The New and Improved EcoEuro - Sean Tubridy

1. Action name

The New and Improved Eco-Euro

1.1. What

~A more feasible plan for the eco-euro. The design of the uses and distribution of the eco-euro that was created in past semesters is flawed and needed serious improvement. The eco-euro is the form of currency to be used in all matters regarding the Sustainability Club. As of now, eco-euros are very difficult to track and manage. There is also a lot of room for corruption and exaggeration of sustainable actions performed.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

  • 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)
  • ...

~This action will improve the sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona by giving students incentives to act in more sustainable ways. If students receive eco-euros for their actions, they are more likely to change their attitude about sustainability. By offering students eco-euros, my action will greatly reduce the ecological and water footprints of IES. Students will habitually turn off the lights, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and use the correct button to flush the toilet. Eventually, eco-euros can be used in some way with SLENs around Barcelona .

1.2.1. SWOT Analysis

Makes students engage in sustainabile actions People could take advantage of the generosity of IES
Informs students of ways they can save energy and resources Completely useless if there is not a dedicated treasurer
Creates a community type of system within IES BCN Difficult to keep track of Eco-euro transactions
Provides a link between Sustainability club and other action plans Communication between IES students and staff is sometimes troublesome
Students can use the currency toward field trips Corruption
IES will become more sustainable Lack of interest in sustainability club
Opportunity to experience how a society can function without cash money
Chance to interact with IES staff and community

(see free_SWOT_analysis_template.pdf)

1.2.2. Feedback loops

Balancing loop: When students conserve energy, the ecological footprint of IES decreases. As the ecological footprint of IES decreases, IES staff will be more willing to allow students to use eco-euros on field trips. If the staff is more generous with eco-euros, students will be more likely to act in ways that will conserve energy.

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

~Both IES Abroad Barcelona and the students can benefit from eco-euros. In order to receive eco-euros, the students will be more likely to act in a more sustainable way, thus reducing the energy IES uses. The students can then use the eco-euros to rent bikes, get produce generated from Woofer day of service, and even get discounted field trips.
~In more detail, everybody benefits from eco-euros. The community benefits by having students invest in local produce, recycling, and biking instead of using public transportation.
~A long term benefit is that students will develop habitual energy saving techniques that they will take back to the states. Another long term benefit is a more complete, functional, and attractive Sustainability Club.

1.2.4. Potential Costs

One potential cost is a monetary cost from IES. By offering students the ability to use the eco-euros to decrease the amount of field trips, IES is losing money. Another cost is the amount of time students will spend going out of their way to engage in sustainable activities such as the optional sustainability club field trips to Can Masdeu and Mas Franch. The treasurer of the Sustainability club will have to sacrifice the most time as it will be his job to regulate the distribution and flow of eco-euros. This will be a time-consuming job, but it will be rewarding. Somebody will also have to edit the tiki page of the Sustainability Club website to record any transactions.
It also takes time to create the advertisements for Sustainability Club.

1.3. How

~The first thing that must be done is advertise for Sustainability Club and for the ways students can benefit from using eco-euros.
~In order for this action to continue and improve in the future, the most important aspect is to have students who are patient, dedicated, and willing to work through the problems that might occur when implementing eco-euros.
~Only members of Sustainability Club can receive and spend eco-euros. This will hopefully increase students' participation in Sustainability Club and draw more people to join on the website. Another reason that only members will be allowed to participate in the eco-euro system is that because the transactions are recorded on the website, each student needs an account on the Sustainability Club website.
~The treasurer of the Sustainability Club will be in charge of recording and monitoring the flow of eco-euros. This is a big job and requires dedication. This student will have to work with Xavi to learn how to use the free software on the website that helps track currency exchanges. This person must also be at each meeting in order to record the eco-euros that students have earned. (The president can do this is the treasurer cannot attend the meeting)
~The eco euros can then be delegated and spent according to this table

President of Sustainability Club +35 eco-euros
VP of SC +35 eco-euros
Secretary of SC +35 eco-euros
Treasurer +35 eco-euros
Attending Video Forum +10 eco-euros
Using a recycled cell phone +5 eco-euros
Bring in a bag of recyclables +5 eco-euros
Attending field trip to Mas Franch +35 eco-euros
Attending Can Masdeu field trip +25 eco-euros
Maintaining and updating SC website +15 eco-euros
Attending SC meeting +2 eco-euros
Attending Woofer day of serive +15 eco-euros
Renting a bike -5 eco-euros/day
Attending field trip -15 eco-euros/trip
Fruit from Woofer -1 eco-euros/item
Leading a bike tour +10 eco-euros
Using a reusable bag +1 eco-euro/week
Using a reusable water bottle +1 eco-euro/week
winning recycling contest +20 edo-euros

~This table can also be found on the Sustainability Club website

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

~There is no waste produced by this action, since the eco-euros will be recorded online in the Sustainability Club website, there is no reason to create or print physical currency. This is not only a tedious task, but it is not eco-effective. It would be a complete waste of paper and people would easily lose their currency. If it is an online transaction, the chances of losing eco-euros is much less likely to happen.
The only waste is my time that was spent improving the eco-euro, which is food for the action

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

My question for the unified survey was about water bottles, so I did not have one regarding eco-euros. However, I spent the a day at IES asking people whether or not they knew what eco euros were. I asked 25 students. I decided not to ask students in the sustainability class, because they obviously knew about eco-euros.

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

~An overwhelming majority of people surveyed said that they had not heard of eco-euros. 21 out of the 25 students I asked had never even heard of eco-euros. This surprised me. Because I am a member of Sustainability Club myself, I know that there aren't too many members who attend the meetings, but I expected more people to know how they can benefit from the eco-euro system. From this, I concluded that there was not enough advertising done to stress how beneficial engagement in Sustainability Club can be for students.

1.3.4. Incentives

~In order for students to join Sustainability Club and participate in the eco-euro program, there are certain "prizes" that students can "buy" with their eco-euros. For example, in the past, I know Cesar Alegre the director of IES BCN has offered to allow students to use their eco-euros to pay for a part of an IES sponsored field trip. I would recommend a max 10% of the cost of 2 pre-selected field trips can be paid for in eco-euros so IES doesn't have to lose too much money. This will be the main incentive for students to participate. However, with eco-euros students can also rent a bike for the day and explore Barcelona in a way that produces zero waste and provides exercise. The students will also have the opportunity to buy home-grown produce that IES received from the students who participated in the Woofer day of service. Students can learn to act in a more sustainable way and get rewarded for doing so.

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

~My action will partner with the Sustainability Club. One of the rules of eco-euros is that in order to be a part of the system, you must also be a member of Sustainability Club. A lot of the management of eco-euros will take place at the end of each meeting. The treasurer of the Sustainability Club will be the one in charge of recording and controlling the flow of eco-euros and will also serve as the liaison between student and staff when the eco-euros are used for field trips.
The tracking of the eco-euros will be included in the Sustainability club website on the Tiki User Credits tab.

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

~The president and treasurer of next year's Sustainability Club will need to emphasize the importance of conserving energy and recycling, and also the benefits of gaining eco-euros. These two students will need to evaluate my plan for the eco-euros and change it as they see fit. Because I have not put my plan into practice yet, there will be kinks that need to be worked out. In order to be sustainable, the action must be resilient and be able to recover from problems and breakdowns. There will need to be a lot of advertising done in the beginning of the year to inform students about the great opportunities they have through Sustainability Club.

Sustainability Club poster

1.3.7. Document format

I used Microsoft Word to make the advertisement and it is saved as a PDF. If necessary, a .odt version can be produced easily. The software (Tiki User Credits) used in the Sustainability Club website to regulate currency is a Free Libre Open Source Software.


This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

I chose this creative commons license so students in the future are free to change and build upon my action plan as they please. In fact, I encourage a student to improve upon my design of eco-euros.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

17/3/2011 23/3/2011 April, 2011 September, 2011
Sean Tubridy Brainstorm eco-euro ideas Finalize design of eco-euros Contact Cesar about exact money he is willing to spend
Next year's SC president Appoint treasurer
Next years treasuer Figure out how to manipulate the SC website and begin recording eco-euro tansactions

Mulrooney, Connor, and Jack Krieger. Eco Euros. Barcelona: n.p., 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

1.6. Students involved in this action

~Sean Tubridy is working on the design of the eco-euro system alone, but the current Sustainability Club president Solomon brainstormed incentives with him.

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

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Items found: 18
Grade per actionReviewerComments
93 agluskerGreat idea. I think making the eco-euro tangible would be fantastic. A lot of the time I find myself questioning what the eco euro is and I have yet to see someone be awarded eco euros. It also functions on the honor system and I believe if we offer more incentive and encourage students to be more accountable for the sustainable actions that this program of eco euros would really succeed. The key to this is rewards and incentive and I think you are on a good start to making sure this is a key facet to eco euros.
91 Brian McNevinSean, this clarified the idea of the Eco-Euro for me. At first, I had no clue what they were even for, but now I understand. I think that the concept of the Eco-Euro is a good idea, but I think for it to really work well in future semesters, there needs to be more incentive for students to participate. For example, personally, I live around the corner from a metro station so I don't think I would be very inclined to use Eco-Euros to rent a bike.
96 carlafEco-euros are crucial in improving the sustainability of IES. I like your new design of the concept. Having them count towards IES-related activities is a great idea especially towards the trips. The only flaw I can find is that relying on the IES administration to determine the value of the eco-euros and what it can count towards could get sensitive depending on what the action was to receive the eco-euros. In other words, if someone donates a Blackberry and someone else donates a cheaper phone, do they receive the same amount of eco-euros?
94 CFaheyI think this is a necessary action but am not sure if it will be enough to change the eco-Euro. Some of the ways to earn EcoEuros still rely on things that are hard to monitor which could be an issue. This is a good action and relates to mine because a potential award for the recycling contest is EcoEuros and now thanks to your action they have a more useful purpose. As your survey stated people arent informed of EcoEuros so this is critical for your action to succeed.
90 Drew.pero I the like your new concept for the eco euros. Having them count towards IES-related activities is a great idea especially towards the trips. Creating incentive and awareness will really help put this idea to work
94 gnardiI agree with Brian, this really gave me some more insight to the idea of the eco-euro. This action is not only important, but it is necessary. As you said, the current eco euro leaves a lot of room for corruption and exaggeration. Seeing as the eco-euro plays such a large part in the sustainability club and the sustainability world at IES, it needs to be fixed. I also think it is important that you realized that the sustainability club needs to advertise what benefits students will receive from using the eco-euro, because as I mentioned early before I read your template I knew very little about the purpose of the eco-euro and its uses.
93 jschayeI think this is good that you are changing some things up for the eco-euro. Is there someone that would be in charge of this all to check up and make sure there is no corruption? I think that is necessary to have an teacher or IES faculty in charge so that no one cheats the system.
90 Julia NuttI think that this is a really good idea,I think that the current set up of eco-euros is very hard to follow and I am confused about how to earn them/use them myself. Students, especially abroad, are distracted with many other things and I think giving them a reason to want to participate with eco-euros by giving them incentives is a really good idea. I think that this will definitely benefit the sustainability of IES and will help to the future abroad students in IES. Your action really helped me understand more about eco-euros because I don't think that they have been described to us enough in class and think everyone was been pretty confused about his concept.
92 Kmacdonald4I completely agree that a new approach needed to be taken regarding eco-euros and this also helped me personally understand the concept a little better. Not only were people unaware of what eco-euros are, those who have them I feel like dont know what to use them for or how. I think your plan is well thought out and the biggest challenge is going to be advertising. I think that if students were to be very well informed and constantly reminded at the beginning of the semester about the program it would be more successful, its just going to take a few committed students to get the ball rolling.
91 m.bernsteinYour action is very informative. I dont think that many students know about this concept and the fact that you created an incentive to get money off class sponsored trips is really good. I think advertisement to inform students is definitely needed becuase im positive only students in this class or the club know somewhat what eco euro system actually is. The idea is great. hopefully you can inform students enough for them to participate
84 MarthaMayI like how you have re-invented the Eco-euros. By using incentives to allows students a reduced price on school sponsored trips is a great idea and will help include all IES abroad students. I also think your section about who will continue this action when we are gone is crucial and makes complete sense to have the treasurer of the Sustainability club continue with the new and improved eco-euros
78 MbowermanThis is a great idea. I think the whole eco-euro thing is kind of confusing and re-working it so students understand the system and what they are really gaining from it will be really helpful for the sustainability club and IES students.
69 obiajuluI think that this is helpful but I don't think that students will use it because no one really uses eco euros now.
96 Sarah ColeI think your new improved ecoeuro is a great idea. I think its great that it counts towards IES related activites because it will encourage more students to participate in sustainable actions.I think its also a good idea that you must be a member of the sustainabilty club to participate because that will draw more participants and more students will become better informed on actions we can take to improve our sustainability.
96 SolomonBPI like where you are heading with this. We should talk more about other possibilities for ways of spending eco-euros that will really interest future students. I think the renting a bike system, might be the best thing to go after. I know many students here who would love access to a bike, and I'm sure they would be willing to perform some sustainable actions or events in order to rent a bike with no monetary cost. Therefore we need a few more ways in which eco-euros can be feasibly obtained in a manner that really interests students, and that as an incentive, there are uses of the eco-euros that will truly benefit students and be a reward they desire.
95 steph.eastlakeI think the eco euro system is definitely a system that needs to be improved and this action shows a great improvement to the system. A possible suggestion would be to add the use of other things that students could use eco euros for. If there was a more extensive list of uses, this might be a bigger incentive to take part in the things to gain the eco euros. Overall I think this is a great action.
79 vsienkieI think your improved eco-euro design is great but I think that in order for it to work and to get more students involved there needs to be more publicity about the sustainability club and the eco euros. I know many people who would love to participate in the eco euro activities but they did not know they existed because there is hardly and publicity about them.
89 vydraThis is definitely something within IES that needs to be improved. I really liked your table of how many ecoeuros students will accumulate with each activity; it was very well thought-out. The only problem I see is with what you mentioned about IES losing money when they allow students to use ecoeuros to aid their payment for field trips. However, I don't think that students will accumulate enough ecoeuros to make IES lose a significant amount of money.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
1.10 The New and Improved EcoEuro - Sean Tubridy Good Taking the lead on this featured and crucial action. Survey: "From this, I concluded that there was not enough advertising done to stress how beneficial engagement in Sustainability Club can be for students. " Your own (non-biased) survey and adequate conclusions from your (small) results: well done! (much better than nothing for sure!, even if you know that 25 over nearly 400 are not many, but if non biased, they might shed some light in the right direction, specially when the results are so clear already!) Improvable 1.2.2. ecological footprint is difficult to measure by IEs Abroad barcelona staff. Why not just the energy or paper bill? (paper bill seems the easiest to focus on and evaluate after some time) Why not also with paper in the paper recycling box? Some how to trust students, and give them some ecoeuros for each single sided paper that they find and recover to some special bin to be re-used. any other student might report that some student is faking the system by artificially printing single sided papers, etc. Or similar. What do you think? 1.2..3. "and even get discounted field trips. " It would be great if you could get some written committment to do that by IES Abroad Staff with some specific trip for next semester (besides the trip about Permaculture for ESSO350 students). 1.3.1. "since the eco-euros will be recorded online in the Sustainability Club website, there is no reason to create or print physical currency. This is not only a tedious task, but it is not eco-effective. It would be a complete waste of paper. ". I'm not so sure that the only-electronic currency would work. There high risks that people don't get or pay what they have to, if only one person is to be in charge of the whole accountancy system. For instance, investigate why didn't it work this semester? The software was ready, and some list of ecoeuros was produced, but no ecoeuros were given, nor used, as far as I know. Why not? Learn from the past, to avoid repeating the same errors in the future... 1.3.4. Incentives: "I would recommend a max of 15 eco-euros per person per trip so IES doesn't have to lose too much money. In my opinion, I feel that this will be the main incentive for students to participate. However, with eco-euros students can also rent a bike for the day and explore Barcelona in a way that produces zero waste and provides exercise. The students will also have the opportunity to buy home-grown produce that IES received from the students who participated in the Woofer day of service. " 15 ecoeuros would be enough? I would say, why not up to 50 ecoeuros (if IES Abroad Adminsitration or Director agrees) Rent a bike for the day: find out if they agree to rent the extra bike that I gave the IES BCN staff. When not used, that could be used for rental in exchange of ecoeuros! Good idea. The main handicap, here, is (as far as I know) to get agreement by the person at the ground floor (his company in fact) , since he said that his company doesn't allow getting in/out bicycles which are not foldable. So maybe, look for foldable bicycles for next semesters at the rebiciclem workshop, if that is the only solution to allow renting bikes to students with ecoeuros? See the bicycle at the terrace (one pic at the sc website since today April 6th 2011). product from wwoofer activities. The students re-designing them didn't consider the option from the former design: (half the basket is for the SC). Talk to them to convince them to cooperate with the ecoeuro system. As well as with many other actions that could benefit from the ecoeuro incentive system, but they didn't include it in the actions (yet, at least , before you talk to them, I mean ) 1.3.5. SC: I wonder if the software we have is easy and friendly enough, or too complicated compared top others (such as the CES: http://www.community-exchange.org ) 1.3.6. "There will need to be a lot of advertising done in the beginning of the year to inform students about the great opportunities they have through Sustainability Club." Create some document for advertisements, so that it's easier that this happens next semester in time. And suggest when & how this advertisement would be done. Remember that advertisement of ecoeuro system has been oe of the big failures for this present semester (students from past semester didn't identify this as a big threat, proportional to the weakness of the action this semester from the former design). 1.3.8: cc logo & widget: ask me how to produce this using simple wiki sytnax, or sourround your html code between { HTML()} { HTML} tags (without spaces), and tell me to validate this plugin call. (pure html code needs validation from a teacher since it can be used to get access to the server and do nasty stuff). cc: by. See note on the 2011a General comments section. 1.4. Ok, However, I foresee that we still need someone to assess which software is going to be better suited for such task, whether Tiki User Credits (the current one in SC website) or CES ( http://www.community-exchange.org ) . You Sean have been granted more permissions on the SC website to test the features there. Move your new table of ecoeuros (once is done and you will confident with it) to the SC website: http://club.iesbarcelona.org/2011+EcoEuro 1.5. The link to the page form last semester is: http://iesbarcelona.org/esso350/EcoEuros+-+The+IES+Abroad+Community+Currency but you'd better cite it as a book: author, title, year, plus url, etc.
Congratulations for the action and report. Citation of the software, and its documentation? For instance, you could get the information from the url: https://doc.tiki.org/TUC 2nd

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