We've just release one of our most exciting new features in the Monty Mobile app yet and thought it deserved it's very own blog post. We're of course talking about the brand new "Your Impact" widget, which calculates an approximate value of the amount of both waste and C02-equivalent emissions that your composting activities offset. In this article, we briefly summarise how we calculate this approximation, based on real world figures and educated assumptions, ensuring a fair estimation.
Before jumping in, the importance that this is an approximate value cannot be overstated. The greenwashing currently taking place in countless companies is perhaps one of the most harmful parts of the climate change movement, deliberately misleading people about their emissions to make themselves look better. Our widget is based on hard science but still only as true as the user data inputted and the Monitor usage conducted. Its point isn't to make exact claims either but rather to encourage and inspire users and show the different that their composting makes.
Now to the numbers!
Calculating these figures is a complex process but based on a few key data inputs and pre-validated factors, we can make a reasonable estimation. Currently, these key data inputs are derived from user inputted data, our own database of organic waste types and physically defined laws of nature.
Firstly, we require the user to set up their Weekly Waste profile, which includes their waste types, household types, number of contributors and compost operation type. While users specifically define the amount and type of waste produced, we can correct for any over or underestimations by other user profile information to ensure that the reported values are correct.
Next, these amounts and types are compared to our existing feedstock database, a 100+ item list containing the carbon:nitrogen ratio, moisture percentage, density and several more attributes for each item of organic waste. This dictates the first impact metric, that being the amount of organic waste being recycled.
Once this has been calculated, we can then derive the carbon equivalent offset. Numerous scientific and peer-reviewed experiments have been able to prove the average carbon equivalent emissions prevented by composting, as opposed to other methods of disposal on a per feedstock basis. These factors are simply applied to each feedstock amount and summed for a total figure, the final value seen in the widget.
And that's it! While quite simple and straightforward, it is a valuable means of encouraging our users in their actions and visualising the real impact of their composting.