The Department of Environment and Forest, Union Territory (UT), has developed a mobile app called Carbon Watch, allowing users to assess their carbon footprint and suggest ways to reduce it. The application is currently available on Android exclusively and can be downloaded via a QR code or by heading to this link. For some reason, the app is not easily searchable on the Google Play store, and the best way to head to the app is via the link above.
While the app has been rolled out in Chandigarh, and the Department of Environment and Forest’s focus is currently on the feedback received from the residents of Chandigarh, it can be used by anyone in the country as long as they have an Android smartphone. Users can add their address pin code in the app and analyze their average carbon footprint. The app currently divides users into two categories – Chandigarh and out of Chandigarh. The Environment Department uses inputs from the UT residents, and that of users from outside the UT will mostly be for the user’s knowledge.
For the uninitiated, carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, released into the atmosphere due to a particular individual, organization, or community’s activities.
Once users fill in the details, the app will suggest ways for users to reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, if a user says they usually travel in a car, the app would suggest taking public transport or a bicycle. In the Carbon Watch app, users have to fill out a form with details about their waste generation and water, energy, and transport consumption habits and activities. Users will be asked to list their daily consumption of water, monthly electricity consumption units, waste generation by the individual and their family, their usual mode of transport, and the number of vehicles they use.
Carbon Watch: Initial impressions
We downloaded the Carbon Watch app to get a look and feel of the same. While the app comes from great intentions, the launch of the app seems premature. Considering that the app aims to educate users and collect data on its users’ average carbon footprint, it shouldn’t have been restricted to Android smartphones.
Further, we aren’t sure if the user experience is any different for Chandigarh residents, but currently, accessing the app from Delhi NCR, Carbon Watch seems half-baked. The different category forms weren’t accessible – except for the one for water consumption.
Oddly, the app wouldn’t connect on Wi-Fi but worked when connected to mobile data.