature conservation organization that estimates the climate impact of your meals. The calculator helps you see if your food choices fall within the planet’s climate limits. Called the “climate budget for food,” this tool calculates the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e) emissions for each meal, which is approximately 0.5 kg of CO₂e. Additionally, it sets a climate budget of 11 kilograms of CO₂e per week.

Increased global trade between countries affects the climate, with Swedish imports producing a large and growing portion of our total emissions. To reduce our consumption-based emissions, we need to focus on the volume of textiles we consume, including clothing and home textiles. The amount of textiles we buy, where they come from, and how they’re made all impact the environment.

Participatory design

While developing our concept for future products, we involved external participants to ensure that the end result would be interesting and helpful to people. We conducted an interview and future workshop and created a survey to collect insights and understand users’ motivations and needs.

An individual with technical education and knowledge of sustainable development was interviewed to seek support and ideas for the new service and artefact. The objective of the interview was to gain insight into climate impact and explore the existing technical possibilities.

The primary goal of the survey was to determine the level of interest among students in making more environmentally conscious choices and to identify specific ways in which students would like to make these choices.

The results were intended to guide our ongoing work and give direction to the concept development process.

I am currently updating the description of this case study.

Visual design

Gather inspiration for a colour theme

The colour theme selected for the application

Competitor infographic ideas

Some infographics for Eleplant

Designed logotype

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