One result of the restrictive measures that COVID19 brought upon society is environmental benefit. My team and I wish to find a way to sustain the progress that was made thus far. Several reasons lead us to believe that after the pandemic, an environmental crisis is expectable.
- The restrictive measures made people uneasy and when they return to normal life, the main concern will not be to protect the environment, but to enjoy daily life in all of its features.
- During quarantine, consumption has grown, which leads to a grown amount of waste.
- Waste from the quarantine could still bear the virus and is, therefore, a risk of keeping the virus going.
- In an effort to make up for the lost time, the industrial sector is expected to work hard, so industrial pollution grows as well (following the example of China). When the global focus is shifted towards the economy, the environment is at a loss and the little progress made during the pandemic, may easily come undone.
Our idea is to make people aware of their actions by visual stimuli, prompting them to build a green attitude by constantly confronting them with their actions. We realize that the margin of success in this endeavor depends only partly on the people, whereas the other big role is played by the governments, which we plan to activate by trying to affect the tourism and hospitality domains. Our project consists in a platform, aimed at keeping the environment clean, enabled by the photos and ratings of users. Users actively engage in the platform by uploading photos of polluted locations and rating that location. The locations can be anything from public spaces, to bars and restaurants, to touristic attractions, etc. The photos and ratings make up a badge, which consists of a score in number [1 (least polluted) to 5 (most polluted)] and a color, in shades ranging from red (most polluted) to green (least polluted). The badges show up in an interactive map, indicating the level of pollution as a combination of the color and score. By clicking the badge of a specific location, users can be informed on the level of pollution and the reasons that contribute to this level. All over the world, people can contribute to the map by uploading pictures and ratings. Users are divided into categories: on one side people that are concerned with reporting pollution (this category requires no registration) and on the other side volunteers, businesses or other organizations concerned with cleaning (these categories require registration and verification). The badge of a specific location depends on the action that is taken by each category of users. Whereas an unregistered user uploads his or her concern, through a photo and a rating, the badge worsens. After a registered user remedies it, the badge becomes greener. A chatline is provided for interested users to organize among them for cleaning purposes. The badge is linked with mediums that tourists check before visiting a place (I.e. TripAdvisor) and appears as a feature alongside the location or the entity. Understandably, tourists may be drawn back from visiting a place with a polluted reputation and this could prompt the actors interested in cleaning into taking action to change the status of the badge. One of these actors are the municipalities and the governmental directorates dedicated to hospitality and tourism, which could engage with strategic plans of action, aimed at a green reputation. Once the platform grows in popularity, additional features are planned to make it more interactive and have more impact. A device app will be designed, the badge will become an extension for browsers and channels of cooperation between volunteering groups shall be added.
We believe that our vision is beneficial and practical in several ways, as listed below:
- Everybody can add pictures and ratings, thus control is in the hands of users that are sensitive to the environment. - - They have the chance to catch the countries’ and businesses' attention. Once a picture is uploaded and the reputation of a location is compromised, only prompt reaction can remedy it.
- In order to sustain a green reputation, businesses and governments have to engage continuously with keeping the areas under their control clean. Strategic plans could be approved to keep the badge green at all times. A green badge welcomes more tourists and a reddened badge reminds people of the quality of life in that location. Reminder is a tool for action, in our view.
- When an entity, i.e. a bar is reviewed and the level of pollution or eco-friendliness is high, it is expectable that users that are sensitive to the environment will avoid that bar. Ideally, the badge would affect that entity's revenue and therefore it can be an option for these businesses to adopt a greener attitude, such as giving up plastic, which ultimately affects climate change.
- When a private or public entity interested in a green environment wants to engage in a cleaning session, through the platform they can contact interested people to join the session, thus creating a community. Once the popularity of the platform grows, the green community grows as well, ultimately affecting society's focus and behavior towards nature.
express.js, node.js, sequelize, vue.js