By Michelle Lee
During this past week, we have really transitioned into the next phase of our research. Our recommendation report - now in the hands of our stakeholder and the Recycling Coordination team - is finished, leaving the remainder of the quarter for educational outreach and signage experimentation.
We are all excited for our tabling events at the Earth Day Fair and Ecochella, knowing that we can finally reach out to the student body and share our research findings with them. Indeed, one of the most significant recommendations we made in our report was the implementation for a proper waste education program. I mean, as UCLA undergraduates, we were all required to complete the alcohol education program. With the UCLA Zero Waste goal of 2020, how is it that our waste education is not as important? By speaking directly with students, we have the opportunity to inform people about what’s really going on. As the Earth Day Fair approaches this week, we have prepared some fun activities with the Zero Waste Pauley team that will give people a better idea of what is and isn’t recyclable (something that even our team struggles with from time to time). Our Ecochella plans coming up in May will mirror what the ASUCLA ART team put on last year: a clothes swap. (If you're going to Ecochella, think about bringing an unwanted piece of clothing to participate!) We are so grateful to be a part of this environmental movement on the UCLA campus.
Next on the agenda is our makeover of Macgowan courtyard, an area that we found to have atrocious examples of signage, or complete lack thereof. So with this revamping phase comes a revamped name: Macgowan 2.0 - new and improved! But before we get ahead of ourselves, we are planning a new survey to record some baseline data with a set of site-specific questions. Then, we plan on implementing a brand new set of signs (still in the metaphorical oven), based on the previous research of the ASUCLA ART team. By combining the recommendations from the ASUCLA team with the specific problems we noticed in our site, we can create signage tailored for the bin users of Macgowan. After our implementation, we will continue our surveying and will hopefully notice a change in recycling behavior. If all goes well, Macgowan 2.0 could be a really great model for other areas of the UCLA campus. Our goal, difficult and yet so simple, is to find an effective way to get recycling information out to our campus and decrease the amount of material we send to the landfill.