Courses / 2014 Fall / Localvores - Eating Locally In Bcn (Nicole Carpenter - Haley George - Ann Elizabeth - Kaye Weinstein - Alex Wilds)

Localvores: Where to eat Locally in Barcelona by Nicole Carpenter, Haley George, Ann Elizabeth, Kaye Weinstein, and Alex Wilds

1. Summary of "Localvores": Where to eat LOCALLY in Barcelona.

The first thing to be would be to define a "Localvore." We define a localvore as someone who is conscious and concerned with eating locally grown produce as well as eating at restaurants that cook with local products. For our new action, we have started a blog for people interested in this sustainable practice. We started to design a blog through Tumbler but realized that due to the fact that people could not add posts of their own, no one except the administrator could make contributions/recommendations on places to eat through the blog. Therefore, we decided to utilize an interface with a different format that allows for others in IES to easily contribute and post thoughts, experiences, and recommendations of their own. We have moved the blog posts from our Tumblr account to a new blog format: WordPress. Although we are the creators and administrators of the blog, it is open to anyone as long as we make them an author by inviting them to contribute through email. This only furthers the concept of a sustainable blog. It is a much cleaner, organized website than Tumblr. We are very happy that we made the switch from Tumblr to WordPress.
BCNLocalvores is a blog where students can read about, add and post information about food in Barcelona ranging from markets to dining out. It will also be utilized as a forum for people to learn more and post information about the sustainable benefits of eating and supporting locally grown produce. It will focus primarily on encouraging IES students to practice sustainable eating habits by eating locally and organically while also providing a level of education and awareness on the importance of eating local and being a "localvore". Thus, the blog will provide resources and references to markets that provide local ingredients and organic goods. In our first class session we talked about knowledge as a sustainable resource and I believe this definitely applies to this food blog. Each semester the information about food markets and restaurants will be re-used and accessible to future IES students studying in Barcelona. It can be seen as more than just a resource for finding but people will be attracted to it as simply a resource to find some great places to eat. At the same time, this coined term, "localvore" can gain momentum and popularity through this blog and begin to spread to all the IES students as they become more conscious of what it is and how it relates to the places they choose to eat.
Ideally, a link to this blog will be provided in the IES booklet for students to access early on in the semester as well as a link on the IES website. Mentioning this resource in the IES orientation seminar to bring everyone´s attention to the fact that it is there and can be useful and important for students t utilize would also be beneficial being that it is common for students to not read the entirety of a handful of handouts that they are given. When first arriving in Barcelona, students may feel overwhelmed and not know the best places to eat, shop, or market. This blog will give students a forum to learn from other students about positive experiences they have had at local markets and restaurants. This blog will be open to other students to foster the sharing and exchanging of ideas about where to eat in Barcelona
Each semester a fellow IES student or group of students will continue the blog with a passion for food and sustainable eating. With each new semester, the list of restaurants and local markets will continue to grow. I know when I first got to Barcelona it was hard for me to find an organic market that sold vegetarian food (being vegetarian myself). For this reason this blog can also be used as just a way to ask specific questions such as, "Anyone know any great local markets or restaurants for vegetarians," in which students can share their experiences. Being open to the professors and staff at IES would also be a valuable resource being that a lot of them have lived here for a while and our familiar with the best places to go. If I had a place to access such information, it would have made my life a lot easier. “BCNlocalvores” would most definitely have been a solution to this problem.

1.1 Similar Actions from Previous Semesters

We looked at the action plan from "Where to EAT in BCN" as a reference point to build off of and try to improve upon with our own thoughts and ideas that we saw as opportunities to develop and further the success of this previous action plan. Before thoroughly reading through this action plan we just read the summary and then discussed as a group how we would have addressed this action. We then read through and found where we would have done things differently. Also, as we read we found new ideas that were either stated in the action plan that we like or that provoked another change that we though would be fitting.\

1.1.1 Why this or a similar actions didn't succeed in previous semesters?

The main reason the action did not succeed was that it was hard to find a new student to keep the blog going. The project was centered around two ideas, the complimentary currency that the Sustainability Club used, and the club itself. When the club ceased to exist, it was impossible for the project to continue. In our action however, we did not use these aspects as a main part of our action design.

1.2 SWOT Analysis


  • encourages local markets
  • easy access to students
  • grants familiarity in an unfamiliar city
  • boosts local economy
  • tells students prices, quality of food, type of food, neighborhood, location
  • vegetarian/vegan/organic cuisine
  • provided in English- benefit for IES students
  • past knowledge= stronger valuable opinions
  • does not rely on weather
  • no cost
  • resource for new students unsure of good places to eat


  • relies on student participation- if students don’t post or visit blog, then it will not be sustained
  • no regulation of posting information- however this can be easily solved by ensuring there is always one IES student in charge of maintaining the blog.

  • Information
  • Dining options with family/friends
  • Ability to communicate with IES students and local community
  • Cooperates with other students actions
  • Ability to express opinions about food
  • Students can post easy to make-recipes at home= students can become better cooks
  • Get to know Barcelona as a city better

  • other food blogs people might view or choose
  • potential online distractions may cause people to forget about visiting this site
  • Google- search engines give people recommendations a lot quicker than reading through a blog
  • updated/correct information about restaurants.
  • Convenience- students may be more inclined to go to the McDonald's next store to IES than walk a couple block to a high quality, locally grown market or restaurant
  • prices; restaurants with local produce and higher quality product may be more expensive and out of students' budgets

What can you do to get rid of the weaknesses?

It would be helpful to make sure that we leave login information behind for the next group of students, as well as provide incentive for an IES student to take charge and maintain the blog. It would be ideal to connect with a student in the Sustainability class of the next semester. They could potentially use our project in the future for their projects, or just find our project interesting and then take the password from the professor. Our blog could be reused and edited using FLOSS, therefore adapting and maintaining sustainability.

Why couldn't you redesign anything to avoid them?

  • It is difficult to know what incentive will work for different people, in time I believe that by increasing the variety of advertisements we will be able to succeed in increasing interest in the blog
  • There are also many similar blogs about Barcelona and food that are a Google search away and I think that students tend to prefer a Google search over a student because the people creating the other blogs may be more knowledgeable of this city and what it offers, or more creditable in critiquing a restaurant.

What can you do to prevent yourself/your action from the potential effect of the threats?

  • We can continue to spread the knowledge of the site, highlighting the community aspect of the project to create a stronger incentive for people to look at this blog as opposed to others
  • For the price weakness, we can focus on student budget friendly places within the realm of the local and sustainable sector to cater to our audience

1.3 Feedback Loops

Access to Blog-> Increase in Local Market Revenue-> Increase in Barcelona Economy -> Increased knowledge of opportunities -> Access Blog to Add New Knowledge (Closed Loop)

Access Blog-> Increased interaction with local residents-> Increased connectivity to Barcelona as a city -> Look for Online Connectivity -> Access Blog (Closed Loop)

Posting on Blog-> Diversity of Ideas about food in Barcelona-> Fostering more community -> Connect Community Oline -> Access Blog (Closed Loop)

1.4. Advertising

In one of the pamphlets handed out by IES at the beginning of the semester. As well as a brief explanation and reference to website in IES Orientation. Poster can also be hanging by the computers on the floors in the IES building. We also managed to post to Facebook the link to our blog, encouraging our friends at IES to view and contribute to our blog and take advantage of our suggestions. We also plan to take further advantage of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media to promote our message. If IES permits, we could supply the links on the IES pages along with our own personal accounts.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

The current IES booklet provides a list of ten restaurants and three markets. When you are studying abroad, this list is not comprehensive enough and does not cater to specific dietary needs. By moving this wealth of information about markets and local restaurants to a more sustainable domain, such as the Internet, it will eliminate the waste from printing the pages in the booklet. Instead of using five printed pages to discuss food in the booklet, this blog would allow a surplus of information that is eco-friendly and easily accessible. This action is improving the sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona in many ways.

Eco Effectiveness: Limits the amount of paper (waste) used in the IES Booklets
Allows for knowledge to be sustained throughout the semesters. This blog will always be accessible to future students. As long as students continue to post on the blog, the knowledge of information will be sustained to the consecutive semesters.
Fosters the Local Market- by encouraging students to eat locally, organically and support local markets, we are increasing the amount of small local businesses. This is turn will keep the wealth within Barcelona and allow it to thrive.
Long term effects: Students in future semesters will have access to the blog and will be able to easily find good places to get their groceries or go to dinner.
Fosters group connectivity and creates community- students can build off each others ideas and make plans to go to these local markets together.
Changes in attitudes: In the U.S. eating locally is not always a possibility because local fruit and vegetable markets are not as prevalent as they are in Barcelona. By encouraging students to buy from their local fruit and vegetable markets, we are changing mentalities about how we buy our products at home.

2.1 Potential Costs

The major and single cost of the bcnlocalvores food blog is time. Maintaining and posting information about a blog is very time consuming because it is your responsible as the poster to make sure the information you are giving to your readers is entirely accurate and correct. It is free of charge and it does not waste any sort of non-sustainable product, the costs are very limited and low. The costs of this project are also not obligatory. IES students have the option of accessing and contributing to the blog and it is not mandatory.
Other potential costs include costs of supplies to create fliers/posters or other forms of advertisement implemented that is not internet based.

2.2 Potential Benefits

There are many benefits of this blog that directly link to IES students who are new to Barcelona. These benefits are short and long term, however this blog will be particularly important within the first few weeks of new students arrivals. This blog will allow students who are new to a city to become instantly familiar with the type of restaurants and markets Barcelona as a city has to offer to its residents. This blog will also serve as a great resource when students have visitors or family members in town. It provides comprehensive lists about good places to take friends and family based on cuisine and price range. This blog also offers information about local food happenings such as food fairs or cooking workshops. The benefit of having it on the IES website is that it puts information all in one easily accessible place. Instead of accessing many different blogs or websites, there is a concrete section designated specifically for blogging.will we implement it?

2.2 (continued) Will we implement it?

We did create the blog and created posts and suggestions about local food and eating locally in Barcelona. However, we did not have an effective strategy for advertising and failed to adequately promote our blog.

3. How will we implement it?

The blog was implemented independently of IES. In order to make this blog accessible to IES abroad students, we have posted information about how the blog works and how to become an author on the IES Abroad Barcelona Facebook pages to reach all of the students in order to create the strongest support from our students.
The first step in this process was creating the blog itself and determining what sources and types of information would be available. We decided to include restaurants, markets, local happenings and events related to food as well as include any information related to food that would be helpful knowledge for students living in Barcelona for the semester. Our second step of this implementation process was advertising and making sure that the blog itself was in the eyes of the public and that everyone had at least received some form of communication about the blog whether it be via email, word of mouth, or Facebook. The third part of this implementation process is integrating it into the IES orientation at the beginning of the semester. We are hoping to include a link to this blog on the website or within the Orientation handbook, or even within the weekly planners. The fourth part of implementation is closely linked to the third step. This is ensuring that the blog is a useful tool for the upcoming semesters of IES Abroad Barcelona. At the beginning of the semester, hopefully a student will want to take over the administration position of the blog which is simply knowing the login and username to post information himself or herself. We will ensure that this blog is maintained, however this final stage is something we have not entirely solidified because it is not yet departure time and our actions are still in the process of being successful and sustainable. Due to the fact blogs allow for a very sustainable and eco-friendly forum for information, we will eliminate any type of advertisements that use waste such as paper flyers or handouts. Since the blog is now on a website with many registered users, we will attract a larger audience.

3.1 Prototype

We used the "Where to Eat in BCN" project that was created in a previous semester as the prototype for our blog.

3.2 "Cradle to Cradle" design

Blogs do not litter, they do not waste paper, nor do they release toxic emissions. Blogs do not create waste, instead they create a surplus of information that may at times be repetitive and useless to readers that want direct, clear information about where to eat and market in Barcelona. The waste of this design is the excess supply of information provided by bloggers. This however will be monitored by the male or female in charge of monitoring the website for next semester. This waste is not detrimental to this system, and in a lot of ways the more information available on the blog’s website the better. What one person on the website may consider “waste” or unhelpful information, another person could consider it as “food” and very vital or important information that will significantly increase their positive experiences in Barcelona.

3.3 Flyers

  • We hope to add fliers as a tool to increase awareness, knowledge, and incentive for students to read and interact on our blog. We will however limit them to some around the building so as to not waste paper.

3.4 Incentives

  • Will help to strengthen the IES community
  • Can help students to explore food options and have an excuse to go out and eat somewhere new
  • Allow students to make healthy choice, both for themselves and for the habitat they are living in.

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

We believe every student studying abroad in Barcelona must develop a love and passion for food because food and markets are such a part of local culture. Markets and food are a part of social life. Therefore, we believe finding a student who is willing to maintain this blog will not be a difficult task. Just as we choose to continue actions, we believe a member of IES will likely continue this action. we will also ensure that next semester IES provides students with the link to this blog so that the information on the website will continue to grow and be added to. Blogs are by nature sustainable and maintained as long as we let them stay online without pressing the delete button. Therefore, as long as the student interest and desire to post and access new information about food d in Barcelona, the action will be sustainable for semesters to come. Now that it is not a part of Tumblr, any IES student or admin has the potential to change and improve the blog on the website. With this freedom and easy access, we believe the blog will be sustainable. It would be ideal to find a student who is also taking the sustainability class because they already have a clear interest in the topic. While it will be difficult to guarantee the sustainability of our blog entirely, we are counting on the interest of future students and the promotion by IES. Further, our blog could act as a starting point for future projects.

3.7. Relationship with the Other Initiative being Implemented

  • Unlike previous semesters, we are not relying on the existence of a Sustainability Club or the complimentary currency the club uses in order to maintain the blog. We are ensuring the sustainability by passing on administrative powers to our Sustainability professor along with the password for him to pass down to the next sustainability class of club interested in maintaining it. However, formal maintenance isn't necessarily required, just the publication of the blog site being that anyone can be a member and use/write on the blog if interested in eating locally.

4. Time-sheet / Chronogram


Ensure all Fall IES students are aware of the Localvores Blog. Find student to maintain the blog for the semester. Encourage students to post and add new information.


Post on Blog weekly. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Ensure that new students are aware of Blog. Encourage them to read the blog and add their comments and suggestions. Present Password and Username to professor in the hopes of a new student taking over.


New students would start to post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.


Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

These are the two questions we used for the survey.

1. Will students use an online website if it found out where good places are to eat and shop? 

2. Are students intrigued by organic markets and organic food or they more interested in cheap "eating”

Walking around and randomly asking 100 students in order to generate answers that represent the student body the most clearly, the responses are as followed:

Responses: 65% of students said that they would use the online website. 100% of students said that they were interested in exploring organic foods if they were cheap, but, given the choice 75% of students say they were more interested in the cost than if it is organic or not.

4.1 Who will do what

Nicole- focus mostly on the explanation of the adjustments to the original action carried out in the previous semester, create preliminary blogs for people interested in eating local and focusing on those with dietary restrictions, create survey of students' interest in the project in order to better understand flaws in our design, created Facebook posts as a form of advertising to create interest and increase awareness of our project.

Alex- created the blog website for public use and invited other members of the group as well as promoting the page to join the page as well and inviting them via email, created some preliminary blogs with resources for people interested in eating local to use, made several adjustments to the original action that was carried out in the previous semester

Anne-Elizabeth- worked on blog posts to build interest and content for our blog therefore sparking interest, helped to edit the final project in the model outlined by the class, and conceptualize the original idea and worked with the entire group to design and create our ideas.

4.2 What has been done this semester?

Created a blog with posts centered around Sustainable eating options in Barcelona.
Advertised to create interest in the blog.

4.3. What needs to be done to repeat the action in the future?

Give username and password information to the professor so that the future IES students who take the Sustainability course will be able to continue to use the blog.
Include information regarding how to make others the authors so that they are able to contribute

5. Document Format

We chose WordPress website as the domain for the blog. It is an easily accessible website that is free of charge. This blog is also FLOSS, which allows future students to update and edit our blog without loosing the original format that we created. Further, any posters we make will be created in .odt format so that they can be reused.

6. Bibliography

Where to Eat in BCN- http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Courses%3A_%3AFrom+2011+Spring+-+Where+to+EAT+in+BCN+Blog+%28Natalia+-+Liz+-+Ali+-+Jake%29?structure=Courses%3A_%3A2013a+Spring%3A_%3AImplementing+Formerly+Designed+Actions


All of the information about local restaurants and markets are provided on the blog itself.

8. Annexes

CC BY: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

We would pick this license because blogs are built on the premise that they should be used to share information and network with other individuals. Due to the fact the information we are sharing to the public comes from other website domains that offer the location of the restaurant and provide information about various websites, we feel as though this is the most practical usage of copyright. The purpose of a blog is for others to pass on the information you have provided them with. The information we are providing on this blog are what we believe to be the best places to eat and market in Barcelona as well as what other contributors believe them to be. Therefore, as long as people credit the blog for being a good provider of information, we believe the information should be as free and limitless as possible so that everyone feels comfortable sharing the information from bcnlocalvores with others around them.

8.2. What did you learn and what did you incorporate from the feedback received?

We have learned that people are very willing to learn more about eating locally when it is being offered to them in an easy-to-use way. We have also learned that more incentives must be used to actually influence people to participate in a blog, especially when it requires them to give us their email and go through a process.

8.3. Acknowledgements

We thank the previous students for their model in which to base our blog on. We also would like to thank the students that provided feedback regarding our survey.

8.4 Students involved in this action

Nicole Carpenter, Haley George, Ann Elizabeth Rush, Kaye Weinstein and Alex Wilds when developing my action. Prior to starting my action page, we discussed the fact we all wanted to create blogs that would be accessible to students. We decided that because we had different interests, we would create separate blog posts.

Copy of message posted

Furthermore, I attempted to coordinate with all students in the Sustainability course by posting a message on the IES Abroad Barcelona Facebook page encouraging collaboration and attempting to avoid overlap of ideas as shown below:

Hello IES Barcelona!

For the Sustainability Course this semester, we were asked to design a “sustainable action” that would benefit the IES program. For my action I created a blog titled “BCNlocalvores” that will include information about local markets, organic markets and places to eat all around the city. It is basically an easy go-to for students studying abroad that want to know the best places to eat around the city. I have a few of my own favorite places to shop and eat but it would be great if you would add to the blog as well. The more suggestions of good food the better.
Simply give us your email, we will make you an Author and you will be able to post, comment and review recommendations from other Authors!

The format of a post should include:

Name of the Restaurant
Type of Cuisine
Price Range (what you expect to spend upon leaving the meal)
Address: Include the address, the closest metro stop and neighborhood

Thank you,
Nicole Carpenter, Haley George, Ann Elizabeth Rush, Kaye Weinstein, and Alex Wilds

Iframe of the Blog

Added by the professor on Nov 9th 2014 (after the first deadline).

Feedback from your class mates through the Peer-Review Assignment
Items found: 4
ReviewerThings to keepThings to improve
defneThe copy of message posted is good. Also, great copyright section. Good SWOT analysis format Including the Iframe of the blog is also great as the view gets to see part of the product. Time sheet/ chronogram could be made more succinct (ex. October - July: Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.) instead of listing each month redundantly. I would put more line breaks/spacing in the first section to make it easier to read.
elizabethcingariEverything was explained thoroughly and made easy to understand. The swot analysis is easy to follow and used simple syntax which is good. Not only is this idea sustainable it creates a sense of community within IES and will bring localvores together. Definitely keep the SWOT analysis and the summary.The only thing I would change would be more information regarding potential cost.
pbarnabykeep it on the internet, advertising on student manual, blog format, closest metro stop to the restaurantsHard to keep someone on top of the blog year after year that you aren't here, where does student interest and motivation come from
potepaloreally awesome job! you guys incorporated so many of the concepts that we used in class and made this ideal seam feasible. I liked the terming of the word "Localvore" and overall I think this is an idea that students would want to participate in. The SWOT analysis was really good and a great summary of your overall goal.Talk about how you could link in social media to proliferate this idea. Maybe it would be possible to have a few pictures on the IES barcelona instagram/facebook - even with coordinating a student trip. Since you guys have so many aspects of your project maybe you could stress one thing that could be implemented before next semester - or a timeline of how these actions would be completed.

Page last modified on Sunday 14 of December, 2014 19:23:50