Smell MyCity app leverages data and technology to empower citizens to track air pollution in their communities and become advocates for better air quality
BURLINGTON, VT / LOUISVILLE, KY – March 28, 2019 – Seventh Generation, a leading household and personal care products company and pioneer in the environmentally conscious products space, today announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab to provide citizens in communities across the country with tools to take positive action against air pollution.
Through the national roll-out of an app called Smell MyCity, which crowdsources reports of foul odors in the air, this partnership is empowering citizens to report the air pollution they are experiencing in their local communities. In three simple steps – smell, submit and share – citizens can help track air pollution and uncover its potential sources just by evaluating the air they encounter each day.
Air pollution is often invisible, but can have very real, long term impacts on health and quality of life. Foul odors outside are typically symptoms of a serious pollution problem in a region. The Smell MyCity app is built for community members and powered by data that is community sourced and owned.
“If the air around you smells bad, chances are it isn’t healthy for you to breathe,” said Illah Nourbakhsh, professor in CMU’s Robotics Institute and director of the CREATE Lab. “Human noses are the sensors for Smell MyCity, which prioritizes and highlights citizens’ concerns regarding local air pollution issues. In CMU’s hometown of Pittsburgh, users of the app have collectively helped build awareness about rapidly changing air events and provided the local regulatory agency with a higher resolution of air pollution data.”
Any community in the U.S. can use the Smell MyCity app to document and monitor pollution odors in their neighborhoods. Community sourced smell report data can be easily accessed through the Smell MyCity website. With the support of Seventh Generation, CMU CREATE Lab is exploring additional partnerships with grassroots organizations across the country to ensure that local smell report data shared in the app is sent to the appropriate local regulatory agencies and decisionmakers. The goal is to help all communities have an opportunity to join a larger nationwide network of citizens actively working toward cleaner air for all, made possible through renewable energy sources.
“We believe that everyone deserves access to clean, healthy air,” said Ashley Orgain, Global Director of Advocacy and Sustainability for Seventh Generation. “Seventh Generation has long been an advocate for people and planet health, and this partnership helps give the power back to people across the country and enable them to be the catalyst for creating change that can have an immediate, positive impact on the health of their community.”
Smell MyCity follows CMU’s successful Smell Pittsburgh (Smell PGH) app released in 2016. Smell MyCity was developed with support from the Heinz Endowments, which works toward building a Pittsburgh region that thrives as a whole and just community. In partnership with Seventh Generation, the app launched today in Louisville, KY and is planned to roll out in Portland, OR later this year. It is available for download free of charge through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
In addition to the Smell MyCity app, Seventh Generation is also working with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 initiative, encouraging cities to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Both initiatives are driven by Seventh Generation’s commitment to climate justice and equity.
For more information please visit www.smellmycity.org.
About Seventh Generation
For the past 30 years, it’s been Seventh Generation’s mission to help you protect your world with our environmentally conscious and effective household products. Our products are solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home — and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation offers a full line of laundry, dish and household cleaners, baby products including Free & Clear diapers, training pants and baby wipes, plus recycled paper products and recycled plastic trash bags, and feminine care products including Organic certified tampons. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company’s website visit www.seventhgeneration.com. To read more about Seventh Generation’s corporate responsibility, visit the Corporate Consciousness Report at: www.7genreport.com.
About CMU CREATE Lab
The Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab (CREATE Lab) at Carnegie Mellon University, explores socially meaningful innovation and deployment of robotic technologies. CREATE is both a technology innovator and a community partner; this unique combination enables the creation of community-based technologies that help empower citizens to realize their vision for a better quality of life. To learn more about CMU CREATE Lab visit www.cmucreatelab.org.