April 12th, 2012
We recently added a new tool called How Much CO2 Is That? that has a lot of interesting comparisons. It's also kind of fun to check out some extreme CO2 amounts.
April 19th, 2010
YouSustain has been humming along but it's been a while since the last post here. We've recently added a few major new features. The first is to separate the types of actions that really just occur once, like the purchase of carbon offsets, from the ongoing actions that have a daily impact. We have also added the ability to create custom ongoing or one-time actions in your profile, to help when the actions we list don't quite fit what you're doing.
We've also added some new questions to our fun game: Are you a Sustainability Guru?.
October 6th, 2008
Two new features will have a big impact on the interactivity of YouSustain. First, the concept of your "YouSustain Feed" is a great way to visualize the timeline of your efforts. The link to your feed is on your My Impact page. Further, our Facebook Application aggregates the feeds of all your friends. This is a great way to interact with your friends, get new ideas and build motivation.
Second, we've created a new and much improved My Challenges page so you can see all your challenges and easily complete/restart them all in one place.
August 1st, 2008
It's already August? Enhancements have been flying out the door here lately. Here is a quick round-up.
First, we're very excited about a new concept called "Community Challenges". These are similar to normal challenges but are more focused on helping communities work together, typically set up by a community organization. We can't wait to work with local organizations!
Second, and also exciting, is the addition of a Discussion Forum. This was badly needed, and often requested by users. It will be interesting to see what kinds of discussions develop.
Third, we added an integration to a full carbon footprint calculator. You can save your footprint and see the impact your positive sustainable actions have on your footprint.
June 27th, 2008
The second new feature is a Home Energy Tracker. You can input historical and ongoing electricity use to see trends over time. This is also useful to track the impact of your efforts to reduce consumption.
April 23rd, 2008
We've been busy lately working on something exciting that we're now ready to show everyone. It's a fun and educational quiz game called Are you a Sustainability Guru?. Everyone we let play the game during development had great feedback and now we're ready to open it up.
We will continue to add more questions and make other improvements. As usual send any feedback to feedback.
February 3rd, 2008
By popular demand we have added the ability to have challenges "auto-complete". After you have completed a challenge at least once, manually, you then have the option to auto-complete for the future. This feature basically means you have opted to make this a permanent part of your lifestyle. This saves having to return to each challenge to click complete each time.
Please try out this new feature and as always keep the feedback coming for new features!.
January 31st, 2008
We're happy to announce that our Facebook application has been upgraded. This is a significant improvement over the older version that improves the look and gives access to more YouSustain features. We now include a page in the application that lists all the current challenges and allows you to challenge friends. There is also now a page listing all the sustainable solution ideas.
We have also added several new solutions lately, namely Recycling, Neutralizing with carbon offsets, Replacing an old appliance and Eating less meat. We have more planned and are collecting data on them. If you have any suggestions please email us at feedback.
There are also many great new challenges, check them out here.
January 3rd, 2008
Happy New Year!
We can hardly believe it's already 2008. A lot has happened since we started our Beta program 2 months ago. Our first YouSustain-published article has gotten a lot of attention: Top 10 Easy Ideas For A Sustainable 2008. Our members have also created a lot of really good sustainability challenges.
We're also still getting lots of great feedback and ideas from our many new members. The idea we decided to focus on most recently was to give some real meaning to the action of completing challenges and reaching milestones of CO2 reduction. What we've done is created "YouSustain Awards" which you get by completing a challenge or reducing a lot of CO2. Awards could be useful for competitions (ie: collect the most Awards in one month) but we also have some bigger ideas. What we would really like to do is have Awards be "redeemable" by members for a donation to a choice of sustainable causes, or perhaps even to get discounts from a sustainability product retailer.
The obvious problem is how to fund those donations, so one idea we are going to try is putting some normal advertisements (like any other site has) and use income from that to fund the donation pool. We won't know how well this will work until we try it, so we will keep this space updated as we experiment.
Also, by popular demand, we recently changed challenges a bit so they can be completed as many times as you like. This is partially related to the Awards, but also just makes sense.
So, start collecting Awards and let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 15th, 2007
A lot has happened over the last 2 weeks. We've had great feedback from our early Beta users, lots of changes have been made on the site and our Facebook integration is up and running. Thanks to everyone for all the time and effort you've put into helping this get started.
The most exciting new change is the addition of Sustainability Challenges. This idea came out of discussions with our users, who felt the current impact calculator was great for ongoing actions but there was a need to track smaller actions. Sustainability Challenges were by far the most popular idea. They are one-time or time-limited actions a person can take and are also a less daunting way to get people involved in sustainability.
Try out this new feature, sign up for some challenges, and let us know what you think at email@example.com.
October 30th, 2007
This is the beginning of the early beta program for the site (more of an alpha at this stage). We are hoping to get feedback on the current features with the goal of figuring out what we need in order to push for a good 1.0 version.
A lot of things are still being changed, especially the look and feel of the site (color scheme, etc). There will be bugs.
Our "big vision" for the site is to promote personal sustainability, which is roughly broken down into three areas:
- Building a wealth of information related to sustainability "solutions". This involves collection (by us, for now) of hard data to present users with real-world costs and benefits. This is powerful because we can then present comparison data with the goal of making the best personal choices. Also, users can submit links to articles, how-to's, research papers, etc, associated with the solutions. As more articles are submitted and voted on this will likely become the best source of data about each solution.
- Calculating how sustainable we are. This is an important motivational tool for ourselves but can also be shown off (via our planned Facebook application, for example) to help promote sustainability to others.
- Collaborating to promote sustainability, via groups. The long-term vision of this area of the site is the most unclear to us right now. We don't really intend this to be a "sustainability social networking" area of the site, unless that's what people end up wanting. Our current vision of this is a way for existing "real-world" groups (example: "Toronto Hybrid Owners Group") to collaborate and communicate more easily. Plus, we can envision people creating groups like "Worldwide Kyoto Supporters" which people would join to show support. Basically, we are excited to see how this area of the site develops over time, so definitely send us any comments of suggestions.
Things we are planning to work on:
- A Facebook application and website widget that can be used for people to show their sustability impact.
- A way for users to have more direct input into the content and data that gets shown for solutions. A Wiki would work well except we wouldn't want it that editable, for fear of spam and malicious editing.
Thanks, and please send us any comments or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.