Check your personal carbon footprint with a new app

App monitors carbon footprint of individuals

An app allowing users to track their carbon footprint has been developed by Norwegian researchers.

Called Ducky, the app aims to empower people to make a difference in the battle against the climate change on an individual basis and make greener choices in their everyday lives.

The app uses algorithms developed by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to calculate environmental impact of various activities including grocery shopping, taking a bus or cycling.

Users can not only log their own activities and see how they are performing from the climate change perspective, but also compare their scores with other users.

“With Ducky, you can easily see the environmental impact of actions you take in everyday life and learn about why they’re important,” explained Silje Strøm Solberg, the app’s co-creator.

The users can learn, for example, that by biking to work for two days instead of driving, they can save about 10kg in CO2 emissions, equivalent to one tree’s CO2 uptake per year.

The app, currently in beta version, will be released in 2016 and will work on all platforms including computers and mobile devices.

According to its creators, the project aims to show that people do care about climate change but are confused whether they could actually make a difference.

“Ducky has handpicked the habits you can change,” Solberg said. “They are positive, effective and easy ones to get started with. At the same time they benefit your health, the local environment and the community.”

The team tested the app at this year’s Pstereo music festival in Trondheim, providing it to a group of volunteers. Eventually, the firm hopes to create special tailor-made versions for companies and enterprises.

“Our goal is to enter into an IRD partnership (Industrial research and development contracts) and develop Ducky for organisations. It’s important to engage employees in questions concerning environmental savings,” said Solberg.

Solberg believes that people by nature genuinely want to make the best choice. Research has shown that when an environment or culture is set up so that it’s easy to make healthier food choices, or choose a more sustainable means of transport, then people willingly do it.

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