Monday, October 19, 2009

A Central Hub for UT Green Groups

Existing iPhone apps that share similarities with our proposal.

This slide reinforces how disconnected the "green" groups on campus are. They lack a central hub for communication.

This is currently UT's "Sustainability" webpage:

Mock-ups for the website and iPhone app proposal.

A chart that displays unique and shared features of the website and iPhone app.

Zoom Out

"Zoom Out" proposes to implement a more interactive and clear map for college students and staff. Taking the notion of students changing their priorities and areas of focus as they grow in classification, and comparing it to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, "Zoom Out" has categorized this information into 3 stages: the "sponge" stage, the "bouncy ball" stage, and the "rocket" stage. The first stage is the "sponge" stage. This is where students (freshmen and sophomores) absorb as much information about their surrounding environment and survival. The second stage, the "bouncy ball" stage, is where students (sophomores and juniors) are most active in organizations and concerned for their social well-being and self-esteem. The last stage is the "rocket" stage, where students (mostly seniors) want to have a clear goal of their future and a sense of self.

"Zoom Out" will develop a mapping system of campus and the surrounding business area. This will be in the form of an iPhone application, kiosk, and website. The map will not only aid students on how to navigate through campus and within buildings to find their classes, but will also provide sustainably certified options for retail, food, and housing businesses in the surrounding area.

To motivate students to practice sustainability, "Zoom Out" has developed a scoring system called "Zoom Score."
UT organizations can become part of the "Zoom Out" effort by becoming certified. This can be done by volunteering, hosting events, or making conscious decisions to be more sustainable.

In conjunction with the established "Bevo Bucks" system, when students shop at "Zoom Out" Businesses, students will also receive points. Looking at it from a business perspective, being "Zoom Out" certified will allow you to be placed on the map and will consequently increase your customer base.

UT students will use their ID to rack up points when riding the bus, registers for a bicycle pass, or purchasing a carpool or car share permit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Waste Disposal on Campus

Through our visual survey of waste disposal on campus, we have found that The University of Texas at Austin has little consistency in its trash cans and recycling bins. We believe that this lack of clarity leads to people not easily recognizing where to throw their different types of trash away. Although there are many different types of recycling bins that are all making a good effort, the system is not united and recycling on campus is not yet intuitive.

There are also issues with the signage on or around the recycling bins. Again, there is no unity and many signs are unclear and difficult to quickly decipher.
Another problem with waste disposal on campus is the ratio of trash cans to recycling bins. There are some areas around the 40 acres, such as outside the Business school, that have a dozen trashcans in sight yet no place to recycle.
Results of inconsistency, inconvenience of the placement of bins, and confusion about what types of waste goes where leads to unwanted items being disposed of in the wrong ways.
Below are a few examples of the efforts being made by groups on campus. These signs were found just above or next to recycling bins, which means they are communicating to the people who are already recycling and making the effort.