Project A3: Campus Change
Step 1: Brainstorm Campus Pet Peeves
Most of my pet peeves resulted from things I interacted with on a daily basis, as those were the most tangible and personal problems that I saw. Therefore there were three main things that I found wrong about campus were:
- Food waste was very ubiquitous, and frequent around campus
- Excess heating through most of the buildings
- Lack of compost and recycling stations around campus
These problems were an annoyance to me especially in my freshman year as they seemed like very easy fixes, yet there was very little advocation for the problems to be solved. This like the food waste situation and compost and recycling are all essentially gone on most other college campuses and the friends that I have talked to just feel it's because of things like centralized dining halls where you can eat with reusable utensils and close compost stations. I felt that this meant having a more sustainability-oriented mindset and being more conscious of our food habits.
Therefore, I decided to tackle those two problems, to try and minimize food waste and increase proper disposal of waste as well. This problem not only included on-campus residents, but people who are off campus that have food waste. Because of these two populations, I wanted to make a solution that would be able to work both on and off. This solution would significantly decrease the waste of the CMU campus and also create a greener image for the university as a whole.
Step 2: CLA
I also identified the three main stakeholders in this system to be:
Ultimately this issue and the stakeholders involved would lead to a tremendous amount of food waste from the CMU community. If you think about it, people are disposing improperly of meals three times a day. This takes a tremendous amount of waste, and its reduction would significantly decrease the CMU carbon footprint.
Step 3: Brainstorm Solutions
My goal for finding solutions was to not only change the behavior of the students but also form more of a community united for sustainability on campus. With this in mind I formed my ten solutions:
- recycle/compost stations as green light posts (like blue light posts)
- centralized utensil and plate cleaning at FMS
- plate and utensil return system in dorms
- a restaurant that uses campus grown food or local food
- optimize sit-down eating areas (like dining halls)
- eliminate bottled water on campus as well as unrecyclable packaging
- water refill stations with built-in reusable cup washer
- composting facility with a community garden
- system for local restaurants to use reusable delivery containers
- School-provided reusable containers for students wash in dorms
Step 4 & 5: Solution Creation & Refinement
I decided to go with the solution to use reusable containers for on-campus and local restaurants, called DeliveryCircle. The premise of the solution is once the food is dropped off at a house or picked up on campus in the reusable container, the student will return it to locations on campus where they will be transported for washing then redistributed to their respective restaurants. Here are the initial storyboards:
2030 CLA: Here, we see how the solution would affect the mindset and morals of the campus community as well as the behaviors.
This map lists the three stakeholders and how they are affected in a positive way by DeliveryCircle. This was the main part added after the user testing and speed dating.
There would be some disadvantages to all parties, however. For restaurants, they would have to pay for this service, however, ideally with the amount of advertising by the university, this payment is offset and they gain money from it. For the university, they would have to front the cost of the reusable containers upfront, but the lack of necessity to buy disposable containers and the late fees and money from restaurants should compensate for the initial payment. For the students, it would be a slight inconvenience to remember to take the container to campus, but they will get rewards as well as pride for realizing they are helping promote a sustainable campus.
Step 6 & 7: Drafting Presentation
My original presentation started out with the pet peeves I had found on campus and then transitioned over to the CLA of why these pet peeves existed. I then went to show the brainstorm of ideas and the specific one that I had picked. Originally, I was thinking of creating a dining hall that was essentially self-sustaining. However, I realized that this was a very large project for a minimal decrease in waste from the campus. I then transitioned to the DeliveryCircle concept which was much easier to implement and was much more cost-effective. I switched up the intro to my presentation a bit, starting by describing only the issue I tried to solve and then doing CLA on that problem. This provided a more centralized focus and explained more accurately how I developed my solution. I also added the incentives map as well to speak to the practical aspect of the project and how it could be implemented. Lastly, I put in the 2030 CLA to show how the solution change both the behavior and the mindset of the campus community.