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Reusable Rewards

Reusable Rewards is an app that serves the purpose of rewarding students for practicing environmental sustainability. Students at the University of North Texas would bring reusable products to the UNT Union in order to redeem points at check out, while reducing their carbon footprint. Reusable Rewards uses tactics to incentivize students to learn the importance of the amount of waste they create while experiencing campus and daily life.

Team Members: Kay Kowaleski, Mandi Bosse & Paris Robertson

Tools: Created with adobe Xd & Figma

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food packaging
creates a lot of waste

32% of the 78 millions tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.

Source: Earth Day Network

food is the language
of college students 

With students spending thousands on college tuition, room & board, and books. While juggling multiple assignments, exams, and typically part time jobs students find it laborious to spend money on food. Opportunities for free meals commonly produce large crowds of students.

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why waste when
you can reuse?

In our current day and age the climate crisis is an increasing threat to younger generations. Reusable Rewards is an approach to have students develop habits positively effect the environment.

We took it upon ourselves to create a project that would incentivize students to do something beneficial for the environment through the promise of free food. Using elements of “gamificaton,” we developed a system to facilitate what would ultimately lead to a reduction in waste on UNT's campus.


Charlotte Walker

I want to protect the Earth!

Charlotte is a sophomore at the University of North Texas. Part of the reason she chose to attend UNT over competing universities was because of the school's goal to reduce their carbon footprint. She loves meeting with friends at the Union to grab a quick bite or a pick-me-up coffee. She volunteers with her sorority to pick up trash around campus.


Darren Simmons

What do I get out of this?

Darren is a junior at the University of North Texas. He is involved in several organizations around campus, and captains his intramural basketball team. He finds himself at the union often to hang with friends and at many campus events. His busy schedule leads him to eat on campus a lot for

the convenience.


Old touchpoint: Enter code on app


show employee code

employee types code

points earned

In the original iteration of the app, we came up with a scenario where earning points would come through a code, which only employees of the food court would know and would have to type into their registers. After consideration, we realized this would likely cause more problems than it would solve. The question was how would the employees receive the code?

Would the code need to change on a weekly or monthly rotation? This method had the potential to hold up lines, as it could take time for the employee to get out the phone and type in the code. After speaking with UNT Dining Services, we discovered more about how their systems worked and what would be easier for them.

New touchpoint: Scan receipt 


show employee item

employee adds modifier

code prints on receipt

scan receipt

In the second iteration of the app, we came up with a system that removes the potentially difficult problems associated with the employee having to type in the code and instead offloads it into additional steps for the user to take.

The employer simply adds a modifier on the register that will generate a code that prints on the receipt, and the user would be able to scan that code on the app to reward them the correct amount of points. It is more practical method to not disrupt the flow of the food court.


For the first round of testing, our goal was to gauge potential interest, and to see if users could generally understand the purpose of Reusable Rewards just from seeing the home screen. We set up a table in the Union by the Campus Chat food court and conducted A/B testing between the two screens we created. We asked students passing by if they would participate in exchange for candy. (11 participants were surveyed). From our results we meshed elements from both Home Screen A and Home Screen B for our final screen.

Testers said they were most likely to bring:






Of those who surveyed:


Of testers said they would be

inclined to use the app


Of testers immediately understood the purpose of the app


students bring
their own
reusable items 


2 pts.


2 pts.


3 pts.

Scenario of Use

Users would bring their own reusable item to the checkout line and show item to the cashier as they complete their purchase. The cashier would select the modifier on the register pertaining to what item the customer brought, which would produce a code on the receipt from the transaction. Users could then scan the code with the camera on their phone through the app, which would then verify the point value and load on the user's account. These points could then be redeemed in the app for prizes such as free drink or meal voucher.


Bring Reusable Item

Step 1

Go to Campus Food Court

Step 2

Get Food

Step 3

Check Out

Step 4


App Home

Step 6


User Scans Receipt

Step 7


User Earns Points

Step 8

Get Receipt

Step 5


Redeem Points

Step 9


game-ified for
greater incentive

Students would be able to view an active leaderboard page ranking students based of the amount of points they collected. This could create competition among students incentivizing them to bring reusable items. Expanding beyond UNT, Reusable Rewards' concept could applied at other colleges creating competition between different campuses.


To gauge the functionality of our system, we tested ten students at our university to operate the application and give us feedback regarding how they felt about it. We sat down students in the UNT Union and asked them to complete three task flows and observed their paths, reactions, and pain points to determine what would need to be adjusted within our system.

While most users were successful in using the app, there are room for improvements. We learned that visibility of navigation could be improved, as well as the general hierarchy of information on the landing page of Reusable Rewards.

Task 1

You've just checked out at the campus chat and brought a reusable bag to put your items in. How would you go about getting those points?

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Task 2

Where would you go in order to exchange your points for
your rewards?

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Task 3

Where would you go if you wanted to compare your weekly total of your points to other people around campus?

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