The EnviroHero app was created during an ‘Envirohack’ coding competition at the Digital Jersey hub. It was inspired by the ‘gamification’ of everyday activities by apps such as Pokémon Go and Durrell’s ‘Go Wild’ Gorilla app, which created an online trail and rewards to track down ape sculptures around the Island.
The creators of EnviroHero are hoping to launch the app once sufficient funding is secured. It awards points to users when they scan QR codes at participating locations using their phone camera after completing eco-friendly tasks based around the concept of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’.
Examples include catching the bus, taking part in a beach-clean and recycling items. Scans could be carried out at places such as recycling centres, on buses or at coastal cafés after beach-cleans.
Mapping technology shows a user the location of nearby potential activities and participants are advised of facts and details about their location once they complete a task.
David Carney and Stephanie Luce, who were part of app creators ‘Team Reunion’, said that they were also looking for sponsors to fund the app launch, provide rewards and promote usage of the app.
The app contains a summary screen which details all of the rewards achieved by the user and there is also an option to compete against friends or in teams.
Support has already been shown by Digital Jersey, KPMG, the Government of Jersey, Liberty Bus, Acorn, Durrell, Beresford Street Kitchen and the Zero Waste environmental group.
Mr Carney said that Jersey would be a ‘great testbed’ for the app, which could eventually be rolled out on a national scale.
‘We started thinking about what really gets people out and doing things, and it’s the silly little things like games, which are actually very powerful,’ he said.
‘The idea was to keep it as simple as possible and the app is pretty much built now. We are just looking for corporates and organisations to take an interest. There hasn’t been anything else like this launched before.’
Ms Luce said that experience had indicated that the gaming and competition aspect of the app was likely to be more of an incentive for activities than the rewards system, so a charitable awards function could also be built in.
‘We had feedback from Durrell that a lot of people who got rewards from their Gorilla app didn’t actually take them in the end, so it seems people are more interested in the game,’ she said.
‘So, what we could do is also offer the option for people to donate the money that comes from corporate sponsors to charities.’
Anybody who is interested in the EnviroHero app can send an email to the team by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.