Kids use cell phones to track eco-impact
A new program is showing California teens how to track and reduce their carbon footprint.
Wed, Apr 08 2009 at 8:00 AM
A new pilot project in San Francisco, CA is using cell phones and Facebook to help teens track and share information about the eco-impact of their daily transportation choices.
The Go Green Foundation of San Francisco
has teamed up with Nokia, UCLA and AT&T, in a groundbreaking project that has allowed 25 students at the Urban School in San Francisco to track their transportation habits using GPS-handsets from Nokia over AT&T's cell network.
Here's how it works. The cell phones act as real-time sensors, and every 30 seconds they send info back to servers at UCLA's Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. The servers organize the info and chart it onto Web maps, which allows the participants to publish their individual and collective results to Facebook. The students can see how much carbon they're various transportation choices are producing as the UCLA software can detect the difference between walking, biking and driving a car as opposed to riding on a bus.
In other words, the program shows kids that the environmental choices that they make affect the planet, and that they have the power to make more environmentall-friendly choices each day. One project participant, Julia Evans, a 17-year-old senior, said she started riding her bike more around her Burlingame neighborhood when she realized how much carbon she was using for short trips.
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