Trash to Treasure - Advertisement

1. Trash to Treasure - Advertising

1.1. What

 This action is designed to create a system in which previous IES students can donate all electronic devices so that future IES students can borrow them for their semester at IES Abroad Barcelona. All electronics that can only be used in European outlets can be collected. Students would essentially be borrowing these devices from the program. A small deposit will be paid by the students as a renting fee that will be returned at the end of the semester. Working in accordance with Jenny Schaye and Stephanie Eastlake for this action, advertisement, inventory, and packaging/ storing will we covered. This part of the action will focus on the advertisement aspect with in IES Barcelona.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable? 

Electronic waste or e-waste may be the number one issue when concerning to waste management in the 21st century due to the rapid technology change, low initial cost and planned obsolescence. Not only is there concern with environmental and health issues from e-waste but space it takes up in the overcrowding landfills is also an issue. It is estimated that a single cell phone is typically used for only 18 months, a short time span for a phone to become obsolete.

Many students come abroad with the intention of buying a phone in Barcelona to use only during their stay here. Many students also buy beauty devices, such as straighteners, hair dryers and shavers; along with converters. When the students return back to the United States at the end of the semester all appliances become unusable so they throw perfectly good and working devices away. This whole process that takes place by at least half the students in the IES Barcelona Abroad Program is very wasteful. Re-using of these devices is better than recycling them. Though both concepts might include the idea of "cradle to cradle", where waste items to one person becomes a new item for another, re-use does not add to IES Barcelona Abroad's ecological footprint by producing physical waste.

There are both direct and indirect effects on sustainability strictly from advertisement. However, change in attitude can happen through advertisement. Advertisement concretely gets a point across. If emotions are evoked/ impacted from an advertisement people tend to stop and rethink what they are doing. Statistics really help to evoke an emotional response and lots of advertisements use that. In case of this action, statistics (stated below) will be used to draw peoples attention and persuade them to care to donate their appliances at the end of the semester.

INFORM, an environmental research organization partly funded by the EPA estimates that nearly 130 million cell phones are discarded every year in the United States alone. Besides the space that those millions of cell phones take up in our already full landfills, the amount of toxic chemicals they are putting into the environment is very hazardous. Toxic chemicals in e-waste may include arsenic, brominated compounds used as flame retardants, lead, nickel, beryllium, mercury, and cadmium. Most of these compounds are listed by the EPA as "persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic chemicals. They warn humans that most of these compounds have the ability to cause health defects, including damage to the nervous system, reproductive and development problems and some forms of cancers. They chemicals enter the environment (contaminating soil and water) when the rainwater leaches the materials out of the landfilled devices. 

Advertisement can also be considered a reinforcing loop because as advertising goes up more people are educated and as more people are educated more people will want to donate and the higher the success rate the more advertisement will be put out there.

This form of advertising; using paper flyers as well as an email will be done in a sustainable way. The first is the cradle to cradle design that is incorporated into this part of the action by the fact that when the flyers have no use anymore they will be recycled into the bins that IES has to be used again by other faculty and students to print one sided papers. Also the fact that an email is being sent out as well is limiting the amount of paper that this action is using.

The indirect effects that advertisement will have is the fact by educating people on the problems of e-waste students will hopefully donate their unwanted appliances and devices to IES to be reused (cradle to cradle design incorporated) which in return will slowly start to decrease IES Barcelona Abroad's ecological footprint by decreasing the amount of appliances/ devices that are thrown out by the approximately 390 students that are studying abroad through this program each semester. By recollecting and reusing less e-waste will be taking up space in the overfilled landfills. Advertisement, by the way of provoking emotional responses could have long term effects on eco-efficiency by creating an eco-effective program through IES Abroad Barcelona. If a simple advertisement each semester has the ability to draw students to donate then ways are changed which means as a whole IES Barcelona will slowly become more and more sustainable.


1.2.1. SWOT Analysis


'' Strengths"

  • best way to inform people in IES about the collection process
  • can be considered a positive causal link ;the more advertising, the more people know, the more appliances collected
  • print advertisements are concrete and easy to understand
  • it gets the point across easily
  • reaches a wide variety of an audience



  • most students dont stop and read the bulletin
  • students tend to delete the mass emails from IES before reading them
  • print aids waste paper (see opportunity)


  • enlighten students on a great opportunity to take part in
  • educate students about the cradle to cradle design and how certain items can be reused
  • whole action has the ability to use the ecoeuro system 
  • opportunity to use the already recycled paper for the aids


  • might not draw students attention enough for them to donate


(see free_SWOT_analysis_template.pdf)

1.2.2. Feedback loops

hanging of advertisements -> an increased number of people that know about the collection -> more people able to donate > more donations of appliances for future semesters -> less e-waste by IES Barcelona Abroad students crowding the landfills (in order to close the circle if more waste is produced then more advertisement about the issue is needed)

* this loop would be considered a balancing loop with 3 positive casual links and 1 negative casual link.

hanging of advertisements > increases the number of paper used > more paper available to be recycled with in IES Barcelona Abroad > less waste produced > less advertisements needed

*balancing loop with on negative link

hanging of advertisement > increases peoples awareness of the action/ collection >more people educated to donate > increase donation > higher success rate> the more advertisement put out their for future semesters

* this loop is also considered a reinforcing loops

the higher the success rate of donations from advertising > less advertisement is needed > less paper, ink, energy and resources used --> decrease in IES Barcelona Abroad's ecological footprint


1.2.3. Potential Benefits

- has ability to provoke an emotional response in readers which is similar to changing attitudes

- has the ability to educate students on the increasing problems of e-waste

- is a concrete and visual way to get a strict point across

- inform students they have the opportunity to give back to IES Barcelona Abroad

- speaks to a wide variety of an audience from a single paper

- has indirect of effects on eco- efficiency and eco-effectiveness

1.2.4. Potential Costs

- if the advertisement does not draw students attention a potential cost could be that no devices are donated

1.3. How

Since my part of this action is the advertisement aspect, I have (see under documents) made a flyer that will be hung on every floors bulletin board in the building starting April 1st. The advertisement includes the idea of collecting all appliances/ devices at the end of the year and all information of who to contact and where appliances/devices can be dropped off. The same time that the flyer goes up, I am planning on sending a mass email to all the students in the program with the same information. I have talked with Ferran Teres, who was in charge of the cell phones last semester, who said he would forward my email to Cesar to have it looked over and if approved he would email it out to all the students in IES Barcelona Abroad. Another reminder email will be sent the week of April 18th stating that bins will be set around the building the following week for collection and that collection will close on May 6th.

below are copies of the emails sent between Ferran Teres.

Hi Ferran,

My name is Megan Bernstein and I am currently studying abroad through IES Barcelona. I have spoken to you about forwarding Cesar my advertisements to be approved so I can hang them around the building for the recollection of electronics. I have attached both my advertisements along with what i would like the email to say that you kindly volunteered to send out to students. Thank you so much for your help.
Megan Bernstein
this is the email i would like you to forward if approved.
Hi Megan,

thanks for your advertisments. We think it is a great idea. The only thing is to determine which specific bins are to be used. If we say all bins are for use, I think we will have trouble collecting the appliances. Let me see if we can provide specific bins.

All the best,

Ferran Terés
Student Affairs Assistant
IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students)
Ronda Sant Pere, 5
Barcelona, 08010
Hi Ferran,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Another student is taking care of the actual collection. Her name is Stephanie Eastlake and should have been in contact with you about the bins. If you could send out an email for me to the all the students of IES Barcelona reminding them of this collection that would be really helpful.

this is what the email should say:




Students in IES are designing are designing a collection drive of all electronic appliances and devices that are going to be no use to you upon your departure from Barcelona.

WHEN: April 26th to May 5th

WHERE: bins on all floors of the IES building

questions: email Steph Eastlake @


thank you so much for all your help,
Megan Bernstein 
Hi Megan,

thanks for your email. We were thinking that a better option would be for the students to bring down their devices to the 1st floor. We don't really want to go looking into the bins every day before the cleaning lady tucks it away. I changed the place where they should deposit the stuff in your text. Please let me know if that's alright with you and I will send out the email.

Thank you!

All the best

*** the email to all of IES Barcelona Abroad students was sent out on April 27th, 2011 and is shown below.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Though it is very unsustainable to print large quantities of advertisements (for the sole purpose to get the word across about this action as a whole along with to draw the attention of as many people as possible) all printed advertisements will be discarded in the recycling bin near the computers of IES. Since the advertisement will only be one sided this paper can be re-used by other teachers for their classes. This design portrays the cradle to cradle design because what becomes waste (the old advertisements) can be used as new paper for future printed items.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

The survey did not incorporate a question that pertained to this action about advertising because this action was redesigned prior to the completion of the survey. 

However, the question that i did put in was about the collection aspect of the action and was as follows: 

Did you think of asking a friend or relative if they owned converters or electronic appliances before buying new ones for your abroad experience?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

The results from my question previously stated above was basically split 50/50 between yes and no. 45% said no, 50% said yes and 5% said they used their family's converters. Since 20 students only took the survey the results aren't too reliable because there are far more students than just 20 in our program and their answers would of changed these percentages. If I could add more questions to the survey to better my action the would focus more on the advertising aspect. For example:

How many times a week do you stop and read the extra curricular bulletins in the IES building?

What type of advertisements really catch your attention enough for you to stop and read the information printed? 

I would also like to ask that 50% that said yes they did ask a friend or family before coming abroad what the outcome was and if they found pre used converters or if they had to buy new ones when they got here.

No direct conclusion can be made by the answers from the survey questions and more research and participation should be carried out for better results.


1.3.4. Incentives

Statistics seem to grab peoples attention and make them interested if it some how reaches out and affects their lives. My advertisement not only will hopefully catch students eyes in passing by the creative design it contains but change their perspective of re-use emotionally by the statistics about how much e-waste is collected each year and the harmful effects that go along with it. For example, the fact that a single cell phone becomes obsolete within 18 months and on an average 130 million cell phones are discarded each year in the United States alone. Also that because most appliances/ devices are discarded into landfills possibility of leaching of arsenic, brominated compounds used as flame retardants, lead, nickel, beryllium, mercury, and cadmium; and that fact that most of these compounds have the ability to cause health defects, including damage to the nervous system, reproductive and development problems and some forms of cancers. 

An incentive to want to carry out this action in future semester is that advertisement gives a person a chance to voice their opinions on a passionate topic, use their creative side and obtain of feeling of self worth by organizing with administration for the prosperity of this action. The eco-euro system will also be used in this action. The person designing the advertisements in future semesters will receive 2 eco-euro per advertisement and email designed.

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

The advertisement for this action will be printed in the sustainability club news letter to gain more students attention.

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

This part of the action will be over and taking place before the end of the semester. Like I said in my time line April 18th will be the last mass email that will be sent to all of IES Abroad Barcelona in order to remind them of the upcoming week in which the bins will be out for collection of all appliances and devices that are otherwise going to be discarded at the end of the semester.

1.3.7. Document format

The document format that was used for my advertisements were Microsoft word using .doc. Both are attached below. Emails were sent via the IES Barcelona Abroad alias by Ferran Teres. This page is available via .html.

below is advertisement 1:

sustainability - ewaste advertisement 1.doc

below is advertisement 2:

sustainability- ewaste advertisement 2.doc

email sent to all students






Students in IES are designing a collection drive of all electronic appliances and devices that are going to be no use to you upon your departure from Barcelona.


WHEN: April 26th to May 5th

WHERE: Administration, First Floor IES Building

questions: email Steph Eastlake @


1.3.8. Copyright license of your report

CC BY Share alike: This license is flexible in the sense that it allows other students to remix, tweek and build upon my original work as long as they credit me for the advancements they made. The other thing that must take place is that they must license their new creation under this copyright license, this in return will allow for commercial use. 

I would pick this license because action designs are not flawless. Until they are physically carried out nobody knows if they are going to be successful; and if not successful things are going to need to be changed for future success. If at the end of this semester my advertisements and emails did not draw enough donations from IES students then a better designed advertisement and emails will need to be used in the future for a better success rate. I also agree that all information posted on this wiki page should be free for any future IES student for this action to be implemented in the future. 

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

Date By Who What

time third week of second month second week of third month last week of third month first week of last month
action create advertisement and speak to administration about approving your advertisement hang first advertisement and send out first email hang second advertisement and send out reminder email take down advertisements and recycle the paper

for example:

March 21- Spoke to Ferran Teres about his contribution to this action and about how to send out a mass email to inform students as one part of my advertisement.

March 25- Send an email to Ferran Teres who will forward my email to Cesar for approval to hang up in the IES building

April 1st-To hear back from Cesar and to have approval of what is printed on my advertisement along with what is written for the mass email to be sent out 

April 4th-Put advertisement posters up in the IES Barcelona Abroad building and send out a mass email to all students with an advertisement

April 18th- Send out a reminder email that is different from the first one that now gives dates of collection time and where the bins will be located throughout the building

May 5th - take down advertisements and recycle them in the recycled paper bins throughout the IES building

* the continuation of this action aka the collection and the inventory part will be carried out by Steph Eastlake and Jenny Schaye (see their pages Trash to Treasure collection and inventory).

*distribution of the collected materials will be carried out by Ferran Teres next fall semester for future students

1.5. References & Links

Jeantheau, M. (2003). Cell Phone Issues. Grinning Planet. 19. Web. 21 Apr 2011.

"The Problem of Electronic Waste and the Prospects of E-Recycling". (2011). Whats With the Climate. Web. 21 Apri 2011.

"Problem of E-Waste". (2010). Computer Recycler. Web. 22 Apr 2011.

"What you need to know". (2003-2011). Greener Choices. Web. 21 Apr 2011.

1.6. Students involved in this action

Megan Bernstein- advertisement/ consulting with the administration in IES (leader)

Stephanie Eastlake - inventory 

Jenny Schaye - packaging/ storing/ handing everything over to IES at the end of the semester 


 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 16
Grade per actionReviewerComments
94 Drew.pero
93 seantubridyAdvertising is key to a lot of the actions here, but probably most vital to the trash to treasure action. Students need to be made aware of the donation boxes early in the semester before they start getting ready to leave. I like that you are both posting ads and sending an email as well. That way, all students will have a chance to see the ad. The only thing i would change is to make the document in an .odt (open document text) format, which is a format that will work on FLOSS software.
93 Julia NuttAs I mentioned to the other people doing "trash to treasure," I think that this is a very good idea. I think it is a good way for students to get rid of their electronics that they no longer will have a use for once they return home. I thin that the advertisement is catchy. I think that students need to me informed about this well in advance so that they will have time to think about what they are willing to donate. You need to think about where the appliances can be stored between sessions of students because I know that IES doesn't want them taking up extra space. Overall, this is a very good idea and will help to benefit IES and reduce the amount of trash as well as saving student's a good amount of money.
94 Brian McNevinAs I said before for the other two pages linked to this action I believe this is essential to improving the sustainability of IES. These advertisements are a great way to get the word around too! They are concise, easy for students to see and read, and creative. As for the advertisement section of this action, I believe everything is fine and I wouldn't change anything.
92 Kmacdonald4Great idea and easy for all IES students to participate. I think in order to minimize paper waste you should concentrate on advertising through email as opposed to using paper flyers. Personally I very rarely read all the flyers on the IES bulletins and am more likely to read a quick email sent to my account. I like the use of red and large font because I think it will attract attention and hopefully encourage the students to read the entire flyer/email. Overall I think this action will be very successful because it requires minimal effort for students
97 Sarah ColeGreat idea to advertise this action more otherwise I don't think many students would participate. The advertisements are creative and quick and easy to read. The only downfall is that it will cost and waste paper to make copies of the advertisements.
100 MbowermanI really like the advertisements. It would be great if IES could get this running and keep it running. I think a lot of students would take advantage of it and I wish it had been up and running when I first got here!
94 CFaheyI think that this action is very important and one of the initial threats was lack of advertisement but these posters are both informative and to the point so I think they will be successful. Another idea would be to advertise on Facebook due to the increased popularity of social networking sights. Looking forward to contributing.
87 vsienkieI think the flyer is great and really gets your attention, but is that the most sustainable way? That would use up alot of paper..maybe make a few huge posters that can be hung in IES to get the students attention? Also, dont forget about letting the students who are coming to Barcelona next semester about this program BEFORE they purchase new appliances. I know that I bought my appliances before I arrived in Barcelona and this program would have saved me alot of money.
90 agluskerI think this is a great idea in theory, however I think the idea of using paper advertisements is counterintuitive to your action. Maybe sending an email or something eco efficient would be more productive and follow the goals of your action: to reduce waste. However, your presentation and thought process of this action was extremely creative and you obviously did a great job of collaborating with your other classmates!
88 jschayeI think this was well done but maybe to add to the advertisement you could put some of the advertisements into students mail boxes. That would guarantee the students to see the advertisement. To make it more sustainable you could be it half a page so that you aren't using too much paper to do this.
93 SolomonBPJust want to remind you that the SC is planning on doing a collection drive at the end of the semester, so we can help with all the electronics you guys collect. Since IES Administration doesn't want boxes left in the building, the SC is working out what to do with the boxes so that they are either taken care of until next semester, or redistributed within Barcelona. We will need help advertising for the event tho, so if you could make signs for the whole drive, that would be awesome and then we'll take care of the boxes once all collections have been made during the last week.
91 vydraLike I mentioned to the others you are working with, I think this is a great action that can be sustained very well. I think it is great that you are putting a faculty member in charge of keeping the program running next semester, as banking on students next semester to continue it might be a little less reliable.
80 obiajuluThe signs are eye catching and directly to the point.
95 MarthaMayThis aspect of the Trash to Treasures action is very well developed and you are ready to implement this action with your great posters! I wouldn't do anything to re-design this action.
88 gnardiThis part of the trash to treasure action is important because advertising is necessary for any action to really work. It seems that the author of this action has worked through all the necessary steps to properly advertise. I liked the email that will be sent to all students, it really grabbed my attention.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
1.5 Trash to Treasure - Advertisement (Megan) Good The whole report in general 1.2. The Why section in particular: very well justified the importance of working well the advertising and how to do it. 1.2.2. Well identified the first (balancing) feedback loop! 1.3. Very well for contacting some staff (Ferran Teres, and Cesar through him) to check your email draft and potentially send it to all students. 1.3.3. Adapting questions for the survey for the modification of your action (more into advertising, after some point of this semester). Good interpretation of what we can deduce from that small answer set for the unified survey for this semester. Improvable Unify names: Advertising or Advertisement: but just one title. layout of the SWOT table. You could have left it as simple text, or used wysiwyg (as other students did after they requested me how to solve the display of tables. 1.2. "Advertisement can also be considered a reinforcing loop because as advertising goes up more people are educated and as more people are educated more people will want to donate and the higher the success rate the more advertisement will be put out there." It's not clear that this process will go like this. Couldn't it be that the higher the success rate, the less the advertisement needed? (it costs money, resources and/or time) "Also the fact that an email is being sent out and not flyers in student's mailbox is very sustainable because less paper will be used through the process." I wonder which has more impact on people's eyes/minds/change of attitude: one email, or one paper printed and posted somewhere, where students can see it many times a week (at least). In this example, I'm not sure whether an email is better than some posters around in strategic places, or some small flyers with strategic information. "devices that are thrown out by the 450+ students that are studying abroad through this program each semester.". Where did you take this number from? As far as I know, we are less than 390 students this semester, and Fall is less crowded than Spring. 1.2.1. S: "positive casual link" or "positive causal link" W: "waste paper from printing the ads to be hung up (which is unsustainable)" Not clear why this is unsustainable. To start with, couldn't you just re-use some paper? Or just use some new paper (if needed)? Paper is biodegradable and will come back to nature. Much more unsustainable is not succeeding with the needed project "Trash to Treasure". O: Use the ecoeuro system of incentives 1.2.2. "hanging of advertisements > increased number of paper used > more paper available to be recycled with in IES Barcelona Abroad > less waste produced > less advertisements needed. this loop is also considered a reinforcing loop with 2 negative causal links" Very well identified the loop, but not the type of loop: it's balancing, with just one negative causal link (the one at the left of "less waste produced"). 1.2.4. Risks are not costs. They should be related to the costs associated to the hypothetical case of that risk happening for real. 1.3.2. You action is about advertising and its effect. The question in the survey should be mainly about it (advertising), not just about donating with no reference to the advertising part. 1.3.4. Incentives. "An incentive to want to carry out this action in future semester is that advertisement gives a person a chance to voice their opinions on a passionate topic, use their creative side and obtain of feeling of self worth by organizing with administration for the prosperity of this action." How do you know that this is going to be attractive enough for other students? This is something to be asked in a survey, to have some idea about the foreseeable answer by students Why not using the ecoeuro incentive system? 1.3.5. Sending emails to students should be coordinated, and the sustainability club (newsletter action) is the perfect way to have that coordination. 1.3.7. "This is advertisement 1: The original copy has a stop sign and the text underneath is in black however both could not be pasted on this page. The original copy is what will be hung". Attach the original copy inside the page. There is an icon at the toolbar which will let you upload a document, and link it as attached from the page. Ask in class if needed (I will show to all of you at once). email: "Students in IES are designing are designing a collection drive..." "are designing" is duplicated. 1.3.8. Copyright license: "CC BY. (...) I also agree that all information posted on this wiki page should be free for any future IES student for this action to be implemented in the future.". The best license for that is not cc-by but cc-by-sa. Check creative commons website (see link and comment under the 2011a General Comments page. 1.5. Provide full details of the references. And why not reusing the posters already designed in previous semesters? Waste = food... Cite them, at least, as past work done in the same area. Provide some picture about the posters hanged in a wall, or a student reading them?
Congratulations for the improvements!2nd

Page last modified on Wednesday 27 of April, 2011 23:31:41