Environment-friendly cafés

The goal of this project was to explore interactions between a product/service and its users. It is about looking at a current situation and finding ways to improve it. Being a ‘coffee snob’ myself, this project was chosen to be focused at café owners in The Hague. 

Guiding café owners – based in The Hague – towards an environment-friendly business.

Interaction Vision

The interaction vision shows how a product or service should be perceived by its users. In this case I chose for an interaction that can be seen below as Mr. Miyagi who shows you how to paint a fence. The interaction shows that Daniel has a desire to do good, that he is conscious about his behaviour and how he paints the fence. Likewise Mr. Miyagi takes him by his hands and therefore feels guided and supported. Subsequently it shows that painting a fence is effortless.

Current situation

Firstly, the current situation was observed by visiting cafés in The Hague. ‘Cafés’ in this context were cafés with its main focus of selling coffee, also known as specialty coffee shops. 

Current Situation Insights

By observing the cafés and its customers some insights are gained. Mainly the difference in activities by customers, the tableware and presentation. Another important factor is the provision of napkins, lids and straws. Whereas some cafés provide you simply with whatever you want, other cafés were very conscious of it. One of the cafés told me they would not show lids, so that the customer needs to ask for it. This way less plastic lids were given out and only in case if it was really needed. It is these small changes that can make an impact in the long run.

Target Group

After observing different cafés in The Hague, two café owners were taken as a focus point. At these two cafés interviews were conducted and the final prototype was tested with the owners.

Target Group Insights

The interviews with the café owners likewise provided very interesting insights. These were of huge value so eventually a product could be developed that would help them with their problems.

It was interesting to hear that both café owners really had a desire to do good for the environment. Likewise they were conscious of their behaviour and how their actions could affect others. One of the café owners told me that he couldn’t live with himself if he knew that the plastic cups he used are all non-recyclable.

Both café owners are working full-time with a small team and because of that they either do not have the time or the financial resources to do good. Subsequently when talking about them with possible solutions and tools, that are mentioned below, they said they didn’t know about it so that there is also a lack of knowledge. 

Existing tools

From the interview, one of the insights was the lack of knowledge. Being from abroad, both owners didn’t know what kind of tools and environment-friendly solutions there are available in The Hague. My next step was therefore to map this out. Below multiple services can be seen such as Precious Plastic, Peerby or TooGoodToGo. These are all companies that are trying to good for the environment by reusing, recycling and reducing carbon footprint in its general sense.


More research was required to see what kind of impact everything has. A lot of research has been done on the carbon footprint of products, but it was needed to map out how this was done for coffee. One of the key insights of this research was the fact that the biggest impact of coffee is at the customer level. Another insight was the fact that filter coffee has a much lower carbon footprint than a cappuccino. These insights are of value as it would be smarter to focus on those aspects instead of focusing on changing the kind of napkins that are used.

Interactive App

After testing a few prototypes with the owners, an interactive app was created: Kohvi.

The goal of this app is to ask questions regarding the café. What kind of coffee is being used? What kind of cups? How much filter coffee is being served compared to milk-based drinks? What kind of services are being used?

Based on the questions and the answers, personalised information is shown. 

One of the insights of the interview showed that there is already a lot out there but it is not known yet. Therefore firstly research was conducted to see what kind of businesses already exist in The Hague that are trying to do good for the environment. Some of these businesses I already knew about, but many I didn’t. This was also the case for the owners: they either did not know about it or didn’t think about using the service/product.

The final screen is a dashboard. This dashboard shows nearby cafés, the todos based on the earlier answered questions and the overall score for all parts.

Product Testing

After co-creating the app with the owners, the final prototype was tested by the café owners and analysis was conducted.


The poster below is a visual explanation of the app that was shown together with the prototype to other students.

Interactive App

The app was created with Invision (and Sketch). Click the link below to see it for yourself.


I started this project to do something back to the café owners that I would regularly visit in The Hague. It showed me there is still a lack of knowledge when it comes to being environment-friendly and that there is not a single app yet that focuses on something like this. There should be a tool that brings knowledge together and helps business owners, that want to do good, to actually do good.

If you are interested in the details of this project, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d happily tell you more about it.