Students campaign for less waste on Building Community Day


Project Management class

The VWCS, or Visual Waste Cup Sculpture, designed by the Project Management class to illustrate the amount of waste from campus.

On May 11th, Building Community Day, Professor Claudia Levi’s Project Management II class attempted to get the staff and faculty of Edmonds Community College to bring their own mug to school in order to reduce the usage of paper cups on campus.

This project has been months in the making, and participating in Building Community Day was only one part of a multi-stage project to reduce waste on campus.

In March of this year, the Winter 2018 MGMT 270 class, Project Management I, created a feasibility study and generated recommendations for the “Personal Mug Campaign”. The campaign hoped to reduce beverage-related waste on campus through educating and motivating the campus.

Winter turned to spring, and the students of the MGMT 270 class went on to MGMT 271. It was time to take what they had planned and put it into action.

The class met decided to partner up with the Green Team on campus to create a visual waste presentation, to be displayed on Building Community Day.

“[W]e had a Public Trash Sort Out at [the] Courtyard to collect compostable cups in order to get the Cup Wall String done,” said Nia Nguyen, the outreach coordinator for the EdCC Green Team, which attempts to raise awareness and advocate for sustainability issues on campus.

Susan Tran, the Campus Farm Coordinator for the Green Team, relayed her experience at the Trash Sort.

“Service learning also helped by making an event of service learning project, that helped us having volunteer on that day. Green Team provided all the materials needed, all team was on the courtyard to collect trash from bins around and buildings like Brier, MLT, Lynnwood, MUK, etc. We poured all the trash out and sorting, through that process, we collected the mugs for classes. They cleaned the mugs and making a frame by those mugs,” she said. Since the event was treated as a service learning project, students were able to log volunteer hours if they helped out.

That Cup Wall String, affectionately known as the “V.W.C.S.: the Visual Waste Cup Sculpture” by Project Management II student Nanci Lambert, was made out of the collected mugs before being washed and tied together before being displayed at the Building Community Day event on May 11.

Lambert was one of 16 students in the class, and a member of one of three teams working on the project. “One team worked with Faculty Senate, one team worked on marketing, and our team worked on the events,” she said when discussing how tasks were divvied up. Her team was the one that was focused on what the class was going to do for Building Community Day.

Building Community Day is a college-wide event for EdCC employees to attend that features activities throughout the day focused on professional and personal development. The event is directed mainly towards faculty, so it was the perfect venue for the Project Management class to put together a demonstration to raise awareness, directed primarily at their main audience, the school’s staff.

Jason March, another student in the Project Management class, discussed how his teammates tried to maintain clear and inclusive messaging. They settled on “Choose to Reuse” as their campaign slogan. “We picked this slogan because we believe it is simple and empowering,” Jason remarked.

When creating the informational booth to display at BCD, March explained that his team “really tried to focus on grabbing facts that emphasized the heavy desire to reuse a cup/mug with coffee, but also any other form of drink.”

The team also created a pledge banner, which read “I pledge to Choose to Reuse!” By the end of the day, the banner was full from edge to edge with signatures.

After Building Community Day came to a close, March was enthusiastic. “The class feels like this campaign was a great success,” he exclaimed. “This class project created great awareness to the issue and as a result, we received great feedback!”

The introduction to the feasibility study for the project read as follows: “The class expects that the Personal Mug Campaign, launched at Building Community Day, will initiate a shift in culture for future faculty, staff and administration meetings and events.” Hopefully, that shift will continue to impact our campus in positive ways as more people get involved in sustainability efforts.