tutorials:~ How Developers Can Help The Environment

Sometimes you may hear that errors in a developer or a designer work are not as critical as that of a doctor. Such thought may make you feel that web development does not bring value to the world. However, if you like coding and designing, there ways to make the world a better place.

One of the ways as a developer to help the environment is to develop different apps, web portals, marketplaces that make eco-friendly habits easier. Different hackathons provide the opportunity to check your ideas within a limited timeframe. Although many of those events happen in Europe (like Climathon), there are some events in Canada and the US as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the solutions developers with different levels have built during the past year:

An Example from Delta Hacks V Hackathon in Hamilton, ON

Feed the starving kids

Food4Kids website allows potential donors to buy the specific quantities and types of foods the children need.

Built with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

Food4Kids Github repo

Food4Kids Working Demo

Example from Girls in tech Hacking for Humanity Hackathon, Vancouver BC

Prevent Fires

Fireware app provides the fire map that shows where the fires are right now in a particular area, and Twitter feeds for people to get the latest information. It uses AI prediction algorithm based on historical fire data coming from NASA’s satellite images system to estimate the daily chance of fires in the area and provides education on how to provide information about current fires.

Built with JavaScript, HTML and Python for predictions.

Fireware Github repo

Educate about the thrown away trash journey

Life of litter is a web app, react game, that educates about the proper recycling and lifecycle of the trash after you throw it away. It gamifies the recycling experience, inviting to explore more about how different types of trash are recycled.

Built with react and material-UI.

Life Of Litter Github repo

Bring awareness to the forest fires problem

Guardians of the Forest - interactive game with appearing fires, that speeds up over time. It also offers the learn more information about fires problem.

Built with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Python.

Play the game Guardians of the forest Github repo

Track and reduce water usage

Flow is a toolkit that users can install in their own homes to measure their water usage, getting the data directly from the faucet, and receiving the statistics and insights in the handy app.

Built with arduino, react, next, html, css, next.js, javascript, react.js, figma, sketch, photoshop, adobe, yarn.

Flow app demo Flow Github repo Flow Docs

Examples from uwEnergyHacks Hackathon in Waterloo ON

Make offices cooling and heating usage more energy-efficient

Felix Ai mobile app was built to help the office buildings optimize their energy usage for heating and cooling. Each employee votes for the desired temperature, and then the AI optimizes the temperature in the building based on the votes, historical data, and future predictions.

Built with python, ios, snapchat, matplotlib, numpy.

Felix AI Github repo Felix AI Docs

Help to dispose of the waste properly

UWaste app allows the user to take a picture of the garbage item and the get instructions from the app how to recycle it.

Demo https://www.figma.com/proto/0upDJZxCqln8s7s0IHhVl0/Home-Page-(Copy)?node-id=17%3A15&scaling=scale-down&redirected=1 Git repo https://github.com/mmgupta713/UWaste Docs https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K27XwdDgKU1grcWD23lbEJbns_sq2tDl/view Built with java, android-studio, Figma.

Uwaste demo Flow Github repo UWaste Docs

Make obvious the environmental impact of the online purchases

Ottercart is a Chrome extension that shows the amount of CO2 produced by the delivery options you choose when buying items online.

Built with API-google-cloud, HTML, JavaScript, Adobe XD, json, CSS.

Ottercart Github repo

Industry examples

An exciting part of frontend development is that many free resources are available, including various APIs. For example, you can leverage advanced capabilities of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning i.e., for image recognition or even image to speech apps. ’That’s why some of the apps above and overall hackathon participants are using AI in their apps quite easily.

Here is a couple of professional applications of the Google Vision API and image recognition used to save endangered species or study and save the ecosystems:

Zoological Society of London using AI

With the earth’s biodiversity in crisis, and species increasingly at risk due to many threats, ZSL is using AutoML to identify animals in vast camera trap datasets to help save species.

Coastal classifiers using AI

Coastal classifiers: using AutoML Vision to assess and track environmental change

Time to act!

Many hackathons are available, as well as you can always start an environment saving pet project. Couple of the events where you can exercise your talents as a developer doing smth good are coming up this week and next month:

2nd Annual AWS Hackathon for Good 2019 Jun 10, 2019 Washington DC USA


AngelHack 2019: Seattle Jul 13-14, 2019 Seattle WA USA


Ana Makarochkina

After a long journey in cultural studies and management science, Ana realized that code speaks louder than words. Since that time her major areas of focus are Vim, React, and Tachyons. She likes to wr... more about Ana Makarochkina