ECOmmunity

We track eco-conscious buying and empower the consumer through information about cumulative environmental impact.

Photo of Sydney Rodman
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Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: themarketplaceforgood.com insta: @ecommunity_4u

Date You Started Your Project Started

09 / 19/ 2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The WHO predicts over 250,000 deaths from climate change alone from now until 2030. Our planet is what keeps everything on it alive including us. Many feel helpless and doomed for the future. This problem exists because of the human systems established in the past that did not take the environment into consideration. Is we are able to curb our actions, future generations will be able to appreciate the beauty of the Earth.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Small scale changes that many people adopt can be enough to change the economy and the environment for the better. Our solution is a licensed tracker that is sold to many eco-friendly companies or companies with eco-friendly options. Through research on materials and use habits, we share account profiles for each user and give them a portfolio about their "campaign". This satisfies their emotional and social job to be done and they then make more eco-conscious purchases. By saturating the market in more sustainable products, the goal is for the marketplace to have more sustainable items and drive out the products that are objectively bad for the environment through lack of demand. For example, it a user bought the reusable lids that we sell on our website, before buying they would see that it is 3x better than using seran wrap once because of the wasted plastic that is thrown away. After the purchase, the customer will be updated based on if they still use the product and based on their response, we will add the amount of impact they created onto their account so they can share it on social media.

3. Using STEM as a force of good: Please specify how are you using STEM to solve for an environmental challenge you are passionate about.

We are using coding and environmental science to create a reward system based on online and possibly retail purchases. Computer science will be used to make a tracker for each business we license to that updates and send emails or reminders. There is also a website that features products from the other partnerships and the user can see their impact through all of the business they buy from. We use environmental science to accurately gauge the impact a product, the use of a product and the absence of a product has on the environment.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I became a vegan a year ago. I learned about the community I joined and the amazing health and environmental benefits of small but meaningful actions. I realized that what is healthy for me is also healthy for the planet and have been fascinated by this connection ever since. I thought that my food choices alone were great but I realized that manufacturing and plastic and a bunch of chemical pollutants are also degrading the planet. I thought that there can be a community to change this narrative, but they need to be well informed and motivated.

5. Video (Keep it simple, a video made on a hand-held phone is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

- Created our website - Partnered with a local climbing gym to reach out to their customer base -pitched for $10,000 and did not win because of the virus (they chose the fastest product to market) - Ran an MVP experiment -Conducted over 50 customer and problem interviews each - Running an Instagram page to find partners and gain traction

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

We find the sweet spot between access and knowledge. There are eco-friendly websites that do not show the benefits of a sustainable product and people have to either trust them or do more research. Also, impact trackers are manual and tedious. We are different because we keep a profile and progress on a consumer's account so they can learn about what they buy as much as they want in a palatable way. We make possible the integration between vetting products, helping the consumer understand their impact before and after buying, and have the ease of being able to merely make an account.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made?

We started out by interviewing around the community to see what people are passionate about so we could build the right product. After deciding environmental activism was very important to the community, we further learned how our choices impact the world. We have posted a few month long adds and each has gotten more than a thousand impressions. We have made around $100 in sales of products on our website. To know we are making a difference, we have to build out the tracker and account feature. As part of our MVP experiement, we learned how our business model affects the behavior and emotions of our customers. After learning their impact, they were more likely to buy sustainable products, recommend our website and feel better about themselves. They were excited to see the next update for their impact based on the product they bought.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We plan to hire coders to build out the account and tracker. We also plan to find companies to partner with local and national that will offer our tracker as well as test it's the riskiest assumption of increasing sales for our partners, especially sales in the products that are certified/ recognized by the tracker.

10. Please share how you have influenced other young people to get involved in your project and/or care about environmental sustainability.

A girl at my high school interviewed my team about how we came up with the idea and why it's important. She is part of a yearlong project and making a documentary about climate change's impact on the ocean. We have also set up a booth at a local climbing gym to ask teenagers and 20 year olds about their views on the environment and their consumption. We have reached numerous other people, but what holds true is that virtually all of the young people want to see a better future and want to help.

11. Please share ideas of how you can partner with other changemakers to make a difference?

We would sell products and services of almost any sustainable business and use all of them to track an even more accurate cumulative impact. We would also offer our tracker to the other businesses we can partner with so that their customers learn about how they help the environment specifically through that one channel.

12. How would you engage others who have never heard about your project to get their buy-in?

I would connect emotionally with them and explain the larger scope of the problem of climate change and health. I would also show them how the tracker works and how the green market is growing.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Sales
  • Mentors/advisors

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Probably - 75%

Maybe - 25%

Probably not - 0%

No - 0%

2. CONNECTION to Environmental Sustainability

5 - Absolutely! It is totally clear that the solution is contributing directly to environmental sustainability and/or addressing climate change - 25%

4 — Yes, it establishes a connection to environment/ climate change but could be stronger - 25%

3 — Somewhat, the entry speaks to this environmental sustainability, but the direct impact is not well established - 50%

2 — Not really, the connection to environment/ climate is very weak - 0%

1 — No. The entry does not have a reference the solution’s impact on environment and/or climate change - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

3. Is this entry CREATIVE?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4 - Yes, I think so - 50%

3 - Maybe - 50%

2 - Probably not. - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Does this entry demonstrate a COMMITMENT to changemaking?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4 - Yes, I think so - 100%

3 - Maybe - 0%

2 - Probably not - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Does this entry value CHANGEMAKING through collaboration with other stakeholders in its approach?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4 - Yes, I think so - 25%

3 - Maybe - 25%

2 - Probably not - 25%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

6. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so - 66.7%

3- Maybe - 33.3%

2- Probably not - 0%

1- No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: What are the strengths of this project?

CONNECTION: You have a great understanding and personal connection to the problem - 100%

CREATIVITY: You have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions to aid environmental sustainability/combat climate change - 50%

COMMITMENT: You have a thoughtful plan for growing your business, and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: You value thinking around how to activate other changemakers and empower them to care about your cause. You also have a clearly defined plan on how to collaborate across multiple stakeholders - 100%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 0%

VIABLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 50%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK: What are some areas for improvement for this project?

CONNECTION: Why you care about the environment/ climate was unclear – It would be great to elaborate on what this solution means to you, personally and how it affects you and/or your community. - 0%

CREATIVITY: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 50%

COMMITMENT: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 50%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming. How will they care about environment/climate if they currently do not? Think about how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 50%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

Other option - 50%

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