Courses / 2013 Spring - Recycling Magnets (Allie-Claudia)

2013 Spring Recycling Magnets (Allie and Claudia)

1. What

The goal of this action is to encourage students who live in IES apartments to recyle. A similar action for recycling bins used flyers in apartments to achieve this goal, however the threat to this action was destruction or vandalism of the flyers, as well as the repeated use of paper. A clever solution to this would be to work with IES administration to produce these flyers as magnets that can be place on the refrigerators of students' apartments. The magnets will not only function as a helpful educational tool, but also as a magnet to hold other papers and materials on the refrigerators. These magnets do not have to be professionally done but can easily be hand crafted. IES staff, or if the sustainability club forms, can easily put together the magnets and add creative touches. To save costs, the magnets would be very simple consisting of a thin piece of a magnetic strip, a cut out smaller version of the flyer to paste on the magnet, and some sort of laminate layer to stick over the paper for protection and longer lasting results.

Example of what the 3" by 4" magnet looks like

1.1. Similar Actions from previous semesters

In the past their was an action called "Barca Dumpster Instructions," where the students made a flyer about how to recycle in Barcelona. This action will play a big part in helping my action be succesful. With some minor changes, the flyer designed from the past action will carry over and serve as the template for the design on the magnets.


(The flyer from previous semester in color)

1.2. SWOT Analysis

Helps promote/encourages recycling
Makes recycling much easier for studnets
Helps IES become a more sustainable community
Encourages student involvement
Creative way to show students how to recycle
The magnet serves more than one purpose
It will last longer over the years than flyers

Many students don't care about recycling or are not fully educated about the system
Students are already encouraged to recycle and many still don't
If it is not made easy, many students will not want to put in the extra effort
Not all students live in apartments
The cost for IES of creating the magnets

Students are likdly to recycle back in home in the United States
Can lead to the creation of new ideas about recycling for future students
Can lead to the creation of incentives for IES and/or the students
Can spread to other abroad programs in the area

It is very important for IES RA's to participate in this action, and they might not show interest
Many students find it inconvinient to recycle, and see it as easier to throw all their waste out in one bag.
It has been found that it makes it harder for students to recycle when the apartments, or IES, are not provided with proper recycling containers.
The recycling program may die down after time
Magnets may get lost or stolen throughout the years

1.3. Feedback Loops

Some feedback loops are that some of the recycled waste (paper) can be reused again. Recycling in itself is a closed loop because it produces more recycable materials. IES students would become more sustainable, and its reputation as a "Green" institution would grow signifficantly, which is becoming more and more important for Universities both in the United States and abroad.

1.4. Advertising

In all IES apartments, every student lives with and RA from Spain whose job is to watch out for the students well being, as well as educate them on the city, (how to use transportation, where to buy groceries, etc). I think that when the students arrive in Barcelona the RA's should explain quickly how to use the recycling method. When we first arrived to Barcelona we were given a welcome packet at the airport with keys to our housing, a flyer with numbers for police, student handbook, etc. Along with the welcome packet, the staff at IES should explain the recycling system to the students at orientation. In the explaination, they should inform the students living in an apartment that there are recycled magnets already on their fridges and students in home stays have them in their orientation packet, explaining how and what should be recycled to further help them.
Another important form of advertising for this action is to keep IES involved. IES can have constant reminders around the buildings about recycling and its benefits. There also needs to be constant announcements about the competition to keep the students involved in the game.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable ?

This action would make things more sustainable, because every semester IES students would recycle. Think about how much glass and paper and other waste gets mixed in the trash instead of recycled and re-used. Most students in IES Barcelona don't recycle and the main reason is that they don't know how. With this action they will be explained by their RA's on the first day how to recycle, and their will be helpful magnets also explaining how to do some in the apartments. Some of the greatest environmental benefits of recycling are in the conservation of energy and natural resources and the prevention of pollution when recycled material, rather than raw material, is used to make a new product. Manufacturing materials the second time around through upcycling, is much cleaner and less energy intensive than when using raw materials. Having the magnet on the fridge will serve as a constant reminder everytime a student gets something out of the fridge.

2.1. Potential Benefits

  • Encourages recycling
  • Makes recycling very easy
  • Great way to explain how to recycle to IES Students
  • IES would be promoting sustainability
  • More and more Universities and companies are going green, IES would be doing this as well
  • Students would most likely keep the habit of recylcing back in the States.

2.2. Potential Costs

  • Time & Money to print and post the magnets

*From zazzle.com professional 3" x 4" magnets cost about 3.5 euros each

  • If IES were to get recycling bins later on it could cost a lot of money.
    • Each IES aprtments x 5 recycling bins
  • RA's have to make sure students are doing this
  • Students also have to care
  • Might be difficult to explain at first

3. How


3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Paper is no longer used for flyers but instead the recycing information is used as a magnet on a fridge to hold papers or pictures while simultaneously reminding students how to properly recycle. The advertisement is upcycled and has more than one purpose. We dont have to worry about if the flyers are not used anymore, or are damaged. Also the cardboard from old boxes could be used for the recycling bins.

3.2. Incentives

I think that incentives could definitely be used to help promote this action. However, I think that fines do not help and are bad for the action. Turning it into some sort of game or competition between housing groups will help grab more students attention. Giving a prize for the apartment that is the most efficient with recycling will act as a big incentive. There should be and award of a free dinner or something similar at the end of the semester for the apartment, or apartments in IES that are the most efficient in recycling. The RA's would monitor this recycling system, keeping track weekly, and rate their apartments overall.

3.3. Relationships with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

Currently there is no sustainanbility club at IES. But through the implementation of this action, a club can be created that will help increase the productiveness of the recycling action plan. As a fun project, memebers of the club could make the magnets themselves and add creative touches.

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

This action will go on for every semester. The recycling bins and magnets do not have an expiration date. If an apartment damages or one of the items is destroyed it can easily be replaced by going to the student affairs office in the IES center and getting a new one. Like I mentioned before in the "incentives" section, I believe that their shouldn't be any fines if anything is damaged. This action is very simple to be sustained once the program is started. I think the person who is in charge of IES housing (Ferran) would probably be in charge of this as well as the RA's in all of the apartments.

3.5. Comparison to similar actions from previous semesters

This is very simular to the actions listed above. In the past their was an action called "Barca Dumpster Instructions," where the students made a flyer about how to recycle in Barcelona. However instead of just trying to give out the flyers to the students at the airport when they arrive, they will be the template for the magnets. The recycling magnets plan is based off of the "Recycling Bins" plan. It is an action that is meant to be added along with the "Recycling Bins" action in order to promote recycling as best as IES can.

3.6. Document format


Creative Commons: Other individuls are allowed copy, distribue, and adapt the work as long as the work is attributed back to the original authors, is not used for commerical purposes, and is shared under the same or similar license as this one.

3.8. Time-sheet/ Chronogram

Mid-January: Begin brainstorming about how to promote recycling in IES.
February: Looked at prices for magnets instead of flyers, was told this is too expensive, its better to use something like a flyer first to see if the action can work before investing in it.
March: Produce magnets, post them on refrigerators in apartments. Also hand out to the students that I know in apartments, as well as Ferran in the student affairs office.
Once the magnets are first produced, they will remain in the apartments for upcoming semesters.

Reference from previous action: "Recycling Bins", Fall 2012, Tarik http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Recycling+Bins+%28Tarik%29&structure=2012b+Fall+Actions

  1. http://www.psfk.com/2010/02/barcelonas-innovative-public-recycling-containers.html

  1. http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Barca+Dumpster+Instructions&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions

5. Annexes

6. Students involved in this action

Claudia Zajac and Allie Mcdonald

Page last modified on Wednesday 03 of April, 2013 23:44:42