Guest Post by Chris North
Hey incredible thinkers and makers:
I am contacting you all because I need your input and/or your involvement. ++ there is an opportunity for YOU to make money.
Trash Talk has captured the interest of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions via the Living Lab Endorsement program.
A project endorsed through this process would make the project eligible for financial support and additional access to mentors or other resources to improve the long-term success of the project.
A Living Lab Endorsement means that the work in a class meets the following criteria.
· Sustainability: Aligns with PSU’s vision for sustainability to implement lasting change to make a given place more resource-efficient, equitable, and ecologically balanced, while acknowledging a resource-finite world.
· Fit: Advances campus and neighborhood priorities.
·Place: Reflects an awareness of history and context within the campus and surrounding area.
·Scale: Project outcomes are designed in a manner that would be useful and applicable to other contexts and locations.
·Collaborative action: Fosters deep engagement with on-campus and off-campus partners, focusing on establishing an environment of co-learning.
·Monitoring, evaluation, and continuous improvement: Mechanisms are established to monitor progress and evaluate impact overtime.
·Educational design: The project is designed with clear learning outcomes for students in mind.
With this endorsement comes the opportunity to propose funded projects that were initiated in the course. A funded project translates into paid internships for students to develop, execute and manage a project for the long-term.
An existing example would be the School of Architecture students developing a plan for food carts to have covered, outdoor seating. The plan would be funded into the actual development of food cart patios. https://www.pdx.edu/news/portland-tribune-less-parking-tastes-great
There are so many great projects that were initiated in the Trash Talks seminar. The ISS and Campus Sustainability office are already using the Trash Talk video to encourage more buildings to participate in a waste sort. More examples that have the ability to take off as real projects are:
• Campus wide guerilla buddy bin program (compliments the existing All in the Hall program but is customized to meet the needs of each building culture)
• Mug Shot Coffee Bar: this humble little project started with the intent of eliminating the need for single use coffee cups. It exposed a need for public community spaces in the Art + Design building. Community = stewardship = greater sustainability
There were many concepts considered for this project. We started with a pilot but there is room to do more and to ask if the current model reduces single cup usage.
Other concepts that could be investigated include:
• partnering with Starbucks or Einstein on a cup program
• partnering with a street vendor to serve our block
• creating our own barista cart as a moneymaker for the school
• simply installing on demand hot water tanks
In addition to these ideas there are many more that could be considered as a result of Trash Talk. One could be a student run (intern paid) org that takes on sustainable community projects across campus.
So many possibilities but we need to begin with one and it needs only 1- 2 students who would be interested in working on a funded project to make this happen. You do not need to be a former Trash Talker to participate.
If you are interested please let me know. I must submit the application for a Living Lab project by May 1. I am hosting a brainstorm meeting during lunch on Tuesday from 12-1pm in room 170. RSVP by 5pm Monday or if you can’t make the meeting and are interested send me an e-mail and say Hey I’m interested, let’s do it.