By Kurt Knudson | APSC 261 Green Vending Project
In the academic world of students and businesses, important tools that are used daily are pens, pencils and highlighters. Many of these devices once used are disposed of and become part of the ever growing landfills. Alternatively, these products are available in eco-friendly lines by Bic, Paper Mate, Pilot and Zebra which help to reduce landfill waste.
Each company has realized the growing demand for green products and has responded by making eco-friendly product lines. Characteristics that make their products eco-friendly are the writing instruments being biodegradable, made from post-consumer materials, or by being refillable.
UBC has a goal to be one of the greatest sustainable campuses. The AMS believes in this cause and plans to have a vending machine available in the new SUB that would sell green products. Of these products, a small selection of eco-friendly writing tools are wanted to make students aware of the greener choices available in our everyday products. To make this project a success, a social assessment would be conducted to determine which products students would like to buy and their thoughts on the eco-friendly products. For greater success, we want them to be encouraged to use refills. By purchasers of these projects refilling their writing instruments, they will be extending the use of their product, helping to reduce landfill waste and plastic products production.
To assist with the project, the AMS has provided funding for a poster and samples for a survey to determine which products should be placed in the machine. After some initial research, the products listed on the poster below were ordered as sample products for students to try and rate, but the students’ preference alone would not guarantee a product’s spot in the machine. A further analysis on the verbal response of the students at the survey booth, economics and the environment would also be conducted to determine the final product selection.
This project was presented to myself and my peers in our APSC 261 class. The results of our social, economic, and environmental assessments will be combined in a report that will be used to determine the final product selection. If you are interested in our findings of sustainability and writing instruments, you can look for report in future available on UBC Seeds.