Abroad in Barcelona Webpage- Save the World While Saving Your Wallet
I have created a Facebook page that will help students by giving them tips on how to save money and save the environment all at once. This will be an interactive web page so other students can add their tips as well. I will add different links or different ideas every 2 weeks so students can learn more about the harm they cause to the environment and how they can prevent that in a cost effective way.
2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
The way this Facebook page is helping improve the sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona is by implementing knowledge to the IES Abroad students on a website that most of them look all day, every day. I have made this into an interactive web page, an eco-effective knowledge base with the incentive of saving money that most students care a lot about. There are many students that are in the IES abroad program who have commented on posts and have responded with the posts I sent to them. This has allowed for the page to be interactive between students and myself and the information I have shared.
There are many environmentally harmful things Barcelona students do on a day to day basis that they don't realize have a very negative long-term effect. One that is seen all of the time are plastic water bottles. Many students don't realize that the tap water is safe to drink and that using plastic water bottles every day and then throwing them away is very unsustainable. This will be the first 2 week's theme. I have post on the page links and photos explaining the harm of plastic water bottle use.
Many students don't know that plastic is not biodegradable so when a plastic bottle is thrown into the trash, it will sit in a landfill for years and have terrible effects on the environment. "According to a 2001 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year" (allaboutwater.org). These bottles also cannot be burned because the fumes that are excreted from burning plastic are terrible for the air we breath and the ozone layer with greenhouse gases. Many students also don't realize that re-using plastic water bottles can be very harmful to their health. "When it comes to Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure from polycarbonate plastic bottles, it's not whether the container is new or old but the liquid's temperature that has the most impact on how much BPA is released, according to University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists" (sciencedaily.com). If a plastic water bottle has a warm liquid inside of it, like when a water bottle is left in the sun or in a hot car, the BPA will melt into the water and if drank by someone, is very harmful to their health. So overall, plastic water bottles are harmful to both people and the environment and buying reusable water bottles is significantly more eco-effective. Also, buying more and more plastic water bottles everyday adds up in comparison to the one time purchase of buying one reusable water bottle.
Another problems IES students don't realize hurts the environment and their wallets is wasteful energy use. This will be the next 2 weeks theme. Many students come here and live in apartments and leave their televisions, lights, blow dryers, toasters, and many other appliances either on or plugged in wasting energy and their money. "So-called vampire appliances stay awake all night, every night, sucking up an average of 5% of the monthly electric bill" (yourfinishrichplan.com). This really sucks up energy and money and I personally never knew this information and have started to change my own habits from this which I hope to help the other students do as well.
The last 2 week's theme on the page will be public and active modes of transportation. I personally do not know how to use the bus system in Barcelona and would love it if there was a website that I could go to that would show me how. This week I will add links and explanations on the public modes of transportation in Barcelona. I have also added links on the positive affects of walking for exercise that costs nothing. Many people don't realize that walking improves your heart, lungs, bones, muscles, growth of children, and the feeling of well-being. It is one of the best modes of transportation and giving people the incentive of how good it is for you will hopefully give student the urge to do it. This will be saved for the last few weeks since it is the warmest outside and students have been here and would feel most comfortable walking around the city.
By having these three themes for the students uses, by the end of the semester, they will have learned how to be more sustainable, how to be more eco-effective, and how to save money while doing all of this abroad in Barcelona.
3. SWOT Analysis
Students will learn how to be sustainable both in Barcelona and when they go back home from reading the web page.
Students will save money if they follow what the web page's advice gave them.
Facebook is a very commonly used web page and would be easy for almost all students to access and read.
Students could not read the web page and the project would be a waste of time.
The web page might not reach everyone and only will have a select audience who belong to Facebook and who participate with it.
I am not a teacher and other students might be see me as a credible source and would not be interested to check out the web page.
This could influence the students to go beyond what the three themes are and do more to be environmental when they see what little things that can go that go a long way.
This could really help the environment over time and decrease the ecological footprint that IES students have when they come to Barcelona.
From all of the comments that were made, it is clear that students have seen this page and might decide to change a lot more habits they didn't even think about.
There could be too much information and students could be lazy and not want to read the links.
Students could get distracted by being on Facebook and leave the page to look at other things instead.
Students could add information to the page that could be false or inappropriate.
5.1. Feedback loops
Reinforcing loop- The web page is created, students see the web page, they show their other friends the web page expanding the audience, and in turn making the project effective and worth while, influencing others to spread their sustainable knowledge over the web as well to continue to cycle.
Many students have seen this page and commented on it so the loop has already begun.
The potential benefits of this Facebook page would be a positive change for the environment that is both short term and long term. It helps students become eco-efficient by changing their habits and not just postponing the damage, but fighting it for the environment. And helping IES students save money while living in this expensive city.
5.2. Potential Costs
The potential costs of this website is time. It will take up a lot of my time to look up this information, make sure it is legitimate and then post it on the web page. I will also have to edit if other students post on the page and make sure what they added is also legitimate information.
The page has been created and all of the topics have been completed and have been seen by many students in IES and outside of it. The complete facebook page has been copied to an PDF so you can see what the page looks like without having to deal with all of the Facebook nonsense. I have kept up this page throughout the weeks and each of the three topics has been successful in showing students how to save the world while saving their wallets. There have been pictures, videos, articles, and comments that have by seen by many and the sustainable chain has been linked through them. This way, although the website will come to an end, the knowledge passed on has not.
5.4. "Cradle to Cradle" design
Although this project will end and I will go home making this project my "trash", the knowledge passed onto other students will make theirs treasure. It's like giving hungry person a fish or teaching them how to fish. This way, although the website can't be sustained through me forever, it will be sustained through the students that have seen it or accessed it over the past weeks.
5.5. Questions for the unified survey
Do you feel living in Barcelona is expensive?
Do you buy a water bottle once, twice, or more times a day?
Have you used the recycling in Barcelona?
5.6. Analysis of the results in the survey
When the 20 students were asked if they feel living in Barcelona is expensive, 18 said yes. This means that the majority of students feel this is an expensive city and would probably want to learn about ways to save their cash. About 6 of the students said that they buy water bottles at least once a day. The rest said never or rarely. This was nice to know that people don't buy a ton of water bottles but just those 6 people who buy at least one daily are having a very negative carbon footprint in Barcelona and would learn a lot from the Facebook page. Out of the 20 people surveyed, 5 said they did not recycle in Barcelona. That means there could be some of those 6 plastic bottle users that are not recycling their bottles and adding to the land fills in Barcelona.
The main incentive for this project is to help students save money and feel good about doing it. This is not just hanging out coupons or cutting down on their bills, it cuts down on their waste their ecological footprint they leave in Barcelona.
5.8. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)
The information from this website will be sent to the sustainability club for them to post on their website.
5.9. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
Although I will not be able to continue this action when I leave Barcelona, the information that I will pass onto other students and the information I will gain myself will carry on when we go back to the United States. Although there won't be a tangible site anymore, knowledge of eco-effectiveness is tangible itself and that will continue to be sustained. There have been multiple students that have commented on the page and shown they have gained knowledge through the comments/information. This is showing that this action has already been sustained.
5.10. Document format
THE FACEBOOK PAGE made easy to see as a PDF
5.11. Copyright license of your report
Attribution, non-commercial, share alike is the copyright licensing I would use for this project because it gives me credit but other can use this idea to go off of and benefit from in the future. I am not creating this for the credit, I am creating it to help others and help the environment.
6. Time-sheet / Chronogram
March 28- Start the first theme and send out the invites
April 11- Start the second theme
April 25- Start the third theme
7. References & Links
8. Students involved in this action
Jenny Schaye- Leader, Creator, Writer, and Editor
Other students that commented on the page: Chris Fahey, Mike Casey, Billy Vydra, Logan Stohle, Alyssa Rossman-Roreman, Lindsey Lowell, Meredith Zippo, Stephanie Eastlake, Genna Panucci, Brett Gornick.
Assignment 4: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)