How To Reverse Climate Change
When we say Reverse Climate Change, we are talking about Drawdown Greenhouse Gases. If we look at the chart below, we can see 65% of greenhouse gas from fossil fuel and industrial processes.
The industrial process is the process of turning raw materials into a product. If we can find a product that doesn't require heavy industrial processing, we can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, thus reverse climate change.
What is SCOBY & Why SCOBY?
Kombucha scoby (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is a nature material that formed during the Kombucha fermentation process.
Out of all those biomaterials I found, I choice SCOBY as my entryway for the following reasons:
1. it doesn't create more waste during production.
2. all the raw materials it requires during production are available everywhere.
3. it is customizable based on individual's need.
The image down below shows how SCOBY help reverse climate change.
In order to understand the durability of this biomaterial(SCOBY), I spent a semester growing and testing it. While doing my experiment, I found SCOBY has the following properties: oxygen barrier, home compossible, more durable than paper, self-adhesive, heat-press sealing, conductive, customizable, and not soluble in water.
Kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is a nature material that formed during the Kombucha fermentation process. It a rubbery raft that floats on the surface of the kombucha. Aside from being a home for yeast and good bacteria, the SCOBY seals off the fermenting kombucha from the air and protects it from outside, undesirable bacterias while it’s fermenting.
Furthermore, dehydrated SCOBY shares the firmness of leather as well as the flexibility of plastic, hence, it has a huge potential of being alternative material for both leather and plastic which have wide range of application in our daily lives.
The process of making Kombucha Leather is shown down below:
Image Credits: HealthMLab Kombucha Leather
After growing my own SCOBY leather, I was thrilled to show it to my friends and learn about what they think about it.
"I might use products made of this material, but I don't think I will grow it myself"
"This material looks like kind of animal skin, what is it?"
"I'm not familiar with this material, so I'm not sure If I will choose it over other materials and products that I've known."
Reviewing few feedbacks I received, I realized that it is hard to adapt a new material in your life when you are not familiar with it. So I redirect my design intent to popularize this material.
Climate change is not a problem derived from individuals, but it is the problem that we need to tackle as a group. With that in mind, my first step in addressing the climate change issue is to list all the groups that might be interested in using SCOBY for climate purposes.
Interest and action do not come hand in hand, so I created various posters for different groups; some for attracting attention, and some for encouraging taking action.
After talking to more than 20 people, I realized this approach wouldn't work; when the viewer is not familiar with the content(SCOBY), they tend to criticize the graphic design, and overlooked the design intent.
None of my interviewees understood that SCOBY could help reverse climate change before I explained it to them. People need to know about what SCOBY is first before taking any action, so I redefined my project, and shift my design intent to another direction.
Redefine Design Intent
Down below is a diagram I draw to demonstrate how an action is being made. To take action, a person has to learn about this action and have the right motivation to do it.
For my project, I want people take action to grow SCOBY. I can share information about SCOBY to help people acquire knowledge. The only thing left is finding the right group of people with the motivation to take action.
However, finding the right group of people is also tricky. It is hard to find people who have both Kombucha brewing and environment protection background.
Another rational path to educate potential users. Educate kombucha brewer about SCOBY's environmental privilege, and introduce SCOBY to environmental activists, and my job is to create a platform that can make this happen.
Design & Iteration
Throughout the entire project, the "cold start" issue bugged me and has stopped my progress several times. I interviewed a few kombucha brewers to learn about their process and insight of brewing kombucha. Most of them track their brew using pen and paper, while others using a digital app.
This finding inspired me; if I build an app that kombucha brewer will use, I can easily solve the "cold start" problem. So I decided to create a kombucha app that can help brewers track their brews and help climate activists learn how to brew kombucha.
1st round digital prototype
2nd round digital prototype
3rd round digital prototype
When I finished my third iteration, I have graduated from college, and San Francisco was under lockdown. I was very anxious, not just because I transferred from student to unemployed, but also because of the sense of incapability caused by COVID-19.
In order to overcome my anxiety, I wanted to do something that will help me feel good and potentially help with job seeking when the right time comes. So I decided to learn how to build a real app using Xcode.
With ten days of intense learning(on average 9 hours a day), I created two different versions of ScoBees App. The first one is the looks-like version; it replication all the micro-interactions and screen transactions of a real app. The second one is the works-like version; utilize Swift Core Data to store to create, edit, or delete an item from the database.I also made some adjustments to my UI design based on my learning from Xcode.