Nurturing a Zero Waste Mindset Through a Gamified App

Lun, Wing Yin
Yap, Leong
Item type
Research Project
Degree name
Master of Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Municipal solid waste has been one of the major issues for modern cities, caused by urbanisation. Each stage from the waste streams is bringing detrimental pollution to our environment, threatening the entire ecosystem, including animals habitats and human health. Regarding the hedonic consumer culture, people have been taught to be irresponsible and to have inappropriate consumption behaviour. Humans usually dispose of things when they are expired, useless, broken or unneeded after consumption. Therefore, it can only improve through reversing the irresponsible behaviour with a more sustainable and healthier mindset. Over the decade, governments, industries and organisations have been working together on waste reduction, yet it needs to grow more. This project aims to explore an innovative-led solution that will inspire people to embrace a sustainable lifestyle in order to minimise their waste production.

This project investigates a new solution based on the zero waste philosophy that helps to change consumption and waste management behaviour. The approach to demonstrate the relation between the waste problem and the reduction philosophy could affect people’s impression and involvement. The power of technology enables green information to disseminate efficiently and effectively, but the approach and appearance are also important. It is not just providing information but delivering it strategically and aesthetically, so it is able to help people on their zero waste journey.

I significantly employed multiple disciplines to solve the problem by triggering a long-term green behavioural change. I believe that creative innovation and technology could collaborate to inform the zero waste mindset effectively to the public. Trial and error, heuristic and human-centred design were used to conduct and develop the zero waste concept. In order to trigger a permanent green behaviour, particular conditions are required to start the change and then also to maintain it.

The results from the concept show that the theory of gamification, edutainment, Fogg behaviour and the four pleasures can be adapted to my zero waste app. It has been evaluated and developed into a meaningful application that can motivate people to embrace the zero waste lifestyle. The exploration of this project also provides innovative aspects for other designers to rethink the way we design for waste management and reduction and maintaining a sustainable environment. Interpretation of human factors and innovative technology have also indicated the possibility of minimising waste. Gamification is used to create the challenge, communication, motivation and reward to trigger a sustainable behavioural change. The technology bit allows the information to be effectively and efficiently sent to the public. By following the human factor, Zero Waste Zip is designed to be a very user-friendly app. This allows anyone who uses it feels like they could change the world.

Zero waste , Sustainablity , Green matters , Behavioural change , Gamification
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