1. Recycling Electronic Appliances
The goal of this action is to create a system through which IES students can rent, return, and recycle used electronic appliances. This includes hair dryers, extension cords, fans, chargers, converters, and any other appliances that become obsolete once students leave Spain.
Since many students have bought new electronics that function on the European power wattage system, there will be no use for these European gadgets back in the United States. Most of these European devices work perfectly fine and are in great condition after only a few months of use. It will save the incoming IES Abroad Barcelona students time and money if they choose to use a recycled product. By reusing these products, the students will also be reducing e-waste. Also, through using one of the recycled devices students will have the ability to earn EcoEuros which they will be able to use in exchange for trips, reusable water bottles, and reusable grocery bags.
Many of us bought new electronics upon arrival, which will most likely be thrown out or become obsolete at the end of the semester. If IES had an electronics recycling program, it could reduce its output of e-waste and encourage students to reuse rather than to buy new. This program raises awareness and encourages students to take responsibility for their waste now, rather than burdening others in the future.
This method follows the concept of cradle-to-cradle rather than cradle-to-grave. If students are recirculating their electronic goods, then this will keep the electronic goods from becoming landfill waste. Even if new students do not want to reuse an electronic appliance, at least they have the choice to in order to help reduce the human impact on the earth. This would be beneficial for all parties involved: used electronics would be more affordable for incoming students, the Sustainability Club would be able to raise more funds, and IES Barcelona would reduce its ecological footprint.
1.2.1. Potential Benefits
1. Reduced e-Waste as students are donating electronics rather than disposing of them improperly.
2. Reduced ecological footprint of IES Barcelona.
3. Students save money by purchasing used products.
4. Sustainability Club has more funds to promote past, present, and future actions.
5. A heightened level of awareness about e-waste and its impact on the environment.
6. Reusing items keeps them local. Disposing of any waste, especially electronics, generally places the burden on others in another part of the world. This action promotes recycling within IES Barcelona, therefore preventing externalization of these items, at least temporarily.
7. Reducing dependency on shiny new products from large, chain TINA stores.
1.2.2. Potential Costs
1. Time: for advertising the program, for collecting goods, for selling goods, and for donating or disposing of unsold items
2. This action may not have as much resiliency as others, because it requires implementation by a centralized party: the Sustainability Club. If the club disintegrates, the action will cease to exist.
Students will donate to IES any eletronic devices that they plan on throwing away. This can be done in one of three ways: students can bring items directly to IES, they can give their items to any Sustainability Club member, or they can give the items to their RAs to bring down for them (RAs are already required to visit students, so it should not be too much of an inconvenience).
Donated items can then be purchased for a small price, which will be determined by the quality and condition of the item. All proceeds will go directly to the Sustainability Club and may be used for current and future actions. This will make the action more valuable to the club and ensure its longevity. Students will also receive EcoEuros for their sustainable action of helping to preserve the environment and stop electronic waste.
Advertising for donations should take place beginning a month before the end of the term to allow ample time for students to gather and donate their goods. Advertising for selling the collected items should ideally begin prior to students' arrival in Barcelona and continue through all orientation sessions. We will raise awareness of this program by posting on the Sustainability Club Facebook page, as well as posting advertisements on the existing IES Facebook group. For example, a member of the Sustainability Club will post basic information about the item for sale: the type of product, its condition, and the price for which it is being sold. Haggling for the used products is also acceptable to ensure that items will, in fact, be sold.
If there are any items that go unsold, the Sustainability Club can either donate them to charities (see references below) or dispose of them properly.
1.4. References & Links
http://www.ewaste.es/ - Information on how electronics are disposed of in Spain, and what is being done to ensure the existence of proper infrastructure and treatment.
http://destronix.com/english/index.htm - A Madrid-based company whose goal it is to help recycle out-of-use electronics.
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Wasteandrecycling/DG_069060 - Helpful recommendations and links for donating and reusing electronic goods.
1.5. Students involved in this action
Annie Mickle (Leader)
Conner Mulrooney - ideas about what, why, and benefits, incorporation of EcoEuros
Assignment: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)