Hi from Unicorn Grocery Worker Co-operative in Manchester, England.
I am new to CoTech and forums in general but a fellow co-operator in the tech world said this was a great place to start our research into how we can use technology to; reduce our customers car use to help the squeeze on our car park, reduce carbon and hopefully help build stronger community relations. We are looking for examples of this near & far to see what could work for us.
Ideas may include researching the feasibility of developing an app or making better use of existing technology to promote car sharing or public transport. Does anyone know of any good examples in the UK or beyond that he could investigate or any good people that he could get in touch with to help with this?
Just off the top of my head, you could have a Discourse forum like this one where customers could self organise (with encouragement) car sharing. People could also share what they had been doing with the stuff they bought, recipes, ecological tips etc. They could learn when new things were in stock, a bit of behind the scenes info etc. Kind of a “Friends of Unicorn” style branding. It would be a whole lot cheaper and simpler than creating an app!
At my worker co-op Autonomic, we will be working on a similar project for a co-operative cafe in Birmingham which will hopefully launch soon.
We’ve been working on a similar tool internally at Co-op Web. The idea is to encourage our members to reduce the amount they drive. We’re basically trying to gamifying the aspects, whereas if you normally drive you get points for taking public transport, cycling or walking. As an overview we’re working on:
If you drive and take public transport you get 1 point
If you drive and walk/cycle you get 2 points
If you normally take public transport and walk/cycle you get 1 point
If you normally walk - well we haven’t figured that one out yet.
The idea is points can be converted into donations to charities of the leaders choice.
It’s only early days, but thought it was worth sharing on this thread.
Thank you. That’s a really interesting approach and down the mainly 'self managing’path we are hoping to achieve. We have a student placement starting on Monday who will be tasked with spending a month looking at this and we will happily share anything he comes up with.
Yes @Cweb-Nick, the student placement who is going to look at this for us suggested something along these lines in his interview - not an approach we had thought of but good to encourage alternative uses. Have you had any thoughts how you may work to not alienate anyone who drives because of mobility issues? We have faced that issue in the past when more overtly promoting alternatives to driving. Thanks very much.
Maybe open source this? Could be generally something to build upon.
We’re generally open to the idea of making this open source. It has just been a side project so far so we’d probably want to tidy it up a little first. We’re developing in .NET Core 3 Preview, so if there’s anyone on the community who wanted to get more involved in the .NET Core side this could be their chance.
So we’re currently trying to work out a few edge cases, include people who have to drive for both mobility and due to distance/lack of public transport. We’ve looked at points for including
- Car Pooling
- Travelling at non-peak times of day to cut down on the contribution to traffic which increases the pollution
- The idea of opting out the travel side of the system and offsetting your carbon footprint (the idea of once a week joining in the planting of wildflowers for example).
We haven’t set on a final idea yet. We will probably try to incorporate them all in the long-term, but very much a work in progress!
An idea I have been toying with-
For places lacking dedicated bicycle lanes, an app for bicycle riders that suggests a shared route for them to drive on the road,
This way they could ride as a group and increase their visibility and safety, encouraging more biking.