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Green Celebrations - Martha May

1. Green Celebrations

1.1. What

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.

1.3. How

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.

1.3.4. Incentives

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.

Attribution 
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.

Guia EA 06: More sustainable celebrations (English version). City Council of Barcelona, Spain. Environmental Education Guides (Last visited April 11, 2011)
http://80.33.141.76/agenda21/download_recurs.php?idRecurs=55

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

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 17
Grade per actionReviewerComments
94 agluskerI think utilizing the welcome and farewell parties is an excellent idea and the name for your action is just as catchy! Have you looked into providers of the goods and found the cheapest option? I definitely think the current parties generate so much waste that it does not set a good example for students and how they should behave for the upcoming semester. If you could not find biodegrabale solutions, why not suggest IES purchasing their own set of utensils and silverware that can be re-used over semesters? Just an idea...
89 Brian McNevinI think that this idea could really work and help with IES lowering their carbon footprint. Most students and faculty attend the welcoming party and farewell party as a way to first meet people, then to say goodbye to everyone, and using recyclable or biodegradable utensils will greatly help the environment. Perhaps one way to re-design this in future semesters would be to use more than just Fabrica del Sol so that more local businesses may be used.
97 carlafGreen celebrations! I love it! It makes me never want to attend a party that doesn't use recycled or reused materials. Although this project requires relying on the administration to implement this, I believe they'll see the good in this plan and help. This particular project has me wondering why we haven't thought of this by now. Or at least made an attempt to do something similar because half the time, people are too drunk to recognize or realize the specs of the cups they're using. I've never been at a party where someone has thrown their drink away because they were upset that the cup they're drinking from wasn't made of new, harmful plastic material.
91 CFaheyI think this event is important because it teaches students about recycling shortly after arriving in Barcelona and re-educates them before they head back to America. If students see that IES is dedicated to "Going Green" it will motivate them as well. The main weakness is the high dependence on the administration because it may not be withinin the budget etc. Catchy name and it is a very sustainable action with a lot of potential in the future.
86 Drew.peroGreat idea..easy to get the word out by having a party for people to attend, as long as they know the purpose of the party
90 gnardiI think this action is really smart because a part is a great way to draw peoples attention, everyone loves a party. Also, using only recyclable and biodegradable utensils is a really creative party theme, and there is no reason why everyone party shouldn't be like this. Also, parties are a great way to meet new people, so it is two great ideas.
95 Julia NuttI think that this is a really good idea. If we start the beginning of the semester off with a welcome party that incorporates sustainable ways and living this will express to students how strongly IES and Barcelona feels about this. This may cause them to have a completely different outlook on how much waste they put out and help students to think more sustainably. Maybe at the welcome dinner there could be a presentation of ways to be more sustainable and where to eat locally, aside from just using utensils and paper that is recycled. Waiting until the farewell dinner may be too late to really impact the current students and so it would be a good idea to have this continued action to a new student to implement at the beginning of their term.
89 Kmacdonald4Switching to sustainable products at the welcome and farewell parties is a great idea (and I love the name Green Celebrations!) Do you know how much more it will cost IES to make the switch? And has the administration agreed to switch or is the plan still in negotiations? With how aware IES is of sustainability I think this is definitely a change they will be willing and eager to look into.
85 m.bernsteinThis idea is great. Looking back on the welcome party so many plates, napkins and other trash was accumulated. Xavi mentioned at our field trip that instead of using plates he has heard of companies using like a larger cracker as a plate. You should look into where you can find those in Barcelona because that would decrease so much waste and also would be aid to your action of being a cradle to cradle design because what is not eaten could be thrown into a compost pile; food=waste. I like your idea of hanging posters as well to spread knowledge. It gives the students a heads up for the party.
95 MbowermanThis is definitely a good idea! I think it's sort of ridiculous that IES hasn't at least invested in a set of glass dishes or they could even rent them from somewhere. It's great that your getting creative with it and looking beyond glass dishes towards things that are bio degradable or even edible.
76 obiajuluThis idea could really be effective and sustainable. What measures are you taking to ensure that IES uses sustainable materials tho?
95 Sarah ColeGreat idea! I think this is easy to implement and I don't see why the administraiton would not be willing to. It is definately an action that can be continued for future IES students and will help improve our overall sustainability as an abroad program.
91 seantubridyI was at the welcome party and realized the amount of waste that was left over at the end of the night. If administration is willing to work with you on this, they would be setting a great example to the students on how to think "green" and be eco-efficient. What would the poster look like?
91 SolomonBPIt's a creative idea, and good way to promote sustainable consciousness early on. If you need help communicating with IES Administration, I'd be happy to help since I've spoken with them before through the SC, and the SC could support the event. Let me know what you want to do re:Administration, in the end they'll be the ones responsible for making that happen since we won't be here next semester.
91 steph.eastlakeI think that this is a very creative and necessary action for IES. The parties that IES throws are a great opportunity to make this program more sustainable. My suggestion is that you can make extra incentives for students to come to the party and to be a part of spreading the word about sustainability about the party. A possible idea for this is to have students make sustainability speeches as their action for this class at the party. There could also be eco euros incorporated into this incentive system.
82 vsienkieI like this idea but as well as posters maybe you could make a short speech at the party about recycling to get students attention and get them excited about recycling. Not everyone pays attention to posters.
93 vydraThis is a very good idea. I agree with Chris, this will put the idea of recycling in students' minds as soon as they arrive in Barcelona, which will hopefully lead to increased recycling while they are here. Also, it will be a good refresher for them to take back to the US. These are huge parties, and this is a huge necessity for IES to complete.


 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
1.3 Green Celebrations - Martha May Good Your report, in general. Changing idea for this one, which is important and no one was taking the lead on this. The (1.2) "Why" section. Improvable (1.2) "Eco Effectiveness: Limiting the amount of paper, plastic...". Remember that eco-effectiveness is about no waste (or ALL waste = food). Limiting the production of residuals is more just about eco-efficiency, etc... (1.2.1): S: "supports La Fabrica del Sol, who sell recycled/reusable/biodegradable products". Well, they don't sell those products, but can tell you some providers... W: some others items are missing here. Please, think a bit more, and improve. O: Give some ecoeuros to students who help to collect things to the right "bins" afterwards? If some biodegradable plates and cups are used, they should be sent to the composting bin (the brown one), and therefore, collected separately from paper, plastic, glass, etc. Students helping in that tasks would get some ecoeuros, and start being aware of the whole ecoeuro system of incentives, being able to use those ecoeuros for other actions during the semester!... (some trip for free? using one of the refurbished bikes?, ...). If reusable, then someone has to collect them, and clean them afterwards. More reasons to provide ecoeuros for students taking care of those plates, glasses, forks and knives? Those products can be bought made of durable plastic, and they can last for many years!... T: some others items are missing here. Please, think a bit more, and improve. (1.2.4) "The major cost of this action is time spent working with the administration. From what I have heard 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. In addition you will need to work with Fabrica del Sol 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." Who has done this? This looks to be unfinished. do some calculations with real prices of products, and real numbers of students from last semester (or like 400 students in Spring, and 200 students in Winter; and 50% or 75% of them attending to the parties). You could also coordinate with the students doing the actions about waste collection bins in IES. And maybe a small dish washer is needed to clean those plates and cups, etc in IES Abroad facilities? (in exchange of some ecoeuros back for those students taking that task?) (1.2.3) "In some cases these products will save students and staff money when they purchase them on their own. ". Some calculations? (order of magnitude of savings, under the previous scenarios f numbers of students, etc) (1.3) "The first step is working with the administration. You need to have a plan ....". Who is "you" when you say "you" need to have a plan? And which are the details of the plan that you designed? "Then responsibilities need to be assigned to determine who is arranging to get...". Same as above. Who will assign them? which responsibilities?... Include this information in you action design. (1.3.1) "Recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials do not create waste. They are effective ways of becoming more “sustainable”. By using these products instead of one-time use and throw-away materials at the IES celebrations, waste will be greatly reduced." Well, they are not the same. It's always better to have something reused than thrown away even if it's from a biodegradable material. And "effective" is to produce NO waste. Reducing waste, as you say, is just some measure to increase a little bit eco-efficiency... and remember the criticism to "eco-efficiency" from those saying that it's not sustainable, as discussed in class. (1.3.2.) "If you knew where to buy recycled/reusable/biodegradable utensils, would you consider buying them for your apartment or dorm?" Well, do you mean that students are using disposable utensils in their apartments or dorms(plates, glasses...)? I see this more feasible and important in parties; not in houses, unless they usually offer disposable ones for students (which I doubt; how many places do you know like that?). 1.3.6. "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." I would say, that, unless you convince someone from the staff (maybe some of the faculty advisors?), this action will not succeed in being implemented, unluckily. And this risk is not properly stated in the SWOT analysis. (1.4) January- Contact administration and arrange a meeting. Prepare benefits of using recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials for the large IES gatherings. Contact Fabrica del Sol about the cost of materials. Meet with the administration. February- Make educational posters to be displayed near recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials at the IES parties in order to spread knowledge. March- Continue to update your action page. April- Coordinate picking up recycled/reusable/biodegradable materials from Fabrica del Sol, dropping off, and cleaning up of materials for the IES Farewell party. year? 2011? 2012 even if there is the Fall semester in IES Abroad in 2011??? Who will do each part? Why aren't they done already (like "educational posters"? Come on: do a proof of concept for the farewell party this semester! (May 2011 or whenever they have planned to do it!) Start with glasses for instance, or similar, or plates, etc. with some incentive (agreed with the administration) for the person who takes care of cleaning them all afterwards again (or by making some arrangement with the company bringing the catering, so that there is no waste generated by the party). If problems arise: add them to the swot analysis, etc. References: just two and poorly formatted. Please improve. Providers: Who are you going to buy products to? Which products?
Better with your improvements "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. " You were supposed to do that within your action, and not just suggest that other students (in future semesters) do it. 2nd


Page last modified on Wednesday 04 of April, 2012 17:13:35