Recently, I’ve been dedicating time to a passion project that I’m excited to share with you all—Changebe! As our loyal patrons are aware, at Giving Greens, we’re committed to reusing the trays in which we grow our microgreens. This choice, made from the outset, aimed to minimise waste and expenses. It’s become increasingly clear that there’s a tangible advantage for businesses to rethink their use of single-use packaging, by investing in durable, reusable options.

Initially, I experimented with a deposit system for the trays, but managing and tracking the process proved to be challenging, and so, it was short-lived. However, I’m thrilled to report that the return of trays by numerous individuals has significantly benefited our small enterprise and, by extension, our beautiful planet.

The concept of Changebe was born a few years back, with a goal to eradicate single-use packaging through a platform that simplifies for businesses the process of tracking and rewarding customers for returning their packaging. My hope is that Changebe evolves into a bustling marketplace and community where environmentally conscious consumers can connect with and support like-minded businesses.

Given that Changebe is my creation, it’s only fitting that Giving Greens is the inaugural business to adopt and pilot it. Our customers will have the opportunity to trial this system and offer their invaluable feedback during these initial stages.

Here’s how it functions:

Each tray of microgreens will be accompanied by a unique QR code, easily scannable with any smartphone. By scanning the code and logging into the Changebe web app, the system associates that Reusable Packaging Unit (RPU) with your account. Upon returning the tray to a designated drop-off point for the business to scan, you’ll earn points redeemable for special offers from Changebe-affiliated businesses. It’s as simple as that!

Currently, Changebe operates solely as a web app, utilising QR codes, meaning it’s accessible exclusively via mobile devices.

A little disclaimer—I’ve developed Changebe from scratch! While I’m not a professional coder, I’ve managed to construct this preliminary version for testing. Assuming it performs as anticipated, a more refined app will be developed to enhance usability (though I’ll leave that to the experts!).

To get started:

Before scanning your first QR code, you’ll need to create a profile on Changebe. Visit Changebe.app, where you’ll be greeted by a login page—select ‘Sign up Here’. Follow the prompts to enter your details and submit. Given the website’s current security level, choose a unique password not used elsewhere. After setup, you’re all set to begin.

With a QR code in hand, open your phone’s camera app and aim it at the code, directing you to the Changebe.app website. You might need to log in again. Once logged in, you’ll see your RPU listed on your profile, along with the business’s designated drop-off points. As of now, Giving Greens is the pioneering business on the platform.

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.

I’m eager to hear your thoughts on Changebe. While it may seem basic at the moment, it’s fully operational. I welcome any suggestions, hopes, or dreams you have for the app, along with words of encouragement.