Reusable Items for future IES students - Chris

1. Action name

Reuse/Resell Items to Future IES Students

1.1. What

What is your action about? Description of the action. This section is not about goals, but about what you have done indeed. So that if you initially wrote the goals of your action when you were planning to do something, you have to update that to reflect what you finally ended up doing.

For the continued action the Resell and Reuse School Supplies program will be extended to all items that students do not want to bring back to their respective countries. When students arrive in Barcelona there are many things they need to purchase (containers, hangars, drying racks, excess cleaning materials, etc) that they will not bring home but can be easily reused by other students. These items also include purses or bags that can be resold or donated to the Humana foundation. The idea of this program is that IES resells these goods to students at a discount price and the revenue goes towards the Sustainability club.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

Justification: Answer this question as clear as possible: "Why your action is improving the Sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona?. Use as many concepts as possible from the ones you learned in this course. Like:

  • Resilience
  • 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)
  • ...

1.2.1. SWOT Analysis

The revenue goes towards the sustainability fund
Products are being reused/recycled
Future students can receive essential products at a discounted price
The goods will only need to be stored for a few weeks before the summer group arrives
If there is a lack of space the items can be recycled
Space- there must be a place to store these products
Time – a staff or student member must be in charge of selling the goods to the summer students because I will not be around at the time in May
Lack of marketing could make students unaware of this service
Students can save money
IES can be known for sponsoring another green program
The sustainability club can fund more projects in future years
Lack of knowledge about the program and future students do not utilize it
There could be a lack of availability of space at IES which would jeopardize the action

(see free_SWOT_analysis_template.pdf)

1.2.2. Feedback loops

Identify potential loops produced by your action (reinforcing, balancing, lagged), and eventually, draw them in a systems analysis diagram if it makes the explanation clearer

Reinforcing Loop
Students recycle their items which are then re-bought by students in future IES programs. The new students have knowledge of the program and therefore sell back their items for future IES students. The loop continues as because students will both buy reused goods from IES and then sell their goods back at the end of the semester for cash.

Lagging Loop
Students who purchase items through the program will continue to down-cycle items for semesters to come and eventually the items will be in a condition where they cannot be used and they will be recycled and then used to create other items.

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

Benefits of any type, in short, mid or long term

College students are always strapped for cash, especially when they are abroad. This program would immediately benefit them by saving them money right when they arrive to Barcelona. I initially spent a lot of money setting up my apartment and I would have definitely utilized a program like this.

IES will also benefit because it will the Sustainability club an opportunity to make money which can be invested back into the club.

Students that are donating their goods to IES will also benefit because they do not feel like they wasted money by owning something for such a short time and they will receive money for their items they sell back.

1.2.4. Potential Costs

Costs of any type: money, time (from Students, from IES Abroad Staff, from external people), human resources, risks...

Time is one cost because the items will need to be sold back to IES students most likely by a staff member or volunteer. Students from the 2011 Spring semester will have already departed for their respective countries so additional help and time will be needed. Another cost is the actual price of the items that the future students are purchasing. However this price will be cheaper than the price of a new good at a local store so it will in fact be benefitting the students in the long run.

1.3. How

Implementation/Methodology. Including a description of the work done so far by IES Abroad Barcelona (listed maybe in the document from previous semester - See links in the Home page), Steps or phases to implement this action in a perfect world and in a real world of the few weeks remaining before YOUR departure back to USA, details for the common Time sheet of all actions, ... Links to the documents you created to support your action (stickers, survey forms, advertisements, notices to hand on IES walls, etc.) should be added here also.

This action will take place at the end of the semester when students are finishing finals and preparing to return home. “Drop off” will be during May 4th and 5th at IES. The drop-off location will be on the first floor study room. Students will drop off their goods during those days and then they will be resold to students during the welcome week of the IES Summer program. The items will then be evaluated and priced by the student in charge of the action and if the items are in a condition where they most likely won’t be sold they will be donated. After evaluation/pricing the items will be brought by the students involved in the action to a location coordinated with Ferran Teres and they will be stored in boxes for future IES students. Whatever goods are not resold can simply be recycled or donated if applicable, donated to Humana (locations listed on Humana page in references). If there is adequate space then items can be stored until the next group of IES students begin their semester.

In order to advertise for this program I will post flyers and update the Facebook page where most IES students are able to see it. Nearly all students utilize Facebook and this can be a great way to spread the word to current IES students but also future IES students.

To determine the cost of items electrical items/appliances will be sold for 10 Euro, drying racks for 5 Euro, five hangars for 1 Euro, small plastic storage containers 2 Euro, kitchenware (Tupperware, etc.) and other items will be at the discretion of the individual that is scheduled to collect that day. The items will be bought for half of the price they are sold for, and the profits go to the sustainability club.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Is the design "Cradle to Cradle" ready? (= did you clearly state what waste will come out of this action, and who/how to handle such waste? paper from fliers wrapped with plastic, plastic containers to collect water from rainfall, ...). In which way the action is designed to have waste not only harmless but becoming food for other processes (technical nutrients)?

This proposed action is based on the principle of reusing or waste = food. Once one item is someone’s trash it becomes another person’s treasure. Instead of the item being immediately recycled, which is not as eco-friendly as reusing, the item is sold to future students. Once the items can no longer be used, no matter how far down the road, they can be recycled. After they are recycled they become “food” for the creation of other items.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

Identify questions to be added to the survey for your action, so that you have objective data to support your expectations, hopes, ...

Are you willing to donate items to IES recycling program rather than pay for shipping to send them home or throw them out?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Analyse the results obtained from the answers to the survey questions, and summarize the main conclusions that you took from it

Are you willing to donate items to IES recycling program rather than pay for shipping to send them home or throw them out?

80% - Willing to Donate
5% - Depends on the Item
5% - I will throw them out
5% - No Response

Students are more than willing to donate their unwanted everyday items for students in the future. This is extremely crucial to the success of the action because it will allow for a diversity of items and increased revenue for the Sustainability Club.

1.3.4. Incentives

Which incentives do you plan to give in order to promote that people participate in your action? Why?

The main incentive for current students is to receive a small amount of money for their products that they would otherwise be throwing out or recycling. The main incentive for future students is the ability to get used goods at a cheap price. Current students also have the incentive to go green by allowing their goods to be reused by future students. IES’s incentive is to obtain money for the Sustainability Club so that they can sponsor more sustainable events.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

What's the relationship of your action with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)? Why?

The money earned from the program will given to the “Sustainability Club” and can be used for future projects or programs. The money will most likely not be a significant amount but any funding is always appreciated.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

In order to have a sustainable action, you need to have designed some way or some person to keep doing whatever tasks are needed for the action to keep it working. Indicate here how is this going to work when you are not here...

The program will initially need to be sustained by a staff member at IES because as stated the students currently enrolled in IES will no longer be around. The program is not difficult to continue in the future because it relies mostly on students to drop off their items on the day of their last final. In the future about three students would need to take part in this action to advertise, collect, and sort out the goods that are collected. In order to store the items coordinate with Ferran Teres regarding boxes and the location of where items will be kept for future semesters.

1.3.7. Document format

If you produced some documents to support your action, did you choose some document format which can be edited with multiplatform FLOSS tools without loosing the layout? [Multiplatform = at least, the main three O.S.: GNU/Linux, Mac OSX & MS Windows]. For instance, for word documents, .odt or similar (odf) is better choice than MS Word .doc/.docx documents, since odt/odf are standards format for office documents recognized internationally by the ISO (ISO/IEC 26300:2006), and editable by OpenOffice, among others (or MS Office with a Plugin). Or for images: .svg for vectorial graphics (editable by Inkscape), or .xcf for bitmaps (editable by GIMP), etc.

The documents will be in the .odt format and .pdf format. That way the documents can be viewed and edited on a variety of operating systems.

Which copyright license do you choose for your report and why? See Session 19

Attribution, Non-Commercial Share-Alike

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

In rows, who does what; In columns, months of the year. In the cells, the codes for each subaction described in the report.

April 25th: Advertise for the program by posting flyers on recycled paper. This will require only one person to accomplish.
May 4th- 5th : Collect unwanted items at IES before/after classes. At least three students switch off class periods and days to collect items in first floor study room.
Welcome Week of future IES sessions: Sell back the items to students enrolled in IES.

This is the equivalent to the "Bibliography" section of a paper, so you are expected to refer to your sources of information here, and not just to provide links for other sources of information that the reader might visit besides the information provided in your report. Books, Websites, Companies offering products, ... including action described by students in previous semesters in their Final paper documents. See links in the Home page

Creative Commons. Creative Commons. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. <http://creativecommons.org/>.

"Store Locations." Humana. Humana Foundation, 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://www.humana-spain.org/TextPage.asp?MenuItemID=73&SubMenuItemID=148>.

Waingortin, Ryan. Resell and Reuse School Supplies and Barcelona Guide Books. Rep. May 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2011. <http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Resell+and+Reuse+School+Supplies+and+Barcelona+Guide+Books&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions>.

1.6. Students involved in this action

Write your names, and if you did not participate equally on this action, state briefly what each one of you did for this action; i.e.: identify which is the "official" leader of this action, who the other participants, indicating the role of each student in the team. Remember that the leader the person in charge that the team work together and all things get done in time; if some member of the team for this action does not do his/her duties, the "leader" is expected to do instead to warranty the success of the action in time

As of right now I am the only person taking part in this action.


 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 18
Grade per actionReviewerComments
90 agluskerI really like the idea of this action particularly because I felt the same frustrations as you when arriving to Barcelona. Hangers and laundy baskets in particular I find are the most necessary items when arriving abroad because usually people prepare for converters and electrical items. It would have to be arranged by IES faculty which could pose a threat to this action. Good job!
82 Brian McNevinThis is a great way to help cut back on the waste created by the IES students. A lot of people aren't going to be able to bring everything and donating them for future use is a great way to get rid of them, but not as trash, displaying the cradle to cradle design. I think that for future semesters I would have separate places to put things like household items, clothes, appliances (converters, old cell phones/chargers, etc.)
90 carlafWhile recycling electronics might be a sticky situation, reusing school supplies is an excellent way of improving the sustainability in IES. People can't actually be trying to bring their pencils, folders, notebooks, etc. back to the US. I, for one, am more inclined to donate all these kinds of materials before my Blackberry (which I would shamefully try and sell before donating).
91 Drew.peroThis is definitely a great idea to help recycle reusable goods while eliminating waste created by IES students. I'm sure many IES students will be willing to donate something as they have more need to reduce some items they have so it will all fit in their suitcase.
91 gnardiThis action is really smart for a number of reasons. I have a feeling that at the end of the semester many people DO throw away appliances that wont work in the U.S. Your opportunity for students to instead donate them is smart and easy for the students to do. I think that once this action starts, it will have a sort of domino effect. What i mean by this is that i think that if arriving students have the chance to buy discount appliances from IES, they will remember how grateful they were for that opportunity and in turn remember to donate their appliances at the end of the semester. I like Brians contribution of separating the different donated items into categories.
96 jschayeGreat idea Chris. I had no idea where to buy things when I first got to Barcelona so if they sold materials at IES I would have for sure bought them.
91 Julia NuttI think that this is a really good idea. Although it is similar to the trash to treasure idea, I like the idea that you are including other things that we need that we had to go out in buy when we first got here that people don't usually think about. Have you though about when these things are going to be stored because IES doesn't want these things taking up space or is there an alternative place for these boxes to be stored? I know I spent more money that I wanted to on school supplies and other housing supplies that I wish I could have purchased from previous IES students at a discounted price!
85 Kmacdonald4I think this is a great idea! When I first got to Barcelona there was a lot I couldnt bring with me and I didnt know where I was supposed to go to get it. I think if students knew before hand that things like hangers/containers/mirrors etc could be purchased at IES it would make packing a lot easier too. I think facebook is a great way to advertise but you also want to make sure that you advertise to the incoming students so they dont purchase new items because of a lack of communication about the project.
81 m.bernsteinIf this action can be pulled off it would be awesome. I know I was on the same page as you upon arriving and needing hangers and stuff and finding expensive ones at corte ingles. I am also doing a collection action and with collection during finals week, students are probably going to focus more on those so incentives are big here. You can also maybe put together some kind of pamphlet that can be sent to future IES students that gives names of places to buy cheap things you are planning to collect as a heads up kind of thing. I think this action would benefit so many people though
86 MarthaMayThis is an inventive idea that has a lot of potential to benefit both students and the Sustainability club. My only concern is that IES may not fully support this project because only the sustainability club will benefit. Maybe give IES a portion of the profits?
91 MbowermanI really like this action because it's great that you also included hangers and containers and other things beyond electronics and hair dryers. IT would be great for students to know before they come abroad that they have this option and it would also reduce a lot of unnecessary waste at the end of the semester.
69 obiajuluThis is a good idea and would definitely fill a need that most students have either to get things they couldn't pack or as a place to get rid of things they can't fit in their suitcases.
96 Sarah ColeI think this is a geat idea, but definately one that needs to be advertised a lot otherwise students will simply forget or will not be interested. Maybe some incentives would help too, people can be lazy!
88 seantubridyI have a lot of things that I dont want to take back to the states with me and I'm sure many others do too. What will happen to the items that are not sold back to IES students next semester? Will they be recycled or kept in storage for the next group of students? Make sure to put up posters to donate and posters for next semester students to buy the items
95 SolomonBPThe SC is doing a major end of the year collection drive, so this would be perfect if you could help with the organization and execution of the collection and redistribution process. IES Administration as of now, doesn't want boxes of stuff laying around between semesters. Therefore, we are going to have to see how much they are willing to hold on to, and redistribute next semester. If it ends up only being the cellphones like usual, then I have two possible organizations, one charitable, and one a school where the supplies would be used by Spanish students, so we have places to bring the collected goods if IES won't keep them. We should talk tho, cause there are a lot of ways the SC could use help in advertising, organizing, and packaging all the collected items.
92 steph.eastlakeI think this is a great action. Having cheaper items that new students can purchase from IES abroad Barcelona will be very helpful for the incoming students. This will save them money and time trying to find things in Barcelona. I think the more that IES can provide students when they come here the better because it will definitely make them better prepared for the semester.
53 vsienkieI think this is a great idea and I think if there is enough advertisement to future students about this action then it will be very successful. Maybe there could be information about it for future students on the IES website.
92 vydraChris, this is a great idea. I think if you carry this action out, it will become very sustainable. The only thing I would make sure to do to ensure the sustainability of this action is to make sure that the program is thoroughly communicated to the students, as often as possible, so they don't forget.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
1.13 Reusable Items for future IES students - Chris Good The design to make some euros for the Sustainability Club (SC), so that other actions could be partly funded by its own means inside the SC. SWOT analysis: very good. Copyright license: good election ... Improvable 1.2.2. Feedback loops "Reinforcing Loop. Students recycle their items which are then re-bought by students in future IES programs. These students have knowledge of the program and therefore recycle their items for future IES students.". I wonder if that's enough motivation to bring appliances or products back to IES at the end of the semester, when everything goes so fast, and the urgency to pack everything uses to make you have less time to bring some things to IES Abroad Barcelona, etc. In past semesters when a program to collect appliances was set (pots to collect them, some posters, emails sent, etc), less than 5 appliances (in total, from 300+ students) were collected. And in our Sustainability course, there were circa around students. Therefore I deduce that there is some weakness in these simple designs of actions related to recovering old appliances for reuse. Maybe a better incentive needs to be added to the action for students to bring some appliances back? If they are to be sold at 10 euro each to new students (assuming that when new, they would cost more), maybe some euros could be given back to students when they deliver back new or old appliances to IES Abroad Barcelona? Would 5 euros back per item would be enough money/incentive but still make the system profitable (10-5= only 5 euros of net euro gain, assuming that we don't have to pay the staff helping to collect and deliver products, and that students participating in the organization can receive 1 ecoeuros instead for each product collected or delivered with their help)? What do you think, Chris? "Lagging Loop": I'm afraid that current hair driers, converters, etc. are not re-cycled, but down-cycled at the most! So it wouldn't be a real reinforcing lagged loop. Anyway, well spotted theoretical lagged loop! (you demonstrated that you understood very well those concepts and that you are able to apply them). 1.2.4. "Another cost is the cost of the items that the future students are purchasing. However this price will be cheaper than the price of a new good at a local store so it will in fact be benefiting the students in the long run. " Related to the previous comment about how to improve the reinforcing loop, you action would be definitively better if you think and suggest some simple system to provide prices for products: 5 euro each? 10 euro each? , or just divided in a few categories (not many), and fixed prices for products which fall within each category. This way, the time invested by staff or students volunteering coud be reduced to the minimum and invested in to productive tasks (just labelling products with their "price" if needed, or so, and not into long and maybe fruitless or discouraging discussions at the beginning of the system, on how to organize the whole action). 1.3. How. "The drop-off still needs to be coordinated with the IES staff. " Please, do your best to coordinate in time, since this is the other big point of potential failure for the action. Nail down all potential issues of weak design before it's too late, so that the problem is where to store or manage so many things! (and not that we didn't collect more than 5 appliances or product back from 400 students). "If IES cannot store these items for future students then I can bring them to a local place where they can be resold to other students. ". Where is that place? if you can share that information, we (students in future semesters) might use it if/when needed. "In order to advertise for this program I will post flyers and a Facebook page where I can invite most of the students from IES." Where is the pdf of the flier? (and provide the editable document, if you want to allow future students to improve/adapt the idea, design, posters for their own needs, provided that your copyright license of that document allows them to do so) "a facebook page"? why not "the" facebook page already created by students in previous semesters? Waste = Food... (do leave information waste there... or create new information waste on the internet...) 1.3.3. Analysis of the survey: see the comments in the 2011a General comments section. Moreover, every year, that was the kind of answer from surveys, but the number of items collected is extremely low. So more care is needed to designs things properly to prevent issues with threats potentially not identified on the swot (or more important than expected). 1.3.6. "Items will be needed to sorted by a student in the future but that will not be time a time consuming process. ". Well, this depends on whether some inventory has to be made, and if different prices are to be set on items collected. What if 300 items were collected, and they didn't fit in just a few boxes under a table of one person of the staff? I wish the design of your action could take into consideration this option, so that if it happens (or hopefully, when it happens), everyone in the staff would know what to do, because you would have considered this option. 1.3.7. Section 'Document format' is empty: just indicate which document format are you using (and if possible, use some standard format). 1.4. Time-sheet: be more explicit with the details of the time sheet. How many people are needed to implement the action this semester? And next semester at the beginning? And who from the staff will be helping/taken the responsibility from the staff? 1.5. References: This section is empty. If waste = food in your action, you could feed (learn) from the corresponding similar design/s performed in previous semesters. And at least to avoid (potentially) reproducing the same errors that might have been produced in the past. And if you do so, you should properly cite their work here.
Some improvements noticed: well done. But it's not clear that this action has been finally performed. Nor that the issues that prevented this action from succeeding have been identified, and solutions taken. Ferran Teres didn't seem to know about most of the things you are talking here in y our action... 2nd

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:16:16