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Luzhou in SW China launches mini app to encourage low-carbon lifestyles among citizens

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Citizens redeem scores gained on the "Green Bud Score" mini app for birdseed for black-headed gulls in Luzhou, southwest China's Sichuan province.
Citizens redeem scores gained on the "Green Bud Score" mini app for birdseed for black-headed gulls in Luzhou, southwest China's Sichuan province.

By Li Kaixuan, 

Amidst the growing emphasis on a green, low-carbon lifestyle, a burning question arises: how can an individual’s carbon reduction efforts be quantified and recorded? Could they manifest as a visible “carbon wallet” or carbon asset? 

The “Lyuya Jifen” mini app on WeChat, which translates into “Green Bud Score,” developed by environmental authorities in Luzhou, southwest China’s Sichuan province, exactly provides an answer to the question.

Tracking her low-carbon practices on the mini app has become a habit for Luzhou resident Pan Yan, who would always log 144 grams of carbon reduction on it and gain five scores after emptying her plate once and take public transportation by scanning QR codes to get 10 scores while logging 80 grams of carbon reduction.

Leveraging a carbon reduction digital ledger developed by the All-China Environment Federation and innovatively applying carbon reduction methodologies, the “Green Bud Score” mini app has formulated a transparent and reliable algorithm for tracking individual green lifestyles.

Bridging data silos across disparate platforms such as WeChat Sports, public transportation and banks, the mini app collects, stores and analyzes low-carbon behaviors in real time, including walking, no-drive days and green finance. This digitalized approach holistically captures users’ carbon footprints in almost every aspect of daily life, enabling them to join carbon reduction efforts with just a few taps on their smartphones.

“The scores are useful,” Pan said, as she excitedly browsed an online marketplace in the mini app, where over 100 gift cards and commodities can be redeemed with the scores, including stationery, home appliances, and skin care products.

“The incentive mechanism works well and encourages more people to embrace low-carbon lifestyles,” Pan told People’s Daily.

Besides, the “Green Bud Score” mini app also hosts novel and captivating volunteering activities tailored to Luzhou’s ecological conservation initiatives. For instance, users can have a Procypris rabaudi, a locally found cyprinid species, released with 150 scores, and 100 scores would allow them to buy birdseed for black-headed gulls, a locally beloved species.

“These distinctive activities provide a stronger sense of participation,” Pan said.

These low-carbon behaviors have brought changes to Pan’s life. Emptying the plates has become a habit of her, while used books and clothes are always donated or recycled. Besides, Pan and her child would always read books about environmental protection.

So far, Pan has logged total carbon reduction of 170,050 grams, equivalent to saving 170 kilowatt-hours of electricity. “I’ve genuinely adopted a green, low-carbon lifestyle,” she said.

Since its launch, the “Green Bud Score” mini app has attracted over 350,000 registered users, including over 40,000 daily active users. Together, they have generated over 54 million scores and recorded more than 320 tons of carbon reductions.

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