GreenerU is an app that measures the environmental impact of people’s food consumption and waste habits, and uses gamification and personalized recommendations to help them lead more sustainable lifestyles. It incentivizes people to a) consume more sustainable food products; and b) reduce food waste, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. Users of the app get sustainability challenges based on their present food consumption and waste habits and are rewarded with ‘eco-points’ upon successful completion. They can exchange these points for discounts on sustainable food products or products that help them conserve food or recycle food waste. The goal of GreenerU is to help consumers understand the environmental impact of their food consumption and waste behaviour and improve it through the most effective actions first. We do this by removing barriers that prevent people from engaging in these actions already - be it inertia to change, lack of information, lack of personal benefit, instant gratification, or anything else - and nudging them to lower their carbon footprint.
This is how the app works – The user signs up and gives consent to automatically track their food purchases by connecting their grocery store accounts to the app. Using this data, the app then measures the carbon footprint of their food consumption. The impact of food consumption is put in context and represented in an easy-to-understand way. Now that the impact is known, the app provides users with alternative foods to switch to that lower their carbon footprint, in the form of fun challenges. Recommendations are made personal by AI, using data on what the user likes to eat, as well as the what other similar users in the community like to eat as alternatives. GreenerU’s machine learning algorithm will constantly learn what low-impact alternative habits and products you are most likely to adopt. Challenges can range from reducing your meat and dairy consumption to cleaning up your fridge and organizing it properly in order to prevent food waste at home. The app uses behavioral nudges to convince the consumer to change their food consumption and waste habits. The user chooses which challenges to take up and is rewarded with ‘eco-points’ upon successful completion.