Hi, have you ever thought of how
your personal carbon footprint looks like
if we all would have the same carbon budget
to stay below two degrees of global warming.
Would you be below or above the limit?
There are many services
that try to estimate your footprint.
In this video I want to give an overview of
an app called North which has just been
released in a beta version and has a
slightly different approach to other services.
as always I am NOT sponsored and just personally
interested in this app and the company behind it.
So instead of guessing your average commutes
electricity usage and consumptions, this
app can pull data from a number of services to track
most of your emissions automatically.
Let's first have a quick look at how it works
in the words of Olivier Corradi, one of the creators behind it.
So how does your personal carbon footprint look like? Can you already see it?
So this is my footprint.
If you look here for example this is the month of November you can see here that
it's mostly dominated by my travel and my travel is actually a plane that I
took here so the plane immediately ruins your whole thing. But if you can
look at here a month where I didn't take the plane here then here you have
electricity which represents a small portion of mine - the yellow part -
you have purchase in orange you have travel here and then you have food as
well and food is based on a preference that I'm putting in where I'm saying you
know i roughly eat varied diets sometimes meat
sometimes not and then I can edit it on a daily basis if I want to correct it
and then we have this home screen which shows you like a data visualization in
bubbles and so the size of the bubble showcases the amount of emissions and I
mean if you look at this thing like the plane. Are these like two planes? Yeah
It is two planes and the plane is basically like the biggest source of
emissions by far. I mean you look at how big this thing is compared like the
small bubbles which are you know daily food and daily electricity usage.
So the way it works is that here you have
an app store here which we call
the integration store actually. We completely open-source you can build
your own integration if you want. The idea is that you connect to for example
your smart meter at home so I'm a customer at Barry - a danish retailer
so I can connect it here if you're in France you can connect your Linky and if
you have a Renault Zoé - the electric vehicle - or a Tesla, you can connect
it here and what this will do is that it will fetch periodically from the car
from the smart meter - when did you use electricity and what is the associated
footprint here. And you can connect other services here I've connected my my
bank account here and this tells me when I buy some stuff
what is the footprint of it. We are playing around with some experiments
like activity detection system that uses the phone sensors to figure out what is the
transportation mode you are currently in if you're biking, taking the car, taking
the train so on. And then we have public transportation systems as well
like Rejsekort in Denmark or Transport for London in the UK.
So what is the goal of the company behind the app and how do they earn money?
The main goal of the company is to help people understand and reduce their carbon footprint.
The app is free
they also don't plan to earn money with the data.
In fact they plan to put privacy first and give you the option to store data only on your phone
and not transfer it to their servers
which in return means that if you lose your phone
your data is lost as well. If other services which you activate collect data
they plan to communicate this transparently.
They told me they work on a business version for organizations
and this is where they want to earn money
while this personal version stays free.
So who can benefit from the beta version right now?
If you live in Denmark or Great Britain
the beta version might already be of use to you but if you live in a
different country - as I do - you might need to wait until services from your country
are added. At the moment you can suggest services you use which you would like to
have integrated. If you are a software developer you can help to integrate
further services yourself since North has an open-source repository on GitHub.
so what do I think of North?
North has great visualizations which makes it a fun experience to reflect.
And I think the app has great potential if they
manage to integrate the most relevant services people use.
While in general the automated tracking works for
transportation services and electricity providers
your food choices remain an average guess.
A big challenge might be
to get access to the data from railway and energy companies
don't yet provide an interface. I cannot draw a final conclusion of the app since
the services I use in Germany are not integrated yet. But what do you think of
North is this a good way to learn about ones footprint or even change behavior?
Or do you think it is just a geeky tool for data nerds?
Would you use the app or would you not?
and what are your experiences with other carbon calculators?
Let me know in the comments below
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climate change solutions.
Thanks for watching and see you next time.