Thursday, May 08, 2008

on a sustainability campaign in my building

"they" are running a sustainability campaign in my building. it's an interesting idea, but the execution could use some work. anyway, "they" posted all these papers around the building giving information to inquisitive people. in the elevator, you can see that the info sheet was defaced:

in fact, on the left hand side "they" write that consuming less (just not buying) would be best if it were possible. someone scrawls "recession" around that point. another person hits them for a grammar mistake. lots of "wasting paper" comments. this is tough work!

in the bathrooms, "they" put stickers near the lights which attempt to encourage you to turn off the light if you're the last one inside. our lab discussed these stickers briefly, and i've been watching this one. i wander into the bathroom at various times of day just to see if the switch is off when i go in. it hasn't been off for the past few days. this campaign has been ignored.

what would i have changed in their campaign? first, i think they've have a great start. they've got the building manager behind them, which is fantastically important. next they need more people from the lab spaces in the building to come on board. they need to consider whether the messaging is appropriate for the audience -- are those blank white sheets with tear-offs in the elevator actually appropriate? why not make the whole thing a bit more fun and irreverent? undergrads and grads love that.

well, i'm just happy they are trying. as they say in industry: "ready, fire, aim"
finally, i love the "they" construct


Jono said...

Though I agree with you on the paper, I actually really like the light switch stickers. The light's definitely off more than it was before, so that's something.

I was actually wondering how I could get some to do my own subversive green graffiti. For instance, there's a trash chute in our building in a tiny room with no windows - all fine - except it seems to be default behavior to have the light on all the time. I can't think there's any very good reason. Maybe a sticker is just what I need. And the sticker at least is kind of irreverent.

omar said...

oh i agree it's off more than before -- before it seemed to never be off! i think it's great these campaigns are happening. they are part of a bigger effort that's going to effect long-term change, i hope.

i'll see if i can get you some stickers..

finally, check out this article in today's nytimes on campus greening.