"Sustainable Initiatives team on Anthropic AI Hackathon Hackathon"

Team Idea

Climate Change is a massive problem and one that requires everyone's cooperation. As a busy student dedicated to living sustainable but realistically it has been challenging to find the time to search up whether or not a practice or product I am using is good for the environment. The multitude of factors to consider and our limited knowledge can sometimes result in unintended harm. One example of this is the fact that recycling wrong is actually worse than not recycling at all. Although recycling is good, if we fail to identify which things are recyclable and in what condition, it actually does more harm than good. The complexity and misconceptions surrounding sustainability can be overwhelming at times due to the amount of variables in play. So what will this tool do to help busy students like me or people who have busy jobs? Well the tool / app I am envisioning will be able to help by providing people with a faster, personalized, and easy-to-use "sustainability" assistant which will allow users to search up a practice they are doing and figure out if it is actually good for the environment, feasibility, how much it will help, possible suggestions to improve it, and any additional information useful for a user to make a decision about if they should continue practicing it or change it up. For instance, when considering the disposal of styrofoam boxes (ex. takeout), the tool could weigh the option of washing them for reuse compared to throwing them in the trash by taking into account the trade-off between water consumption and waste. Also, is it worth it to pick up trash if you have to use water to wash your hands later? These things may seem inconsequential and oftentimes in the grand scheme of things they won't be able to fix Climate Change on their own, it empowers users by letting them be sustainable without having too overthink too much or become a sustainability major. The app will provide explanations for anything searched up and will allow the user to ask questions to learn more about the reasoning behind it so they can become more sustainable people. Usually once people learn about the causes or the why, they are able to on their own, be more proactive in helping the environment. What did I mean by personalized? I mean not a generic search on Google where the information retrieved may not always be tailored to your specific location, product, model, or brand. Instead, I propose an AI-powered search tool specifically designed to provide advice and information that aligns with your unique circumstances. This tool would take into account factors such as your geographical location, age group, and workload to offer highly relevant and accurate insights. The aim is to go beyond generic advice and provide context-specific recommendations that are directly applicable to your life. By incorporating AI technologies, this tool would possess the ability to learn and adapt based on various scenarios. This way, users can confidently rely on the tool to guide their sustainable choices and actions. Finally, if there is time I also plan to add possibly some different categories of tools such as calculators of emissions, trash, and many other things but all in one place. Essentially this will kind of be the hub for all a user's sustainability tips, learning, and advice.
Brian Guo