the earth and we all shed a tear.
1. I would evaluate the success of the paper campaign in three ways: 1) If the library and Eaton switch to default double-sided 2) If paper use declines and 3) If professors include double-sided printing as a requirement on their syllabi.1) This is an easy way of evaluating initial success. While the switch wouldn’t necessarily mean a reduction in paper use, it most likely would. The switch would especially most likely increase double-sided printing in documents that are not assignments. 2) If the switch in Tisch and Eaton is never overridden, we would expect to see a 50% reduction in paper use. However, that is probably unrealistic and since the mission of our campaign was simply to reduce paper use, I would call it successful if a significant difference was found in paper use between this year and the next.
3) The only way to get to 50% paper reduction with the switch to default double-sided in printing centers, is if students feel they can or must turn in assignments double-sided. The more professors that require their students to do this the more likely 50% reduction will be possible. However, at this time, to my knowledge, no professors require their students to print double-sided. Therefore, I would call this a successful campaign if the number of professors that include double-sided printing as a requirement on their syllabi increases at all.
2. The way we came up with a campaign idea, by writing down all our ideas on a piece of paper and finding a common thread, worked really well. Every student was then invested in the idea, and all agreed that paper use was problem on campus. It was a fast and easy way to come up with a campaign. After setting the idea, we went around contributing thoughts about what the focus of the campaign should be and settled on something definite. That made it really easy to identify who we needed to contact and how the group should be split up. Splitting the group into different task forces was necessary and each person worked well within her group. As far as implementing the plan, I think the most effective thing was being persistent. The staff group had a hard time getting through to people, but once they stuck to their guns something happened. Likewise with the faculty, emailing just wasn’t enough and just going in wasn’t enough either. That posed a serious challenge considering how many faculty members we have.
3. Mostly I think we could have used more interaction between the groups. While the staff group did a great job contacting and talking with IT and other folks, they really could have used support from the faculty. That goes for students as well. Another change I would make would be to start working on sending an email out to the entire faculty right away. Obviously this never happened. I think a lot more professors would sign our pledge if more of them got it. While I think the pledge is a great idea to encourage professor involvement, I’m not sure the purpose of the student petition. Since most students said they didn’t print double-sided because they didn’t know how or because they thought professors didn’t allow it, I feel like the only barriers to them printing double-sided is the default setting and being encouraged by their professors. Perhaps a better idea would be to rally students to talk to their professors and ask them to consider encouraging all of their classes to print duplex.
1. I experience the feeling of cognitive dissonance all the time. Understanding the concept and the different ways that people deal with the feeling, made me realize that cognitive dissonance can be a really good thing…if you listen to it. An understanding of normal human behavior, and how we deal with problems once we know about them, is essential to creating change. It is certainly a touchy subject. First, you must explain the problem in a way that makes people feel empowered and that they can offer a valuable contribution to the solution. This is where a lot of behavior changes stop because people have the amazing ability to remove themselves from problems, saying “I don’t need to recycle because my toilet is low flow” or “An individual recycling won’t make any difference”. Convincing people to break free from these behavioral traps is challenging and requires a combination of careful persuasion and modeling. In this class, we were forced to confront our cognitive dissonance head on and heed its call. In learning how to deal with cognitive dissonance ourselves, and behavior modeling for others, we have learned how to plant the seed thought of behavior change in others. Along that line, the behavior challenges made me realize the merits of positive reinforcement. People are likely to continue their behavior if others tell them it is good. This undoubtedly persuaded me to generate less waste and was also probably the reason I was more likely to forget my clothing tag than my trash bag. People thought the trash challenge was cool and would tell me I was doing a good job, while the clothing tag just made them feel uncomfortable.
2. Understanding the basis of behavior has allowed me to connect with others about changing their behavior. Since I can understand why making a change is so difficult and articulate that in a way that is personable (…this is an instance when I was feeling how you are and this is how I moved past it). I now have the ability to really help my friends make environmental decisions in their everyday lives. Framing behavior change in this light makes it seem as if we are all working together (well, aren’t we?) to make a difference. This kind of support is necessary and gives people the feeling of membership to the “environmentalist” group.
1. While I wasn’t introduced to new environmental issues in this class, I have certainly learned how to confront them in a productive and collaborative way. I had thought about my behavior as it related to all of the challenges before this class, except for the clothing challenge. While I certainly think about reducing consumption in general, sometimes it is hard to make the connection between your shirt and the environmental injustice involved with producing or disposing of it. The challenge was a bit exhausting because its message was basically reconsider everything our economy has taught. It’s a great message and I really took it to heart. Even though the class didn’t reveal any new environmental issues to me, the guest speakers really helped me understand better the ones I knew about. This was especially meaningful in regards to the presentation about climate change and the talk about environmental economics.
1. The most reliable source of information is peer-reviewed journals. The next valuable source is books and other publications of renowned scientists that have a lot of peer-reviewed work, or other well-regarded theorists. One should always be skeptical of how a study was funded and who is affected by the results of a study.
2. I think debates are a great way to start the conversation about environmental topics because they utilize actual research (versus the norm of hearsay), and reasoning. They definitely stimulate critical thinking because we were all forced to come up with arguments completely against our sincere beliefs. Understanding the other side is a great tool to have in conversations with people who stand firmly on that side. In addition to researching and formulating arguments, debating taught us how to talk to people with differing views: don’t get too heated, actually listen, acknowledge that you have listened and that you agree with the person to some degree. These are the tools necessary for productive conversations that actually evoke change.
1. At the end of last year, I really began to feel frustrated at Tufts because it felt like there were few people on my side. I was a member of ECO, but our membership was low and our lack of overarching goals and general commitment was discouraging. Trying to connect with like-minded people was really a main reason why I enrolled in this course. Reading about the trayless campaign when I was abroad, I was inspired by a class that actually brought people together to get something done. We all often have these fleeting ideas about how to improve environmentalism on campus and don’t have the human capital to do it. I do feel like this class has been a community for me, maybe even more now that the class is over. These are people I worked closely with and I know are on my side and ready to act in the future. I have also had a much better time in ECO this semester, probably because before it started I put myself out on a limb and emailed anyone I thought might be interested in a foodie-related campaign. Forming a community of people to unite around a cause (other than drinking) is seriously hard when everyone is stuck in their friend groups and not willing to put themselves out there. This class did the hard work for us, and we were all able to let our guards down because we had direction and something uniting us besides just will. Like me, I’m sure other people in our class have realized that community building is the only way to make change and that it can be done. Putting yourself out there may seem hard, but it is worth it, and you are likely to meet great people like the ones in our class this semester.
2. Of course I will stick with doing. Maintaining enthusiasm is easy because I am passionate about the subject and because doing is incredibly rewarding. Blabbing away about environmental issues just makes you feel depressed and lonely, while getting together and taking action makes you feel apart of something good. It lights the fire that says You are making change. The flame is warm and welcoming.