1. Action name
Reusing and Recycling Readers
This action focuses on saving paper by allowing for IES students to place their old readers in bins at the end of the semester so that IES Abroad Barcelona would not have to continue re-printing them. Basically, during the last week of the semester (May 1), students will be able to dispose of their readers into bins located throughout the IES Center. These readers will then be stored, waiting for the next semesters students to arrive and classes to begin. As faculty prepare their syllabus, many of these readers will then be able to be used in future semesters for IES students, without wasting paper by re-printing hundreds of pages. Those lessons that faculty decide will not be used, can then be disposed of properly by being recycled.
1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
- Change in Attitudes
- Reducing dependency on...
- Ecological/Water footprints
- Externalization of costs
- Long term effects
- Feedback loops (balancing / reinforcing, lagged or not)
- SLEN vs. TINA
- Copyleft (CC)...
- Free Software
- "Cradle to cradle" design (Waste = Food)
- Eco-effectiveness (vs. Eco-efficiency)
A study conducted in 1995 by the European Environment Agency revealed that Catalonia produced 1,984 thousand tons of biodegradable municipal waste, while 1,481 thousand tons of that was improperly disposed of in landfills. Biodegradable municipal waste thrown in landfills not only releases greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, but also wastes a valuable resource that can be recycled and used as other resources. This type of waste includes paper.
None-the-less, why throw the paper away in the recycling bin when the additional energy to produce something else need not be used. Hundreds of readers are given to IES Abroad students each semester when they come to study, whether it be here in Barcelona, or elsewhere. Providing bins for students to place old readers so that they can be reused for future students creates an extremely more sustainable IES Abroad because using the readers over the course of several semesters allows for not only longevity of good product, but massive conservation of it as well. This also demonstrates the "Cradle to Cradle" design of waste = food in that the readers that students from this semester place in the bins, or the waste, will become the readers that students from future semesters will be able to use, or the food.
Reusing the readers from semester to semester also displays the eco-effectiveness .vs. eco-efficiency theory. Recycling the paper from the readers would display eco-efficiency because although there would be waste being generated, it is being properly disposed of so that other products may be produced. On the other hand, simply reusing the readers from semester to semester shows eco-effectiveness because there is no waste created at all.
This action would also allow IES to lower their ecological footprint in the long term significantly as reusing the textbooks throughout several semesters rather than recycling them will save thousands of sheets as semester in waste. There is also a balancing feedback loop in regards to this action. Collecting and reordering the readers to distribute to later students means less paper and money, causing IES to collect the readers again.
1.2.1. SWOT Analysis
Saves money by not having to reprint every page from every book
Lowers the amount of waste generated by IES
Readers will be reused for several semesters
Lower ecological footprint
More room in landfills for other formas of waste
Initial cost for bins to put readers in
Takes up space in the IES Center
Takes time to collect and reorder all the readings
Binders cost money
Allows IES to think about setting up bins to reuse other products (clothing, electronics)
Builds community by allowing students and staff outside of the classroom (by collecting and reordering readers together)
Allows IES to inform students of a more sustainable lifestyle (eco-effectiveness .vs. eco-efficiency: find other ways to use items rather than dispose of them
Use binders for ease of transferring readings
Some students may not participate
Overfilling could create a problem with space in the IES Center
1.2.2. Feedback loops
IES collects readers to redistribute -> Less paper and money -> IES collects readers again (This is a balancing loop because collecting the readers for future students means less wasted paper and money, which encourages IES to continue to collect the readers.
1.2.3. Potential Benefits
- Lower ecological footprint
- Saves money
- Lowers waste generated by IES
- Products will be reused
- Encourages students to lead a more sustainable life
1.2.4. Potential Costs
- Initial cost for bins to place readers in
- Time it requires to seperate books
- Storage space
- Binders, hole-punchers
There will be an end of the year event in which all of the readers will be disassembled so that the readers will be able to be reordered for next semester. IES administration has agreed to purchase pizza and refreshments for those that are there to help. IES will instruct the helpers there of the proper way to take the readers apart and properly recycle/reuse the readings. Flyers will be hung informing students who wish to help, although IES has not given a specific date yet as is the reason they are not up yet.
The flyer to be sent to students:
WANT SOME FROM PIZZA?
Come out and help the Sustainability Club recycle the readers for next semester and get some!
Party is TBD. (Obviously this will change when the date is set.)
Come help IES and enjoy some time with friends!
1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design
This action is extremely sustainable and currently ready for the "Cradle to Cradle" approach. The readers that will be collected, will be stored by the IES staff, and reused by students in future semesters, demonstrating the waste = food concept.
1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey
"Do you think that students would place their readers in designated recycling bins at the end of the semester or not? "
In future semesters, this question would be "what do you plan on doing with your readers at the end of the semester?"
1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey
I actually changed my action after the survey was closed, so my current question is not the same, but similar to my old one as they both involve saving paper. According to the survey, approximately 3 out of 4 students would agree to put their readers in recycling bins for reuse by future students. I believe that this is a realistic number being as they would be lowering the waste generated by IES Abroad Barcelona and it is something that is relatively easy to perform. In fact, I believe that with all of IES participating the number would actually be higher.
The answers to the new question would be answered in the future by others taking the survey.
Reusing readers is something that can be very beneficial to the people at IES. For example, one possible incentive to participate is having IES purchase something for the students, such as reusable water bottles with the money that will be saved from not having to reprint the books. Another incentive is for people to realize that they really are making a difference for the environment. Each ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees, 25 barrels of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3 cubic feet in a landfill. However, when you simply reuse rather than recycle, you are really saving more.
1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)
I am currently in talks with Solomon to see if the Sustainability Club would be interested in participating, even if it be posting fliers in the IES Center or sending emails to students.
1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
After the semester is over, there is not much needed to be done. The readers simply need to be stored somewhere until next semesters students arrive, at which point someone at IES will need to organize the readers so that they may be distributed. Then, at the end of that semester, bins will need to be placed out for students to put their old readers in, and the cycle continues.
1.3.7. Document format
This webpage is available in a .html format. The email that will be sent to students was created using using Microsoft with a .odt format.
1.3.8. Copyright license of your report
I am choosing to use the Attribution-ShareAlike copyright license because it gives me credit for the piece, but still allows for others to make modifications.
1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram
Brian McNevin - Will hang flyer and participate in reader disassembling event when a date is given. - Time Unknown
1.5. References & Links
Baxter, Fiona, and Peter Schmigel. "Recycling - How Does Australia Compare?." Nolan-ITU Pty Ltd 2002, 04 2010. Web. 22 Apr 2011. .
Hannequart, Jean-Pierre. "A Priority for Europe." Waste Prevention. N.p., 30 11 2009. Web. 22 Apr 2011. .
"Indicator Fact Sheet Signals 2001 - Chapter Waste." Biodegradable waste in landfills. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr 2011. .
"What a Waste!." N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr 2011. . .populationeducation.org>.eea.europa.eu>.resourcesnotwaste.org>.environment.gov.au>
1.6. Students involved in this action
Brian McNevin performed this action alone.
Assignment 4: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)