Computing students create green app
Students studying MSc Computing created a web app as part of their studies that could encourage sustainable behaviour. The app enables students at the Sustainable Student Bungalow to track activities such as waste and food growing.
Keele's Sustainable Student Bungalow was established in 2011 by four students studying BSc Environment and Sustainability. Since then, the bungalow has offered four students each year to 'live what they learn'.
The bungalow has a polytunnel and raised beds which enable students to grow their own food on site, reducing food miles, increasing seasonal produce consumed by the residents, and enabling students to explore environmentally friendly growing practices. One of the app's features is to manage the raised beds and the crops planted in them, demonstrating how technology can be used to promote sustainable living.
Students living in the bungalow also track aspects of their lifestyle such as energy consumption and waste production. Students can compost vegetable matter in the bungalow garden, providing useful inputs for the veg plot. They also monitor the amount of recycling and general waste that is produced, which feeds into a report that students submit before they leave the bungalow at the end of the academic year. Another key aspect of the app enables waste tracking, providing students with an easy way to monitor the waste they produce.
The functions of the app will enable students to review the ways their lifestyles contribute to waste generation, consumption, and to the wider environment. The app also demonstrates how embedding Education for Sustainability into teaching and student projects can promote interdisciplinary working between subject areas. By utilising the skills of the MSc students, dialogues about how technology can support sustainable living can be opened up. The collaboration also highlights the exciting ways that Keele students are engaging with sustainability through the curriculum and how they can play their part in overcoming current and future sustainability challenges.
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