Capstone Project

For my senior capstone project I collaborated with a fellow student and worked with CSUMB in an attempt to reduce the amount of waste generated at campus events. Reducing greenhouse gases, minimizing waste at the source, as well as conducting and analyzing waste audits are all goals included in the CSUMB Climate Action Plan that our project addressed. The primary goal of this project was to phase out the use of compostable products at campus events serving food and replace them with reusable tableware, therefore reducing waste and emissions. In order to further our understanding of the school’s waste stream at catered events, we conducted a waste audit at Focus on Community University Sustainability (FOCUS), an annual event. Afterwards, we pitched the idea of a dish rental program by Associated Students (AS) (which presented a myriad of obstacles) and later found that our study would best be utilized by incorporating the information we’d gathered into a section on sustainability on the white sheet that will be referred to by anyone hosting an event on campus. Through pitching the dish rental program to AS, my capability to evaluate potential solutions, particularly evaluating feasibility, was significantly improved as I now understand how many different angles you must look at when considering a solution. I learned quite a few lessons through this experience, the first being that I do not want to pursue a career in politics (after the meeting with AS). While I do not lack ambition or perseverance, it would be way too frustrating for my taste. The second lesson I continue to learn: change does not happen quickly nor easily. Even seemingly small changes will have three times as many obstacles to overcome than you may imagine.

Capstone_Waste_Audit Capstone_Waste_Audit_2

Deliverables

– Capstone Proposal

– Final Capstone Report

Capstone Presentation Video

– Capstone Presentation PowerPoint

– FOCUS 2014 Waste Audit Summary

– Economic Analysis

– Sustainable Dishware Program

Photo 1: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/03/sxsw-2010-photos-saturday/

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