OneSave/Day is an app based on the idea of "every little helps", providing users with daily challenges to help shape their lives more sustainably.
Like many people their age, 19 year-old Maxime Leroux was becoming increasingly concerned with the state of the Earth’s environment and wanted to help make a change. But unlike many others, decided to create a brand new app designed to help people in their predicament - despite never having made an app before.
The creation, named OneSave/Day, gives users a daily reminder to undertake a small, easy and undisruptive task - called a "Save" - which will help their local environment and the planet. Although each Save only takes a matter of seconds, Maxime hopes that if thousands of users all do the same, their cumulative effort can have real impact. RESET.org spoke with Maxime to learn more about the app and the trials and tribulations that lead to its creation.
Maxime, what inspired you to create OneSave/Day?
It was some months ago during my summer holidays when I saw a lot of news in the media about climate change and how urgent the situation is. I was shocked and decided to act. The only problem was: I had no idea what to do on a daily basis that can actually have an impact. I thought I could probably participate at a beach clean up or something like that but that would be maximum once a month. I was frustrated that there was nothing I could do every day and that matters somehow.
Then I got the idea of making this app. One simple action, every single day, easily implementable into every busy lifestyle. I started thinking about the concept and on the same day, I started to learn to code an app through YouTube videos.
My thoughts were that I alone would not have a crucial impact, but as a community, we could make the individual actions count. Imagine 100,000 people picking up one piece of trash on the same day. The result would be amazing but it only takes seconds for each participator and it can be done every day. This is what the app is about: OneSave/Day.
You had never made an app before, so where there many challenges to creating yours?
Yes, definitely. The biggest challenge for me was to code the app from scratch. But I was so motivated (and I still am) by my vision and this endgame goal to animate thousands of people to live more sustainably that I learned programming day and night.
I’ve never been more frustrated than during the 3 weeks it took me to build the iOS app. In coding you can do everything right - just like the guy on YouTube is telling you - and it will still result in hundreds of errors and bugs. And even once I submitted the app in the middle of the night in July, I woke up the next morning and it got rejected.
The Android version was even more difficult and I tried a different approach to it. I contacted hundreds of developers on Instagram until I found somebody who helped me out with the code.
How does the app work on a day-to-day basis?
The app keeps it as simple as possible. Every morning at 10 am you receive a notification reminding you to check out the challenge of the day. It only takes you a few seconds to figure out what it is and then you implement it in your day. It is as simple as that. You can think of it as a sustainability coach. It may sound too simple or not effective, but once you’ve completed the challenge you click on a button saying “I DID IT" and you can discover how many other people participated and that your action was important for the community. This is extremely motivating.
What can users of OneSave/Day expect to do each day?
Basically, I take a look at the most important reasons for climate change - for example pollution - and then I try to find different causes of this particular issue and narrow it down to one specific action. I also try to bring in a high variety of different saves, such as "only drinking tap water instead of buying plastic bottles" to "not eating meat" to "putting the phone on battery-saver mode". There are hundreds of ways how we can help to stop climate change.
How do you hope to grow OneSave/Day and what future plans do you have for the app?
OneSave/Day needs to have an enormous community to have a crucial impact and transform individual lifestyles into more sustainable ones. I have an ambassadors program in which I collaborate with people of the same field of interest to spread the vision together. For example, I recently had a collaboration with the current Miss Eco Canada 2019. I also hope that, as the consciousness about climate change is rising in society at the moment, it is the right time to launch the app and that it gets spread through word of mouth.
OneSave/Day will soon have more features: I am planning to add a scoreboard which will tell you how many people in your country participated in the challenge and users will have access to a kind of calendar where they will see how often they participated and if they reached goals that we will set. Another feature I want to add is a section where the app gives the users an additional hint of how to solve the daily challenge and I want to implement a commentary system where users can tell the community how they solved the daily challenge.
I want to make the app more interactive for the users but keep it as simple as possible to guarantee its easy use. More features will follow, not lastly due to a very engaging community.
Tech-savvy millennials are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change, however they also desire to travel and consume a variety of products. How can apps like OneSave/Day help them navigate this lifestyle?
I think that we are living in a kind of “comfort zone bubble“. Nowadays, you can fly for less than 10 USD and buy meat for 1 USD. I don’t think that we need to step back but we need to go even further. Instead of making travelling more expensive again, we should find sustainable solutions. I always describe the vision of OneSave/Day as “creating the lifestyle of tomorrow” - a sustainable lifestyle. The first step is that people become conscious of their impact on climate change. The second step is to diminish the actions that are causing climate change and simultaneously increase the sustainable ones. OneSave/Day can be seen as an app that helps you make this transition - in the most convenient way.
If you would like to give OneSave/Day a try yourself, the app is currently available for both iOS and Android devices.