1. What is the action
For our final project, we are proposing to create a website that encourages a sustainable lifestyle for students studing abroad in Barcelona. This website will include food, clothing, cosmetics, and transportation that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. It will also have a tab that includes organizaions in Barcelona that work to lead a sustainable lifestyle, such as Terra. Each catergory will have its own tab on the website and will have sub-categories so it is user-friendly and creates an exhaustive list of items a student might need while abroad.
This website will be made on sc.seeds4c.org and will be run by a student every semester for the Sustainability class at IES abroad Barcelona. We thought about making it a blog, but feel that a website is a better option because it creates a level of control of what is put on the website. We will have a suggestion box that allows students to post suggestions of places they have been or ideas they have that the website controller can read and decide to post about. This suggestion box will create an interactive space and encourage participation from abroad Barcelona students, ultimately increasing the popularity and amount of information on the site. This website can be advertised through the initiative of the "IES Abroad Welcome Kit" to help inform students about the website and encourage them to use it.
1.1. Similar actions form previous semesters
We got the idea for this website from the action we implemented during the first half of the semester. We created a website that includes sustainable places to eat in Barcelona, and after implementing this idea, we decided to expand this idea to several different categories for our final project proposal. We used the topics of several different ideas that have been previously implemented, such as the bike rental, and included them in our website. Although there is no previous action that is similar to this action, we can incorporate many of the previous proposals through the use of our tabs and categories on this website. If implemented, this webstie can combine all categories of sustainable practices in Barcelona to one place that students can go to in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
1.2. SWOT Analysis
• Reuse of clothing
• Stronger local economy
• Decrease of pollution
• Encourages sustainable eating habits
• Will be in IES booklets so students will use
• Online websites are free
• No costs except time
• No limit to amount of information
• Creates an exhaustive list of all aspects of a person's lifestyle
• Subject to a student taking it over each semester
• Constant turn over of businesses
• Not everyone has access to the internet
• This could encourage people to eat healthier
• This may increase the recycling of clothing
• Could transfer to other abroad programs and organizations
• Could encourage local investment
• This may internalize the cost of food
• This may decrease the cost of clothing
• Suggestion box could increase student invovlement
• This may increase the personal expenses of food if students eat out more
• This may limit the variety of cosmetics used
• Website could shut down without student involvement
• Technical problems could hinder the efficiency
• Could be hard to navigate if not structured well
1.3. Feedback loops
Usage of website for sustainable food -> (+) knowledge of sustainable market places -> (+) healthy living -> (+) recommendations to friends and family -> (+) more use of our website
Cosmetics made organically -> (+) more people buy organic cosmetics -> (+) sales of organic cosmetics go up -> (-) sale of nonorganic cosmetics go down -> (-) increase in organic cosmetics
Easy access to bicycle rentals -> (+) more interest in rentals -> (-) less waste of bicycles ->(-) less damage to the environment -> (+) more motivation to rent bikes
Second hand clothing shops -> (+) increased popularity of second-hand clothing -> (-) less purchases from first-hand produced clothing -> (+) less clothing being produced -> (+) second-hand clothing stores become more popular -> (+) increase in second-hand clothing stores
Knowledge of local sustainable stores -> (+) use of these market places -> (+) financial increase to Barcelona residents -> (+) stronger economical structure -> (+) more local stores arise
• IES Booklet will advertise the
• Facebook page with updated events and markets
• Twitter for sales of restaurants and stores
• Internal advertisement between stores (each store advertises other stores)
• Advertisements used as bookmarks
• Pencils with website information
• Facebook website
• Twitter Account
• Reusable email for new student(s)
2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
First, our website will provide the guidance for students to become more sustainable.
This will affect their lifestyle, which will require a change in mindset. Moreover, if
students continue to follow this sustainable path when they return home, it may have a
greater effect on their families and friends. Hence, the impact may amplify and spread
outside of IES community.
Second, our website will provide the opportunity for Sustainable Local Enterprise
Networks to grow at a faster rate, as more funds and people are attracted to it. Besides,
it will have a multiplier effect on those networks, producing a sustainable base for the
Finally, web-site does not require any paper, as it would be in case of printing the whole
booklet, which greatly reduces not only the costs, but the use of resources. Also, our website is not attached to a single person, only to the connected to means for the website. In this way is can be reused by who ever is implemented the website at that time. This is of course the same case for the facebook and twitter as well.
2.1. Potential Costs
We have identified two major costs related to web-site.
The first one is the cost of maintenance of web-site. In case the amount of information
becomes too big, there might be a need to create a separate web-page, which incurs
set-up, maintenance and switching costs.
The second cost associated with our action is time and willingness to maintain correct
and up-to-date information. As we know, the businesses come and go, while many
others are being launched, which implies constant research and updates on the web-
page. In order to overcome this problem, the web-site could be updated by the actual
users, who are willing to share the information about new places, or the businesses that
are no longer present.
3. How will you implement it
After completing our first implementation of how to promote sustainability in Barcelona we had some ideas that we thought would our implementation more successful. Already having created a website to help people find where to find food that promotes sustainability that improved the blog implementation from a previous year we thought that adding more content to our website will help people to live even more sustainably. This is where the idea of helping promote a "sustainable lifestyle" came to mind. An initial action we can take to help spread our implementation could be to connect with other institutions like IES in Barcelona and have them introduce the website to their students and faculty to help secure our action in Barcelona after we leave. Another way we could make sure our action is kept permanent is to connect with the people at Can Masdeu. They would be able to help us keep up with the content on our webpage and help people that have questions about living a more sustainable lifestyle that live in Barcelona permanently.
We also decided to add a facebook page and twitter to keep people informed. Both accounts are linked to a gmail account "firstname.lastname@example.org". This will make it easy for the next person to receive the password and account from the previous student and continue out the action.
3.1. "Cradle to Cradle"
Our main focus of communication is electronically, using our website, Facebook, twitter and other social medias as a means to spread the information to the public. Communicating the information electronically does not waste paper and the information can always be updated without having to reprint information multiple times. One way to advertise the website could include grocery bags that are made of organic materials that would help decompose organic matter after being thoroughly soaked in water or added to a compost bin. The bags are available in a variety of types and sizes that can be customized for the customer. The company the bags can be bought from is called bio-bag and prices can be quoted on their website, http://www.biobagusa.com/plastic-shopping-bag.html. This would follow the cradle to cradle design because the bag can be used multiple times but then eventually help with creating quality soil to grow healthier plants.
We plan on advertising how a more sustainable lifestyle is beneficial to both the environment and one's personal health. Promoting how living sustainability makes it easier for oneself to keep active and stay healthy. Many people know they need to live a healthier lifestyle and feel that it is a challenge to do so and give up. We feel that making it easier to help people know where to buy goods and find activities to actively live a sustainable lifestyle will be successful with the use of our website.
3.3. Relationship with the Other initiatives being impelemted
Our initiative relates closely with the action we implemented during the first half of the semester. The action we implemented was a website that had all sustainabe (vegetarian, vegan, organic) places to eat and markets in Barcelona. We implemented this proposal, and then decided that we could further expand the idea to more sustainable lifestyle options around barcelona. We decided to extend the categories to food, clothing, transportation, and cosmetics to cover all aspects of sustainable living in Barcelona.
Additionally, in the future, we hope to expand this website to have relationships with other implemeted ideas. The website gives us the possibility to have a tab with “Events” where studetns who create events can work hand-in-hand with the website. Students who implement ideas about the bike rental can put their topic under the “transportation” tab. Although there are no connections with previously implemented actions accept for our “Where to eat in Barcelona” website, in the future this website allows for connections with almost all projects that are implemented.
3.4. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
This website will be sustainable when we are not here because the website can last on its own and then another student next semester can pick up the idea and constantly update the website. Our hope is that every semester a group of students will decide to continue this proposal and will continue to update the website with more information about sustainable living in Barcelona. The website also leaves a lot to be changed, since it has the possibility to include many more categories if the future students wish to add more tabs to the website. If a group of students does not take on this project for one semester, the website will stay online and present for all students to see. Then, when a group of students wants to take over the project again they can.
Also, the next student or students will receive the passwords and email account to keep up with our website. They will obtain all the new information and keep the media sites updated.
3.5. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters
This project is similar to the action we implemented in the begining of the semester with the “Where to eat in Barcelona” website. The original idea was a blog, but we decided to change it to a website. This initiative take the idea of this “Where to eat in Barcelona” website one step further and offers sustainable lifestyle choices or all areas of life.
4. Time-sheet / Chronogram
Everyone Read actions and decide on implementation
Make sure information is in the similar format
Student 1 Research clothing stores/initiatives/swaps
Student 2 Research organizations for helping people be sustainable
Student 3 Research transportation options
Student 4 Research sustainable cosmetics companies/shops/beauty salons
Everyone Meet and edit each other's information
Everyone Upload info on the website. Check for errors and technical problems
Everyone Keep updating the information.
Check if businesses are still working.
Make sure the web-site is known and available to other students for next semesters
7. Document Format
We will use the format of a wiki page to display the idea we are implementing. It will be set up with various titles such as what are action is, why our action makes things more sustainable, how we will implement it, a time-sheet, document format, bibliography and annexes. Each title may include sub-titles to further explain our strategies but mostly all information will be covered within a particular section of the webpage.
We will also be implementing a website in the format of a Google Map. The map shows all the locations of the market places. After you can view the places within tabs including the categories of; restaurants, markets and shops, market places, meat and poultry, and baby products. This format was chosen to cater to specific needs within the field and also around which areas and locations are the most accessible. We will need to further extend our documentation as more resources become available. In the future it should also include; food, clothing, cosmetics, and transportation in categories similar to the ones already existing concerning food distribution.
Happy Cow, Eric Brent, 1999, http://www.happycow.net/ web-site for vegan/organic/vegetarian food and restaurants
IES Go Green, Natalia Migranova, 2013, http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org/Where+to+eat+in+Barcelona previously implemented action for food, which can be used as a platform for future action implementation
Sample letter for future IES students:
Dear IES students,
We would like you to consider, as you begin to experience the beauty of Barcelona, how you can make your stay healthier and ultimately more sustainable! We have created a website to specifically address all your sustainability needs as you begin your travels. Through our website we have provided you with type of food ranging from organic meats, vegetarian and vegan options. Whether you would like to visit a restaurant for dining or pick up food to go, we have categories to assist you on your endeavors.
Furthermore, we have recently added categories such as clothing, cosmetics and transportation. Locations where you can obtain all of these products will be available at the click of a button and neatly formatted on a google map to have easy access of location and transport! Please help us start this environmentally friendly website and, in the process, stay happy, healthy, and sustainable.
7.1. Copyright license of your report
We are using a Creative Commons license for our website, http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org/Where+to+eat+in+Barcelona. We created the website through sc.seeds4c.org, which is an IES Go Green website. This websites is already using the Creative Commons license, so it is the copyright license we will have on our webpage. Since our wiki page is also under the seeds4c.org, it can also be classified under this same Creative Commons license.
This license is beneficial to our webpage because it is easily accessable to make changes to. Our webpage is constantly going to be updated and revised, so its important that the platform we used had this ability. The Creative Commons license allows us to retain the copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of our work. We are making this website for other people to use and distribute, so we feel that this copyright was most beneficial to our project.
7.2. What did you learn and what did you incorporate from the feedback received?
When regarding whether to keep the idea as a blog or change it into a website, our general response was that a website is more preferable. We took this into consideration and organized a webpage to correlate with the needs and concerns of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle abroad.
After review from our professor, it was also recommended we add many other facets to the website besides marketplaces with vegetarian, vegan, or organic options. We then decided to include cosmetics, transportation, and clothing to our website. With that idea came many sub-categories and a wide variety of products all made with the importance of environmental values and sustainability.
Other students commented that this type of website would take a lot of knowledge and it would be very time consuming. The ideal for further incentives was greatly emphasized. In response to these comments we produced an example letter to be sent out. Hopefully this will encourage someone right away to become involved in our action.
Much of our feedback was generally positive. Students thought that this website would really benefit the sustainability of IES. Although some thought it should be more interactive like a blog, many thought a suggestion box was a good tool to also have access to filtering the information that is acquired by the website. We decided ultimately this was our best option.
We would like to acknowledge our professor for his help and contributions to our project. He has not only informed us about the possibilities of sustainability but provided us with this format in order to include all the necessary implementations of our action. He therefore has also provided us with the knowledge to complete a page within this format and to further inform people of our work within his class.
7.4. Students involved in this action