1. Green Celebrations
For my continued action, I am creating an initiative to encourage IES to use recycled materials at this kick-off and farewell party. This action includes links to where recyclable, biodegradable, and reusable materials can be purchased and recycled. These parties host 400 plus people and currently use plastic and paper products that are not from recycled materials and are thrown away after one use. In addition signs would be put near the utensils, plates, bowls, etc with information on where these products can be bought and how they are recycled to spread knowledge. My goal is for another student to continue this action in the future semesters and work with the administration to buy these sorts or products for IES gatherings/celebrations and to recycle them properly. This will lead to “green celebrations.”
1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
The current IES celebrations use non-recycled and non-reusable materials. For such a large group it makes a big difference to switch to biodegradable, recycled, or re-usable materials. In addition signs will be posted at the events with information on where these recycled/reusable/biodegradable products can be bought and how they are used properly. This will help spread knowledge and help increase the use of these green products.
1. Eco-Efficiency: Limiting the amount of paper, plastic, or other non recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials (waste) that are used in the IES Gatherings.
2. Knowledge: If students continue this action and start at the beginning of the semester, they will have a very effective action. This action also spreads knowledge to all IES teachers and students because of the prevalence of both at the IES celebrations.
3. Long term effects: Students in future semesters will have access to this action and will be able to continue to work with the administration in order to increase sustainable efforts at IES gatherings. Professors and students will also learn from the informational signs at the party and be able to use these products at their own events.
4. Changes in attitudes: By showing how simple it is to use recycled/reusable/biodegradable products people will look at being resourceful differently and look down on those who create waste. Thus putting pressure on people to take the high road and use recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials.
1.2.1. SWOT Analysis
Strengths: Reduces waste at 2 large IES celebrations, saving upwards of 800+ napkins, plates, cups, utensils; supports companies/organizations associated with La Fabrica del Sol, who sell recycled/reusable/biodegradable products, educates students and IES faculty and staff, cost effective
Weaknesses: Relies on Administration to make a change, relies on attendance – we need people to go the IES gatherings, need to coordinate with an organization outside of IES which could be undependable, ensuring that products are recycled correctly
Opportunities: Brings IES together, spread knowledge through educational/informational signs, easy action to continue with once administration has allowed for recycled/reusable/biodegradable products to be used, introduce student volunteers to the eco-euro system for their work organizing, cleaning and disposing of the materials
Threats: Administration may never agree to use recycled/reusable/biodegradable products, a student or staff member may not continue this action, recycling properly in order to achieve the more "sustainable" aim, coordination between different organizations
1.2.2. Feedback loops
Using recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials reduces waste which reduces our ecological footprint.
Signs posted by materials spread knowledge which will lead to more people using recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials at their own parties
1.2.3. Potential Benefits
First IES will become more sustainable by using recycled/reusable/biodegradable products. This will be useful when promoting IES as a “sustainable” study abroad program and can be used to market IES. Students, professors, and staff will also learn where they can find these materials. In some cases these products will save students and staff money when they purchase them on their own. For example a sleeve of 10 plastic cups costs 2euros. If a student has reusable cups they will save 2 euros every 10 days and only have to subtract the cost of a small amount of dish detergent needed to clean the reusable cup. I other words the student will be saving money.
1.2.4. Potential Costs
The major cost of this action is time spent working with the administration. Other students in my class have said it can be time consuming and hard to convince the administration to change their ways. In addition you have to work with the administration to determine how many recycled/reusable/biodegradable products to buy for the IES greeting and farewell party based on past year’s attendances. From my experience at the Welcome Party there were close to 75% of students from the program which is about 300 students. I expect similar attendance at the Farewell party. Again IES can help give more exact figures. In addition you will need to work with Fabrica del Sol to find an suggested company to order these materials and you may need to pick up the materials as well as dispose of them before and after the IES parties.
The first step is working with the administration. As the leader you must have a plan including what materials should be bought and their costs. I have calculated that 350 cups and 350 plates should be ordered. From there an appointment must be made with the administration to set up a meeting. After the meeting and approval is given, signs must be made to be propped up near the recycled/reusable/biodegradable to help spread knowledge. Then responsibilities (described below) need to be assigned to determine whether a student, teacher, staff member of combination is arranging to get the recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials from Fabrica del Sol's recommended company and who is responsible for recycling them.
1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design
Recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials do not create as much waste as non-recycled/non reusable/non-degradable products to. They are more effective ways of becoming “sustainable”. By using these products instead of one-time use and throw-away materials at the IES celebrations, waste will be greatly reduced.
1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey
This action was implemented after the survey was created. If it had been done earlier, I would have asked students
If you knew where to buy recycled/reusable/biodegradable utensils, would you consider buying them for parties?
Are you planning on attending the IES farewell party?
1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey
Again I did not submit my question early enough so I cannot analyze the survey.
I would offer to pay for a portion of the recycled/reusable/biodegradable utensils, materials, etc to help off-set the cost for IES and the administration. I would also create the informational/educational posters to be displayed by the recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials. Marketing strategies serve as an additional incentive for the administration as using recyclable products helps to make IES a more “sustainable” program and can be used as a marketing strategy.
1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)
Green Celebrations can be sponsored by the “Sustainability Club” and the members can help to coordinate with the Administration and Fabrica del Sol to get hold of recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials for the celebrations. I am currently a member of the Sustainability Club, so I would have coordinated the ordering, picking up, and getting rid of the materials.
1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
When I am not here either the “Sustainability Club” or someone taking this course would need to volunteer to continue this action and implement it at the beginning of a semester.
1.3.7. Document format
This document is formatted using html.
1.3.8. Copyright license of your report
CC BY: This copyright license allows others to tweak, change, and build on your work as long as you are credited for the original copy.
I have chosen this license because I am hoping that another student will continue with this action and I want them to have access to my research, information, and ideas in order to build upon them and improve my work.
1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram for Leader of the "Green Celebrations" Action
Year Fall 2011, Spring 2012:
January/September- Contact IES Administration and arrange a meeting. Prepare for the meeting by researching(see websites below) benefits of using recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials for the large IES gatherings,for example Welcome and Farewell Party. In addition contact Fabrica del Sol about an associated organization that sells the materials and inquire about the cost of materials. Meet with the administration and discuss with them the benefits and costs researched above..
February/ October- Make educational posters to be displayed near recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials at the IES parties in order to spread knowledge.
March/November- Continue to update your action page.
April/December- Coordinate picking up recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials from Fabrica del Sol's associated organizations, dropping off, and cleaning up of materials for the IES Farewell party. Find student volunteers to help you with this process. Pay them in eco-euros.
1.5. References & Links
Guia EA 06: More sustainable celebrations (English version). City Council of Barcelona, Spain. Environmental Education Guides (Last visited April 11, 2011)
La Fàbrica del Sol, 2011, http://www.mcrit.com/crbs/principal/principal.htm
10 Easy Ways To Celebrate the Earth, 2011, http://www.goinggreen.com/
1.6. Students involved in this action
I collaborated with Abby Glusker on this action.
Assignment 4: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)