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Attainable and Sustainable Blog - Carla

 

What
I knew I always wanted to do a blog of some sort. Recently, blogs have gained popularity among students our age so I want to take advantage of this growing trend and use it positively. Initially I wanted my action to be specifically about transportation tips that are sustainable and convenient. I understood that when people enter a foreign country where they speak a different language, they are most likely to seek the easiest way to travel regardless of the cost (economic or environmental). I understand the thought process behind this – you’re only here for ashort time and want to visit all the major attractions in the shortest amount of time possible. The duration of the stay can influence the mode of transportation they wish to take. Us being students here for a whole semester rather than a week or two, we should all be taking advantage of the ¨smarter¨ ways to travel. It is understandable if someone only in Barcelona for a few days wants to take cabs everywhere because they want to visit a lot of sites however, for someone in this city for a few months, they need to be utilizing their feet, metro, bus, and bikes.

I redirected my focus and instead of creating a separate blog where someone would have to out of their way to find it, I post the information on the Sustainability Club website and to add more information than just about transportation since it seems another student chose to do that. I simply want to help people to realize how easy it is to live sustainably and I can do this simply by posting tips on the club's website.

 


Why this action makes things more sustainable?
Providing this sort of information will help students who are making an effort to be green and save money  is only beneficial to both the people and the environment. Encouraging our peers to be responsible and knowledgeable about our surroundings is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. This blog will make students aware of their impact and presence on the local population.This is an overall eco-efficient attempt to minimize negative impacts of pollution and overspending. I want the attitudes of students to change positively. Instead of just focusing on getting to La Sagada Familia, I want them to recognize the trip there is almost just as important. In turn, I believe this will cause students to reduce their dependency on ¨easy¨ methods of travel such as cabs. People don’t even realize until they walk somewhere that things are much closer than they thinkand that the trip can be enjoyable. Being able to travel by foot or bike places also just makes someone feel more accomplished and confident. In a way, the ability to travel by foot can be seen as resilient because if there was an economic crisis or public transportation strike and you didn’t know how to get around by foot, you’d be screwed. It’s beneficial to really know how to get around this way. Walking, public transportation, and cycling also reduces our total ecological footprint (one of the top 10 easiest ways to reduce your ecological footprint according to the World Wildlife Fund). Additionally, being independent in this sense is a characteristic someone will have forever. Shopping is a common favorite pastime in Barcelona. People should invest in organic and natural clothing rather than always shopping at major department stores. In my opinion, being organic and using natural products will never go out of style. 

 

SWOT

Strengths

Produces no waste; blogs need no paper.

Accessible by anyone, anywhere

Gaining knowledge about Barcelona.

Anyone can contribute.

Become street-smart and gain “street cred”

Become more immersed in the culture

Weather is irrelevant

Weaknesses

Not many people seem interested in finding alternative ways of traveling.

Many people value their time more than saving the environment.

Student has to be motivated to visit blog.

 Accuracy of details I provide (for example, the costs of renting a bike)

Opportunities

Being able to experience the city in different ways.

See new parts of the city.

Meet other people through the blog that care about the environmentally in the same way.

Find people to bike or travel with.

Gain more confidence.

Familiarize yourself with the city in general (including the metro system and streets)

Threats

The website could crash and someone might consequently hail a cab rather than use one of the suggestions I provide.

Only those who are dedicated enough will check the blog.

Many times, people don’t trust blogs or the validity of them.

The possibility of one of my tips failing. What if one of the bike rental places closes? (Now that I am using the Sustainability club's website to post this information, people are able to edit the page and warn other students of these types of things

Misleading / misguiding my viewers.

Sometimes public transportation can be dangerous depending on the time of day.

Competing against other eco-tourism sites.



Feedback loops

Balancing Loops(where action is made to achieve goal)

Read blog - Reduce pollutants released from cars and taxis - travel by foot

Read blog - Immerse yourself in the culture - take an alternative route home.

Read blog - Familiarize yourself with Barcelona - explore unfamiliar streets to take on your journey home.


Potential Benefits
The main benefits of traveling ¨smarter¨ include saving money and helping reduceemissions of pollutants. Traveling around Barcelona by public transportation or foot will minimize the environmental impact we have on this city. Being a considerate visitor, raise awareness and sensitivity to the country’s political, cultural, environmental, economic, and climate conditions. Another potential benefit of this type of travel is that it provides positive experiences. People tend to forget that it’s not only less expensive to travel by foot or bike but it is also healthy. 

Aside from the traveling aspect, by attending the green events I advertise and promote on the website, people will meet others with similar interests and learn an extensive amount about our environment.

 

Potential Costs

Fortunately, there is no cost that a website has on the environment.  The main cost is the dedication and time in finding the most ideal ways of living and traveling. This type of guidance requires a lot of research and making sure that the information is accurate otherwise, I could potentially mislead / misguide my viewers. There is no cost financially either because thankfully, contributing to the Sustainability Club's website is free!

 

How

Survey I created:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/833LX5G

The blog will include encouragement and tips of traveling around Barcelona wisely by foot, metro, tram, and bike. Other students have blogs but none focus specifically on transportation in depth. As I discover environmentally friendly helpful and convenient ways of traveling around Barcelona, I post about it in the blog. I also would like others to contribute when they have suggestions and tips to offer as well. An example of a post on the blog would be something along the lines of, “rather than taking a cab from Plaza Catalunya to the beach, there’s several bike rental companies in the area” (and I would include the names and addresses of them). I don’t want to advertise my blog by paper so I send the link to all my friends and family and have them make it “viral” (when something is spread across the internet).

Cradle to Cradle

Fortunately, this section does not apply because there is absolutely no waste from a website.

Survey Questions

  • Would you regularly check a website directed towards living sustainably?
  • Which do you value more – saving money / the environment or saving time?

 

Analysis of the results in the survey

The few that have responded show interest in learning about easier and more eco-efficient ways of traveling around Barcelona.

 

Incentives

To those who contribute in providing more eco-friendly ways of traveling around Barcelona, they will receive credit and acknowledgement on the Sustainability club website. Although I recognize that it would help increase the number of participants if I offered something materialistic but that goes against the message I want to send. I want people to want to live smarter. It’s not only beneficial to the environment but for each individual as well. The incentive is that if you travel by foot rather than hailing a cab, you will spend less, release no pollutants, see more, build more confidence, and experience more.

 

Relationship with the Sustainability Club

I used the Sustainability Club's website to post my information. Hopefully, this will be more effective and read more than if I had posted it on a separate blog.

 

How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

The great thing about this website is that once the most helpful and useful tips are posted, only when someone discovers an even better route or method should they update it. Unfortunately, me being a foreigner here I doubt I will uncover and blog about every possible way to get from place to place so the more contributors the better! I will e-mail whoever my account information (username, e-mail, password, etc.) so someone genuinely interested in this will continue it. However, thank God for internet, I can still access it wherever I am in the world.

 

Document Format

HTML document

Copyright License

Attribution-NoDerivs 
CC BY-ND:
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Time Sheet / Chronogram

 

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

Travel

XXXXX

 

Explore Eixample

XXXX

 

Familiarize self with El Born, Barri Gotico, etc.

XXXX

 

Find alternate ways of coming home from UPF

XXXX

 

Speak with  different bike rental companies

XXXX

 

Be able to navigate home from any location in Barcelona

 

Blog

Browse different blog companies, find one that is free and suits my needs.

XX

XXXX

 

Share path taken by foot, tram, and metro that I discovered.

XXXX

 

Test bike paths out

XXXX

XXXX

 

Continue blogging

The reason there is little to no blog activity between January and February is because I was just familiarizing myself with the city during this time. I cannot blog and provide suggestions to people when I am not sure myself.

 

References & Links

My Blog – Attainable & Sustainable

http://attainableandsustainable.tumblr.com/

Bike rental company in Barcelona (Plaza Catalunya)

http://barcelonabiking.com

Information about eco-tourism in Barcelona

http://www.oh-holidays.com/travel-blog/barcelona/eco-tourism-barcelona

For schedules, prices, and information about getting around Barcelona using TMB.

http://www.tmb.net/en_US/home.jsp

 

Students involved in this action

Myself and Gabriella Nardi helped navigate through Barcelona trying different methods of travel. For example, one day we walked took the train from Glòries, one day we took the tram, and another day we walked. I’m grateful for her company it made the experience more enjoyable.

 

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 16
Grade per action ReviewerComments
88 steph.eastlakeI think this is another very helpful blogs. Students would be saving a lot of time and money by having easy access to this information that was written my their peers. Great idea.
90 obiajuluTHis is a great idea; i could have really used this in the beginning of the semester. The blog format is also good because of the popularity of blogs and the easy accessibility of it.
90 Kmacdonald4Great idea.. I still dont know how to get around on the bus here! Also by encouraging students to travel by foot and by public transportation they will really get to know Barcelona a lot better and see more of the city than they would if they strictly took cabs every where. Im sure most students would really enjoy the walk/bike ride/bus ride, they just might not know how to get places and thats where this blog comes in
90 MbowermanI think this is a great idea, especially that your sharing information on transportation and a lot of new students will definitely have questions about that.
91 MarthaMayGreat blog! I came to Barcelona very nervous about public transportation AND would have liked to see a blog like this. It is important for study abroad students in order to save money and time on the best routes and methods of transport. My only suggestion is in addition to having the link in this IES agenda booklet I would also see if you could have a link to your blog put on the IES moodle website!
91 SolomonBPA transportation blog would be great with tips on the easiest and most sustainable ways to get around BCN. If I were you, I'd focus most of my energy and blogging to different bike options available within the city. Not only is biking the most sustainable and environmentally efficient mode of transportation, but it would be a great benefit to all students and make the city even easier to get around. There are lots of different biking options within BCN, but I think it is very difficult to get situated in a new country, and comprehend complex biking systems in a foreign language. Information about the Rebicyclem program would be really helpful for the SC (we can post a link to your blog on our site and fb page). Also info on how to get in on the red bike system that is all over BCN would be great for future students and improving the long term sustainability of IES BCN.
92 m.bernsteinLike i said on the other blog action pages, blogs are the best way to spread knowledge. You should really try to get the point across that barcelona really isnt as big as you think and the best way to find your way around the city the first week of being there is to just wonder and realize first hand you can easily walk everywhere. i would of loved to have a reference like this when i first got here.
93 vydraThis is a very good idea. I like how you consider both costs of traveling, monetary and environmental. I particular like this idea because of the sustainability of it; once completed, it doesn't have to be re-done very often because usually the traveling stays pretty much the same in the city. As long as students are given a link to read the blog, the blog will be useful in giving information to students for a long time.
93 vsienkieThis is a very helpful blog and I would definatly use your suggestions. For publicity and to get more students involved you could post it on the sustainability group website and on the IES abroad website. Also, you could do a post about sustainable transportation in other countries you have visited to give students ideas on how to travel in a sustainable fashion.
94 Brian McNevinIES would really help it's students become more sustainable if they implemented this site in the program somewhere. Finding the best modes of transportation (fast and easy) is always on the minds of students, but I also think that the blog would help students, especially now, when it starts to get nice out and people don't mind walking more. The blog is a great idea to help students with that.
94 seantubridyVery helpful blog that will save students so much frustration during their first weeks at IES BCN. Make sure to find a way to have all of next semester's students have access to it such as posting it on the IES BCN facebook page or even maybe the IES website
96 gnardiGREAT idea. I know when i first got here i was completely helpless about how to get around the city. A blog definitely would have been useful and helpful. The fact that the transportation is sustainable just makes it all the better! like you mentioned in your template, it would be great if IES could incorporate your tips into their book.
96 jschayeGreat idea. Definitely will help students not just take cabs everywhere. Maybe you could have a survey of students to see how much money they spent on cabs and compare it to the metro and the bus to show people how to save money and energy.
96 CFaheyAs previously stated blogs are a very effecient way of spreading knowledge especially to college students. The public transportation system can be a little intimidating but once I tried it for a few days I became completely familiar with it and your blog can help future and current students take advantage of it because it is sustainable.
97 Sarah Colelove this idea! I got lost a million times the first month I was here and this would have been really helpful. I think this is something students at IES would definately find useful.
100 carlafI've been waiting my entire life for a blog like this. It's about time someone created a blog to make traveling around a foreign country for unfamiliar students easier just like this. Students want to be sustainable especially with their travels but sometimes they just need a little guidance! There's nothing wrong with that!


 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
2.8 Attainable and Sustainable Blog - Carla Fischzang - Gabriella Nardi Good Fairly good swot analysis! Good that you create a blog already as a proof of concept! Improvable Presentation: Revise it based on 2011a General comments . Moreover, "blogspecifically about transportation tips that are sustainable andconvenient. ..." Spaces? "Walking, public transportation, and cycling also reduces our total ecological footprint." Cite some source of information where that is argued more in detail. SWOT: O: "Weather is irrelevant" Mmmm, I disagree. It it rains, it's not pleasant to ride a bike. Or walk in the street to visit a city as a tourist, etc. Clarify what you meant. W. "Not many people seem interested in finding alternative ways of travelling." Maybe it's not as much this, as the ability to see some other country in a weekend. Which other (more sustainable) ways are there for such a goal of many students? T: "The possibility of one of my tips failing. What if one of the bike rental places closes?" To avoid this thread, you could use some wiki pages more than blog posts, so that they can be edited easily by anyone when this case happens. Wikis (and the SC is based on a very powerful and versatile wiki) are the technological tool most devoted to the concept "Waste = Food" with digital content. feedback loops. Full loops needed. Survey: indicate why you did create a new survey. And how many people answered your survey, with clear numbers of results per question. Moreover, revise your section after reading the equivalent section at the 2011a General comments. Cradle to Cradle. It can be applied to information. Consider rewriting this section. Incentives. "...they will receive credit and acknowledgement on the blog...". How much credit? ecoeuros? how would they receive acknowledgement? "The incentive is that if you travel by foot rather than hailing a cab, you will spend less, release no pollutants, see more, build more confidence, and experience more." Are you sure that this would be an sufficient goal for most students? This would be a key question for a survey, in my honest opinion... Relationships with the SC: "I trust myself to create the most helpful, sustainable and eco-efficient travel blog." But where is your blog???... And why not moving it to the Sustainability Club website? In any case, remember that it's more sustainable to use some FLOSS tool... "One thing they can help with is encourage IES to incorporate some of these suggestions in the guidebook they distribute at the start of the program." Do you best to get your suggestions in the guidebook! Don't leave it for next semesters what you can do now. Copyright : Revise it based on 2011a General comments References: cite your blog within the body of your report, and not just here at the end! I thought you hadn't created any blog, since all the report was about what you would do, and not about you had done. That blog has 3 posts repeated (the ones about http://mamaterra.es/index.html ), with two of them as defective posts (showing the html markup un-parsed. Tumblr is not FLOSS, and why not using SC website? (as I offered long ago). Talk to me soon in order to let you migrate your blog to the SC website. Too many blogs out there scattered around the blogosphere... The references you added were not introduced properly in the body of your report. In this section, you just provide full details for the references that you cited previously in your text... Rewrite whatever you need to have this needed. Why not providing some suggested routes to be walked or cycled around the city of Barcelona or in the nearby? You had some exmaples in the link where it says "Professor's suggestions", at the course homepage http://iesbarcelona.org/esso350 .
Your feedback loops are not full loops. "I will e-mail whoever my account information (username, e-mail, password, etc.)" You don't need to do that anymore since you moved your blog to the SC website, and there any other user can add to it, or editors/admins can edit your information (if required) 2nd


Page last modified on Thursday 28 of April, 2011 23:13:37