Finalist category: Community Impact Award
Community Impact Award, Finalist, 2019
Every day people are bombarded with information and images about a frightening future. Our climate is changing; storms and hurricanes are becoming worse and more frequent with more devastating effects, animal species are becoming extinct and sea creatures are entangled in plastic waste. The climate crisis can make anyone despair.
Ecoed Life has developed a gaming app which allows people to engage with these big, global issues in an accessible, fun and interactive way. Through the process of play, people learn more about their environmental footprint and what they can do to reduce it by changing daily habits and taking individual action. Moving towards living a more sustainable lifestyle, step by step. There is no other quiz game app that covers the range of topics (waste, water, energy and wellbeing) as well as inspiring people to take personal action. The Ecoed game app is unique and innovative in that it collects the data from players, enabling groups and communities to find out about their environmental footprint and assesses their willingness to make a difference. This helps to identify what to learn more about and which areas to improve.
Approximately 50% of the population in the UK play online games. The average gaming time is nearly six hours per week and young people spend even more than this on average, close to seven hours every week. Available to download on smartphone or tablet, the Ecolife game app uses gaming and app technology to engage, interact and educate about human environmental footprint and actions to reduce it. It covers several aspects of sustainability through four focus areas; waste, energy, water and health and wellbeing, and each main topic has several sub-categories. All questions and proposed actions in the app show the players ways of living more sustainably and raises the awareness of the players by sharing amazing and sometimes shocking facts of human impact on the planet.
Ecoed works with people of all ages – and data from the gaming challenge can be used in many ways:
- As a baseline of what people know and don’t know about their environmental footprint
- As a guidance on what the specific community would like to focus further education, learning and activities on to continuously improve
- As an engagement tool, inspiring to further action
So far, the app has reached around 1100 users who have completed around 2300 actions to reduce their environmental footprint and change their behaviours to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
The Ecoed game app is very versatile. Questions and actions that relate to the main categories can easily be added and bespoke questions for certain groups of student and communities can be created. As data is collected, it can also show the level of knowledge of a certain group of people. The data is anonymous and can be split into age groups for further analysis. The data also enables Ecoed Life to show progress of a certain group of users over a period of time, providing a very useful tool in assessing level of knowledge at the beginning of an educational module and again at the end of it.
Ecoed’s mission is to ‘make sustainable living accessible to everyone’. Their next step is to establish Ecoed in the sustainable living field across schools, universities and businesses. They also plan to further develop the gaming/experiential learning environment’s interface with reality by integrating the app with concrete services and products that can offer sustainable alternatives for day-to-day consumption habits and choices.
Additionally, they are looking into creating the first international database of knowledge and likelihood of action in relation to human behaviour change and personal environmental footprint.