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The problem

Many of us are aware of how society has impacted the environment around us. Some of us make very drastic modifications to our behavior in hopes that it will yield a better result for the environment. There is a contingent of people who feel that their actions don’t make an impact, and feel apathetic towards “green” causes. There isn't a current way to specifically contextualize how small actions done daily eventually accumulate to make a significant difference. An app such as this could engage this demographic to take on positions of environmental stewardship.

Our solution

We created Habit@, a simple, minimalistic web app that educates users about and gamifies sustainability. Users track green habits throughout their day and are incentivized by earning points and badges. To encourage them to continue using the app, we’ve added an impact component that directly tracks the positive effects of their habits. By turning habit tracking into a game that allows users to see how their habits are impacting the environment, we motivate them to make the earth a cleaner and greener habitat for all.

How we built it

We used the following scripts and languages: HTML, CSS, SASS, Javascript, and jQuery. HTML and CSS were used to create the website; SASS to make the site responsive; Javascript to create the habit tracker; and jQuery to easier manipulate HTML and event handling.

Challenges we ran into

Our biggest challenge by far were merge requests and conflicts. With our team being comprised of four high school students - one of whom left early before the hackathon ended - whose experiences using Git ranging from both extremes of the spectrum, there was a steep learning curve. Some other major hurdles include a lot of on-the-spot learning with different languages and frameworks.

Accomplishments that we’re proud of

We’re pretty proud of completing our minimum viable product which contributes to solving an increasingly important and crucial worldwide crisis. Despite having conflicts with using Git, we created our website with a simple color scheme and style; it’s also responsive, which means that it can be utilized on any device and platform despite being coded as a web app. Also, for two out of the four members on our team, this was their very first hackathon. They didn’t really know what to expect, but we’re all glad to be able to show something that we finished.

What we learned

As we said earlier, we learned a lot about languages and frameworks on-the-spot. Since we are all relatively new to coding, we were able to effectively utilize online resources like Stack Overflow and w3schools. We also learned to be faster and more efficient problem solvers, and became more collaborative as time went on and we began to rely on each other more and familiarize ourselves with the code.

What’s next for Habit@

We plan on implementing more habits, gamifying it better by adding more badges, and retaining users by creating a push notification system via email/text/app. Also, in the future, we hope to turn this into a mobile app to reach more users, along with implementing a log-in page so that users can have their data stored in the cloud, rather than locally on one device, so they can access it no matter what device they’re on.

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