The Reuse of Appliances from IES Students
This project focuses on collecting appliances from IES students that were purchased by the students at the beginning of the trip that they either have no more use for or do not plan on bringing home with them. These appliances can range from blow dryers and hair straighteners to Spanish cell phones. The point of this being that in the following semester, when new IES students come to Barcelona and need the same appliances they need not purchase a new device, rather the students will have the option to rent these appliances from IES. This will cost the students less because they will not have to buy a new appliance and the student will not have to worry about dealing with the device at the end of the semester. They will return the device at the end of the semester for students in the coming years to use. This will create a closed cycle, one that has the potential to last a very long time. Also, if IES were to charge each student five Euros per rented device, they can take that money, put it into a fund, and replace any very old equipment with new equipment that again can be rented by IES students.
Every year, hundreds of American students studying abroad buy devices like Spanish cell phones and blow dryers abroad. The reason being that either they cannot get the device in the United States, like the example of the Spanish cell phone, or, bringing things like hair dryers are too heavy to bring with their checked baggage. The weight limit for a checked bag in the US is 50 pounds and bringing something as heavy as a hair dryer is many times not an option. Also, people from the United States are very into consumption and buying things. With that in mind, this project aims to curb that American consumer attitude and inspire a new attitude of reusing perfectly fine devices for the same purpose. This attitude change is critical for the further sustainability of our planet. Moreover, this will reduce the dependency and need for further production of these goods. It will cut back on waste as many people up until this project have been discarding many of their unneeded appliances. This is a very simple project but it is one that makes a lot of sense and is extremely practical. The long term effects of this project make it a very viable option. As mentioned before, in the long run, IES will be able to rent out appliances to students for many semesters as well as replace the appliances as needed with the money collected from other IES students renting devices.
1.2.1 Potential Benefits
The benefits of this project are fairly self explanatory. They reduce consumption by incoming IES students. The project creates a closed cycle whereas the need for more devices is no longer an issue. Also, it benefits the students of IES. Instead of having to buy these devices when the students arrive in Spain, they can rent them from IES and will only need to handle the devices for the duration of their stay with IES as opposed to after that period.
1.2.2 Potential Costs
Monetarily, this project is very cheap to run. The costs will not go much further than purchasing bins for students to drop of their devices at the end of the semester, the cost to store the materials (hopefully in the IES building), and the creation of posters. The biggest obstacle this project will face will be to get IES students to actually donate their unneeded materials. The incentive for an IES student to do this is minimal and it must be done at their own merit. There is a possible solution to this but it ill come at a monetary cost. Perhaps students could be paid five Euros per device they donate. This will come as a one time cost to IES and depending on the number of devices the IES students donate, this money can be made back within a semester or two. Another challenge will be to make all of the IES students aware that this project is taking place. Flyers will be placed around the IES building in an attempt to alert IES students and a mass email to all of the students in the program is also a good solution to this potential issue.
Ideally, the flyers will go up around the school on April 19th. This will give the IES students ample notice of the project at hand and will give all the students an opportunity to plan and read the message. Then, on the concurrent Friday, April 23rd, an email will be sent out to the IES students again reminding them to try and participate in the program or at least keep it in their mind when they pack their bags before leaving Spain. The following week, bins will be placed on the first floor of IES in the area of the academic advisors. These bins will be labeled for small and large items. They will first be placed there on Tuesday April 27th and will remain there until April 29th, which is the last day of finals. Hopefully, IES will afford this project some funding so that students can receive some sort of monetary compensation for giving up their items to IES. At the conclusion of the final day of class, the appliances collected will be organized and stored in the IES building. They will remain there until the following Fall where they will be taken out and rented to IES students who need them. IES could send out emails to incoming students letting them know that some of the appliances they may need will be available in IES for them to rent. It should be stressed that they are cheaper to rent than buy a new product and it is a more sustainable and efficient way of obtaining the desired devices.
1.5 Students Involved in the Action
Andrew Klugman – official leader of the action – spoke to IES regarding monetary incentives for students to drop off appliances, talk to IES about sending emails to IES students reminding them of the upcoming project.
Stephen Frey and Matthew Onorato – helped with this action – in charge of gathering bins to place the appliances in, helped to make the posters that are to be hung around IES, and put up posters around IES to inform the students of the project to be implemented.
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