Courses / 2013a Spring / Final Paper Template

"Action Design" name (student 1, student 2, ...)

action title: include student names on it (At the end, after a dash). Avoid using colons (:) or double quotes (") in the page title, since they would interfere later with other parts of the website.

1. What is the action

The goal of this action page is to invest and promote a curved concentrator cooker available to IES students. Use of the solar cooker will be made known to IES students through a program-wide lunch held during orientation week as a way to meet new people. Students will learn how to use the solar cooker and the benefits it will have on the environment. Noting that many IES students, especially those in homestays, do not have the opportunity to cook their own lunches, the solar cooker would provide a way for students to cook their food at IES using only solar energy. In addition to potentially being more healthy and less expensive than eating lunch out, the program-wide use of the solar cooker will save substantial amounts of energy.

A solar cooker is essentially a device, which uses sunlight to heat and cook food. By using a shiny surface that reflects sunlight towards a dark pot, heat from the sun is concentrated and absorbed here by the dark surface. Because of this concentration of the sun’s energy, the cooking times for solar cookers are roughly the same as regular stoves and ovens. The solar cooker has many functions. It has the ability to roast meats, steam vegetables, cook pasta and rice, and even bake pastries. These appliances are sustainable not only because they are cheap and low-tech, but also because they require no fuel and cost nothing to operate. If IES were to invest in a solar cooker, IES would help contribute to building a more eco-effective enviornment.

1.1. Similar actions form previous semesters

There have not been any similar actions from previous semesters. Semester after semester, Professor Xavier has taken his students to the Fundacio Terra to show how students and residents of Barcelona can be more “green” in a city environment. No students, however, have attempted to utilize the solar cooker at Fundacio Terra or sought to implement a similar idea at IES. The Fundacio Terra mentioned that its employers could guide and advise IES students on investing and using a solar cooker for long-term purposes. Because Fundacio Terra is located near IES, it would be easy to communicate with the company with any questions and concerns.

1.1.1. Why this or a similar action didn't succed in previous semesters?

No similar actions from previous semesters

1.2. SWOT Analysis


- easy and cheap to make and use
- large capacity
- weather resistant
- can be collapsed for storage or transport
- does not hurt the environment
- saves money on gas and electricity in the long-run


  • ...takes slightly longer than conventional cooking
- only one person could cook something at a time
- initial expense of the cooker
- less effective when it is not sunny
- cannot cook every type of food; food options are limited
-need human intervention- solar cooker cannot adjust to sun by itself


  • ...Can improve the growing shortage of energy fuels. Will reduce the amount of daily energy needed to make food.
- provides a sustainable option for preparing food by not relying on fossil fuels
- box cookers and other smaller solar cookers can be used in city settings with balconies


lack of awareness by IES students
- lack of interest by students of wanting to cook their own food/ lack of interest of eating outside their homes
-eye injuries if not wearing sunglasses

(see http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/dl27 )

1.3. Feedback loops

As the main costs of the program come from the initial purchase of the machine, the program is relatively self sustaining. The costs of each individual use are passed to the user as they will be cooking their own food. As a solar machine with few moving parts to break, it is completely sustainable, not even using energy from the IES center.

1.4. Advertising

The primary form of advertising for the curved concentrator cooker will be the IES lunch during orientation week featuring delicious menu items made from the solar cooker. This way, all the students in the program will be aware that IES provides this service and know how to use it in addition to meeting new friends! In addition to this program-wide dinner at the beginning of the semester, there will be other events that students can stop by throughout the year to encourage use of this solar cooker. Finally, there will be sign-up sheets posted on the student corkboard on the first floor of IES as advertisement as well as providing students the opportunity to schedule a time to cook their food that works with their schedule. Next to the signup sheets will be posters and pamphlets advertising and educating students about the solar cooker.

Additionally, other essential forms of advertisement are utilizing Facebook & sending IES e-mails to students. As shown below, IES must send an email out to IES students at the beginning of the semester, informing them about the IES dinner. As students are constantly consumed by social media outlets, it is imperative that IES raise awareness for the social cooker via Facebook. A faculty member from IES could post information about the solar cooker periodically throughout the program on the existing IES abroad Facebook page to publicize the program.
Example of e-mail:

Dear IES Students,

Welcome to Barcelona! IES is hosting a Sustainable Meet and Greet located on the back terrace garden! Food will be prepared using the IES solar cooker, a sustainable technology that harnesses the sun as cooking energy. We will have pasta and other easy to make comidas for your enjoyment. The solar cooker will be available for student use throughout the semester and we will be offering lessons on how to cook with it during the meet and greet. Come by and meet your fellow study abroad adventurers for some eco-effective fun-loving good times!

Hasta Luego,
IES Student Center

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

The solar cooker and program has two aspects that make things more sustainable. First, by cooking with solar energy rather than off of the grid in a standard microwave or oven, a person’s carbon footprint is lessened. The benefits from such a program, however, extend well beyond simply using less energy, something that is not a solution to energy problems. Rather, participants gain awareness about being sustainable and are hopefully inspired to find their own alternative solutions like the solar cooker.

2.1. Potential Costs

solar cookers can range from $150 to $1,000
-solar cooker quote: http://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawest.com/sun_power_cooker.html

3. How wil you implement it

Implementation/Methodology. Including a description of the work done so far by IES Abroad Barcelona (listed maybe in the document from previous semester - See links in the Home page), Steps or phases to implement this action in a perfect world and in a real world of the few weeks remaining before YOUR departure back to USA, details for the common Time sheet of all actions, ... Links to the documents you created to support your action (stickers, survey forms, advertisements, notices to hand on IES walls, etc.) should be added here also.

3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Is the design "Cradle to Cradle" ready? (= did you clearly state what waste will come out of this action, and who/how to handle such waste? paper from fliers wrapped with plastic, plastic containers to collect water from rainfall, ...). In which way the action is designed to have waste not only harmless but becoming food for other processes (technical nutrients)?

Please note: 3R -> 4R
Take into consideration the 3 traditional guidelines for Sustainability:
1. Reduce
2. Reuse
3. Recycle

They are written in the order of priority. For example, with a sheet of paper. Imagine that you print a short document in one side of it (the reservation code of a flight, for instance). After you use the information, you can throw it to the recycling bin ("3. Recycle"). You can also use it on the other side of the page ("2. Reuse") before throwing it away. You can also re-consider the need to print such document, since you might write down the code and phone number in any piece of paper in your wallet/purse/backpack, and convert such document in the computer into a pdf that you can carry in your smartphone (in case you need some other details, etc). And in this third case, you are not even generating the waste of paper at all ("1. Reduce"). Some systems are re-designed so that they already sent you a copy to you remail inbox in pdf, or in ATm where you are offered to see the budget in your account on screen, instead of allways printing it as many years ago.
The more sustainable piece of paper is the one that didn't need to be produced.

Therefore, we have to include a fourth guidline, and place it with the top priority:
0. Re-design

In the sense of re-designing the production of things to comply with the "Cradle to Cradle design", "waste = food", avoid the consumption of resources where there is another way to avoid it, etc.

3.2. Questions for the unified survey

Identify questions to be added to the survey for your action, so that you have objective data to support your expectations, hopes, ...
If you didn't add in some questions regarding your action, explain why not.

3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Analyse the results obtained from the answers to the survey questions, and summarize the main conclusions that you took from it
Analyse similar (or somewhat related) results from surveys filled in previous semesters also. See their reports in the homepage.

3.4. Incentives

Which incentives do you plan to give in order to promote that people participate in your action? Why?

3.5. Relationship with the Other initiatives being impelemted

What's the relationship of your action with the "Sustainability Club" (SC) or any other concurrent initiatives going on this semeser in IES Abroad Barcelona? Why?
Note: "Sustainability Club" stopped working as such a few semesters ago, but it was YOU, and not someone else payed to provide services for you. It was run from students, and by students like you! If you don't do something, it's very difficult that some other student will do it for you without any incentive...

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

In order to have a sustainable action, you need to have designed some way or some person to keep doing whatever tasks are needed for the action to keep it working. Indicate here how is this going to work when you are not here...

3.7. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

Clearly indicate in which aspects your action is different to each other similar action from previous semesters.

4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

Write it in a "recipe style" to guide students from future semesters to implement you action easily.
In rows, who will do what; In columns, months of the year. In the cells, the codes for each subaction described in the report.
This is to schedule the action for the next semester, not to report what you did this semester regarding this action. You are designing an action to be sustained over time, and this report is the outline of what needs to be done and by whom in next semesters to continue your action

Proof of concept: What did yo do to test yor action?

4.1. Who will do what

Indicate who will do what, roles identified, so that it's clear how many students are needed to do the action, and how many (or who) from the staff will help, etc. You can add this information to the previous section "Time-sheet / Chronogram" and remove this section title, or explain in detail here, instead, etc. (as you wish)

5. Document format

If you produced some documents to support your action, did you choose some document format which can be edited with multiplatform FLOSS tools without loosing the layout? [Multiplatform = at least, the main three O.S.: GNU/Linux, Mac OSX & MS Windows]. For instance, for word documents, .odt or similar (odf) is better choice than MS Word .doc/.docx documents, since odt/odf are standards format for office documents recognized internationally by the ISO (ISO/IEC 26300:2006), and editable by OpenOffice, among others (or MS Office with a Plugin). Or for images: .svg for vectorial graphics (editable by Inkscape), or .xcf for bitmaps (editable by GIMP), etc.

6. Bibliography

You are expected to refer to your sources of information here as if they were books (Title, Year, Author, Editorial, URL), and not just to provide links for other sources of information that the reader might visit besides the information provided in your report. Books, Websites, Companies offering products, ... including action described by students in previous semesters in their Final paper documents. See links in the Home page

7. Annexes

Annexes come here (if any): pictures, copies of emails sent, produced documents, marketing material, links to the corresponding pages elsewhere, etc (http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org, ...)

Which copyright license do you choose for your report and why? If you want to say "Creative Commons" (CC), please choose on of the CC licenses. See Session 18
Clearly indicate also where did you get your pictures from (if you added any picture to your report). Respect the copyright license of other author's work. As a general copyright notice, you can use some phrasing as:

"Unless elsewhere noted, the contents of this report are released with a XXX copyright license [Provide the URL for more information on that license]".

7.2. What did you learn and what did you incoporate from the feedback received?

Between the first deadline and the second deadline to design your action, you may have received some feedback from your class mates, as well as from your professor. Which things from that feedback did you incorporate to improve your design?

7.3. Acknowledgements

Acknowledge the help you received from other people, different from the list of students that will be included in the section below.

7.4. Students involved in this action

Write your names, briefly indicating your role in the action and its report. Identify which is the "official" leader of this action (if any), who the other participants, indicating the role of each student in the team. Remember that the leader is the person in charge that the team work together and all things get done in time; if some member of the team for this action does not do his/her duties, the "leader" is expected to do instead to warranty the success of the action in time

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:22:03