Education on Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – A Non-Traditional University takes the Local GlobalEPA Grant Number: SU833932
Title: Education on Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – A Non-Traditional University takes the Local Global
Investigators: Fu, Sabrina S. , Freeman, Arlaine
Institution: University of Maryland - University College
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2008 through August 14, 2009
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Challenge Area - Information Technology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability
The technological challenge of this proposal is the use of the Internet as a continuing adult education tool on environmental sustainability and community action resource. University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and the Environmental Management (ENMT) Club are uniquely situated to lead such an endeavor because we continually make global-local connections in our online environmental classes and ENMT Club, where students are located in ten different countries on four different continents. The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) proposes to expand our reach by opening our global connections to the public using the Internet.
UMUC’s approach will provide education and practical resources to students and citizens throughout the world in an effort to facilitate environmentally compatible use of solid waste and water. The website, “Think Globally, Act Locally: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” will utilize digital videos, interactive quizzes, an RSS feed, and a global interactive map to create an “active” site where the global community can discuss sustainability issues and act locally by obtaining links to resources on reuse and recycle.
The link between education and simplifying pathways to environmental sustainability has been found in many studies during the past two decades (Margai 1997, Martinez & Scicchitano 1998, Owens, Dickerson, & MacIntosh 2000, Tullo 2007). Consistent with these studies, the strategy to achieve our goal is to facilitate reduce, reuse, and recycling options by allowing the user to utilize an interactive global map for a general household item, and obtain links to resources for reuse and recycling of that household item. In addition, education on important sustainability topics such as biogeochemical cycles, life cycle costs, and industrial ecosystems will empower the public to find personal solutions toward a more sustainable society. The main goal of this project is to educate the general public on materials via the Internet, and facilitate reduce, reuse, and recycling options. This will help people and our planet to prosper because: (1) there would be less materials going to landfills, (2) there would be less runoff and less contaminations in runoff, and (3) there would be local partnerships where the recycling and reuse of materials could benefit the less economically privileged members of our society (e.g. through money from recycling ink cartridges going to less privileged schools and the ability to have usable materials for the less privileged). In addition, toward the end of this project, students will be able to educate others on the goal and success of this project by presenting at local conferences.