List of Actions:
A. Bike Rental Program
B. Sustainability Garden
I have chosen to write about these two topics because these are the two I find most interesting.
A. I am a cycler back in the States, and the city where I grew up (Edina, MN) as well as the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) have become very bike friendly and a large amount of people commute to work and school everyday by way of a bike. It is a field in which I am comfortable in and have some previous knowledge about.
When it comes to bringing this action alive there are a few factors that come into play. One, there is already a rent-a-bike system in place in Barcelona. However, it is not very widely used among the students at IES as well as other study abroad programs due to the lack of advertising and higher prices. For a two hour ride it costs 6 euro and to rent the bike for a day (24 hrs) it is 15 euro. Although this may not seem to be that much money, it is inconvenient for those who want to go for a ride, lock the bike, walk around, come back to the bike, and have to be on a time table. What would be more convenient would be having bikes for rent through IES. IES would purchase a number of bikes for student use only (5-10 bikes). There could be a program in place for reserving a bike a certain day with no cost to the students. When picking up the bike from the center the student would then be given a U-lock and a key to lock up the bike and walk around the part of the city the biked to. This will increase student activity and provide an easy way for students to tour the city in a sustainable way and go at their own pace.
B. I have also chosen the Garden because my father and mother both garden at my house in MN. We grow and have grown tomatoes, zucchini, rhubarb, pumpkins, squash, peppers, and many different herbs. Again, this is something I have some background knowledge in and I think I would provide some solid details about small at-home gardens that others may not have as much knowledge in. The current terrace has a few fruit trees that are nice but that is the only "green" in the terrace surrounded by cement and metal. It would be a wonderful touch adding a small (10' x 10') garden in which students and staff can take care of various vegetables native to Spain and/or America. Again, students can sign up to take shifts to water, care for, and look after the plants while they grow. Once the plants come to maturity students and staff can use the vegetables to make small dishes for students to either purchase for a small cost (50 cents - 1 euro per) and this money can go back into purchasing seeds and natural fertilizers for the garden. This is a fun, sustainable way to get students involved at the center and caring for something while they are away from home. The dishes made can also be saved up for small bi-monthly (or every three weeks) tapas time which can bring the students together on the terrace and in the center and create a fun unity among the students.