As an avid camper and hiker, protecting the environment has been very important to me for many years. The environmental harm that arises as a result of personal computers use often goes without notice, so I decided to create a Chrome extension to help consumers track the environmental effects that result from their use of computing power.
What is Equilibrate?
Equilibrate is a Chrome extension that integrates with Google's Chrome API to determine the ecological impact of a user's browsing activity. Equilibrate presents this ecological impact to the user by showing them their CO2 emissions, water consumption, projected offset cost, and other statistics. The user is then given the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by either donating to an environmental group or passively viewing advertisements while browsing. Equilibrate integrates with major ad blockers to let users choose to only see ads that donate 50% of their revenue to charity. Equilibrate syncs between user sessions and across devices, helping users to track their emissions wherever they may be working.
With the amount of conflicting data that there is online regarding power consumption and CO2 emission statistics, I had to spend several hours reading through scientific journals to determine how Equilibrate would calculate environmental impact. As a result, the information presented in the user interface is very well-sourced, and could be a valuable resource to people who aren't yet very climate-literate.
An additional challenge was that the Chrome web store only accepts applications that satisfy a high standard of data privacy and application security. Ensuring that all database calls were compliant with the standards of the Chrome web store was a challenge, but it helped me to learn about avoiding various potential vulnerabilities.
For the future
I will continue to work on Equilibrate to improve its functionality on mobile devices, and I will continue reaching out to find additional sponsors who would be willing to partner with Equilibrate and contribute to environmental causes.
How to use Equilibrate
Equilibrate can be installed from the Chrome Web Store, or by loading the entire repository into chrome://extensions as an unpacked extension.
Try It out