Lately I’ve been working on a little side project that I would like to introduce to the world, Changebe!

As regular customers know, I reuse all of the trays that I grow microgreens in. This was an intentional decision made at the start of Giving Greens to reduce waste, as well as cost. Quite often there is a real benefit for businesses to consider how they can reduce single-use packaging by investing in more durable and robust packaging that can be washed and reused.

I did once try a deposit scheme for the trays but it was a struggle to maintain and keep track of everything so that didn’t last too long. I am happy to say though that so many people have been returning their trays which makes a big difference to a small business, and ultimately to this floating blue rock that we all call home.

I first had the idea for Changebe a couple of years ago. The mission is to eliminate single-use packaging by creating a platform that makes it easy for businesses to track and incentivise customers to return their packaging. My vision is that it will develop into a marketplace, a community, where conscious-consumers go to find and support conscious-businesses.

Since I have created and built Changebe myself, it is only fair that Giving Greens becomes the first business to use it, to trial it. And Giving Greens’ customers will be the first to test it out, providing feedback in these super-early stages.

Here is how it works

Every tray sold with microgreens will come with a unique QR code. These codes can be easily scanned with any smartphone. When you scan them with your phone and log in to the Changebe web app, the system will link that RPU (Reusable Packaging Unit) to you. Then, once you’ve returned it to any of the business’ designated drop points, they will scan it again and you will get points. These points can be redeemed for special offers from the businesses using Changebe. It’s that easy!

This is for the moment only a web app, and because it uses QR codes it can only be used from your mobile device. 

A heads up… I built it myself, from scratch! I’m not an expert coder or programmer but I know enough to have built this first version for testing. Eventually, assuming it works as expected, there will be a proper app which will make things easier… I won’t make that though!

To get started

Before you go to scan your first QR code, you do need to set up a profile on Changebe. Head to Changebe.app and you’ll see a login screen, click Sign up Here. Enter the details prompted on the page and click submit. This isn’t the most secure of websites so when picking a password don’t use anything you’ve used elsewhere. Once that is done, you’re ready to begin.

Once you have a code ready to scan, open the camera app on your phone and point it at the QR code. This will take you to the Changebe.app website where you may have to log in. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see that RPU listed on your profile page. You’ll also see the designated drop points that the business has listed. For the moment, at the time of writing, Giving Greens is the only business there.

Send in your feedback

I’m super keen to hear what you think of Changebe. Obviously it looks pretty simple and boring but it is functioning. I’d love to hear any suggestions, hopes, dreams you may have for the app and encouraging words.