A: Eggcycle

cTo analyse my food waste audit was not only to recognise how much organic waste I was creating, but also to ask the question: What was organic? One of the most concise yet still accurate definitions was the following; “Organic waste…is organic material such as food, garden and lawn clippings. It can also include animal and plant based material and degradable carbon such as paper, cardboard and timber.” (Environment Victoria, 2015, Para.1)

FullSizeRenderOne of the most viable sources of organic waste in my own audit, that also seems a common thread through the blog generally, is eggs; the shell in particular. Everyone is eating eggs as a great source of inexpensive, high quality protein. However, as I analysed the life cycle of how an egg gets to our table I wanted to extend the lifecycle of it rather than ending it in our mouths. In some recipes, the egg white or egg yolk may be excluded; this is such an exciting use of organic (possible) waste as the possibilities are endless of what to do with it next, as opposed to putting it in our household bin!

“An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate, which is also the main ingredient in some antacids. Each medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium.” (One good thing, 2013, Para.4)Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 8.35.51 AM

To throw out this use of calcium would be such a waste of resources. Uses for the egg shells could include; a nourishing face mask, a powerful cleaner, mini pot plant for seedlings, cat deterrent and your very own powdered calcium supplement! It can be added to your morning juice for a slight boost in your step each day.

One of the most useful and intriguing ways of using an egg shell I found was to treat skin irritations.  By mixing an eggshell and apple cider vinegar, you can create a healing treatment for itchy skin or minor irritations. Again, we have used our food waste back into our bodies in a positive way, at the same time eliminating our daily waste.

One alternative use of egg yolks or egg whites would be in further recipes such as meringue or dough. However, I thought into my practice again and also our design process coming up and in a small scale, how we could make even better use of this versatile product. Egg is a great product of starch that can be mixed into textiles to add a strength and hard quality to a fibre. A lot of the time, to add this quality to a fabric, we add similar products by heat transfer such as a fusing. Environmentally and financially, this is a poor decision. Instead, we could create a paste from egg whites or yolks that could dry into the fabric and wash fast to create an innovative product. The same system could be used to many construction fibres such as paper, plastic or wood grain to stick together. We are not only creating an innovative material to design with; we are also making our organic waste valuable again.

Environment Victoria, 2015, Organic waste, Carlton Victoria, Accessed 8th June 2016, < http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/organic-waste>

Incredible Egg, 2016, Where eggs come from, American Egg Board, Illinois, US, Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.incredibleegg.org/where-eggs-come-from/egg-production-process>

Metropolitan waste and resource recovery group, 2016, Organics recycling at home, Victoria State Government, Melbourne, Accessed 12th June, < https://www.mwrrg.vic.gov.au/waste/organics/organics-recycling-at-home/>

NSW EPA, 2015, Organic Waste, Sydney South, Viewed 7th June 2016, < http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/organic-waste.htm>

NSW EPA, 2015, Managing waste at home, Sydney South, Viewed 7th June 2016, < http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/managewaste/at-home.htm>

Nystul, Jill, 2013, 15 Surprising uses for eggshells, Blog, One Good Thing, California, Date Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/06/15-surprising-uses-for-eggshells.html>


Sutherland Shire Council, 2015, Where does my Waste go?, Sutherland, Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Residents/Rubbish-and-Recycling/Where-does-my-Waste-go>

The Waste Wise Schools Program, 2012, Organic Waste, Department of Environment and Conservation, Bentley DC, WA, Accessed 9th June 2016, < http://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/media/files/wws/organic-waste-fact-sheet.pdf>

William & Murphy , 2001, Rubbish – The Archaeology of Garbage, The University of Arizona Press.

Post B – Data Collection Methods

There are two main types of data that can be collected: qualitative and quantitative.  Qualitative can include several different methods to gather detailed information from a range of smaller groups or demographics. These methods usually don’t collect information regarding the prevalence or scope of something but can provide more personal or individual information and experiences that can assist in increasing the understanding of the bigger picture and help frame a problem.  Qualitative research methods can provide focussed information that can assist in the creation of policy, develop programmes or help create more focussed research.

Quantitative research targets larger groups of people, populations or demographics to generate less detailed information that can be represented in percentages or numbers.

As I used qualitative research to complete my waste audit for my first post, here are examples of  some qualitative research methods:

  • Questionnaires: these are forms that are returned upon completion by a chosen individual or group. These can be useful when respondents are co-operative and the questions are completed accurately. Could be used by apartment strata’s or businesses to garner information from their residents or employees on the success or failings of the current waste collection/disposal method and what they would like changed.
  • Interviews: while the above was an impersonal way of collecting information from the respondent, an interview is better for situations that require more complex questions and the responses to be more dynamic. An interview of invited residents of a certain council could be undertaken by an auditor to gain a greater insight into the situation at a more personal level.
  • Direct observations:  sometimes known as empirical research/evidence, direct observation is the most accurate method of data collection when a situation has many variables. If a trial was being undertaken to see if people in a workplace (or the like) would separate recyclables, general and organic waste and put them in the appropriate bins, it would be more successful if someone was able to observe this in action.

For my waste audit I used the method of direct observation as I was actively collecting, storing and transporting my waste so I could record and analyse the result. None of the other methods would have been successful due to the nature of the undertaking and the extent of the variables. A good example of this sort of method on a larger scale would be MIT Media Labs “Placelet” project. The team tracked pedestrian passage and experience through the Essex St Pedestrian Mall in Salem, Massachusetts only to find that people’s perceptions and experiences of the “pedestrian mall” weren’t as first thought. After initial observations via cameras on the tops of local buildings it was found that the thoroughfare was frequently used by couriers and cars thus reducing the freedom of pedestrians and increasing the impression that the area wasn’t actually safe for regular pedestrian use.

Essex Pedestrian Mall

(Essex Pedestrian Mall)

FAO Corporate Document Repository 1998, Guidelines for the routine collection of capture fishery data, viewed 14 June 2016, <http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/x2465e/x2465e09.htm>.

Un Women 2013, Conducting research, data collection and analysis, viewed 14 June 2016, <http://www.endvawnow.org/en/articles/322-conducting-research-data-collection-and-analysis-.html>.

Poon, L. 2015, ‘ MIT Puts Pedestrians at the Center of Urban Design’, Citylab, viewed 14 June 2016, <http://www.citylab.com/tech/2015/08/mit-puts-pedestrians-at-the-center-of-urban-design/401285>.

Barrison, H. 2011, Salem_2011 07 30_0231, Flickr, viewed 14 June 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/hbarrison/6023398497>.

B: Research Methods

In undertaking a year abroad, I was required to examine, analyse and research an element of French culture. As analyzing the ways in which people dispose of waste is generally linked to the culture of the individual or groups of individuals I saw some overlap with methodologies I have used in the past.

Interviews

Interviews are often conducted as a powerful way to understand people (Al-Yateem, 2012). The nature of waste is intrinsically linked to people and hence interviews have the ability to further understand the motivations of an individual, potentially revealing the motivations of a larger group.

The nature of the interview process is more labour intensive and therefore fewer responses can be gathered compared to methods such as questionnaires, which do not require the same amount of interaction between viewer and participant. However, the responses may be more or less involved depending on whether the subject is of notable interest within their daily life (Ross, 1974). 

Participant selection has been narrowed down in the past through a willingness of people and organizations to take part in the interviews. As in the experiences of Teske, it is often difficult to reach the leaders within an organization whose responsibilities are the greatest and time the most valued (1997).

 In conducting the interviews themselves I have found it is very important to remain impartial, never arguing or condemning the opinions of the interviewee (Ross, 1974). Although, despite taking a neutral stance, in this type of research, it is always a possibility that the interviewee might withhold information that would reflect poorly on themselves.

 

Observation

Observation is a good way to study a group of people within their native environment and to understand events from their perspective (Baker, 2006). In undertaking observational research there is a lot of concern about ethical problems, as well as validity and reliability issues (2006). In past observational research I put great focus on not omitting data in order to confirm my pre-established beliefs and constantly aimed to prevent my personal bias from altering the investigation (May, 1997).

As a Visual Communication student I have also felt comfortable in incorporating personal photography and film documentation into my observation research. This form of research is often very successful as photography can often aid in showing what is beyond the capacity of the written word (Ross, 1974).


Both observation and visual analysis of the waste disposal at UTS would allow for accurate documentation of the environment and users habits as often these actions are subconscious or as stated previously, might not admit the ways in which they dispose of organic waste.

 

Spanish academics put out a research paper on aggressive behaviour studying the effects of viewing videos of Bullfights on Spanish Children. They used both observation and questionnaire methods to examine determine the psychological effects of viewing bullfights on children 8-12 years old in Madrid from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. They determined that observing violent scenes increases one’s tolerance of displays of aggression and in turn increases an individual’s level of acceptance (Grana, 2004). This research shows that exposure creates acceptance, critical in implementing recycling plans. Additionally, that a variety of research methods yield a more accurate result.

 IMG_0682.jpg

References:

Al-Yateem, N. 2012, ‘The effect of interview recording on quality of data obtained: a methodological reflection’, Nurse Researcher, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 31-35.

Baker, L. 2006, ‘Observation: A Complex Research Methodin Library Trends, Vol. 55, No.1, pp. 171–189.

 Graña, J,L., Cruzado, J,A., Andreu, J.M., Muñoz-Rivas, M.J., Peña, M.E., Brain, P.F. 2004, ‘Effects of Viewing Videos of Bullfights on Spanish Children’, Aggressive Behaviour, vol. 30, no.1, pp. 16-28.

 May, T. 1997 ‘Participant observation: Perspectives and Practicein Social research: Issues, methods and process, Buckingham, Open University Press, pp. 132-156.

 Ross, R. 1974, ‘Obtaining Original Evidence’, in Research: An Introduction, New York, Barnes and Noble, pp. 74-79.

Teske, N. 1997, ‘Methodology Appendix’ in Political Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political Participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, pp. 152-162. 

Literature Review (Post C)

Organic waste management is very important due to the many problems related to landfill. Burying organic waste in land fill is harmful towards the environment as it undergoes anaerobic decomposition, which is a lack in oxygen throughout the decomposition stage. This causes methane which is then released into our atmosphere. This on its own is a serious event which is contributing towards the green house effect. However anaerobic decomposition is not the only negative result of landfill. Toxins and leachate that are created leak into soil and surrounding environments polluting water soil and waterways. This also has a serious effect on the environment, animals and humans.

It is clear why organic waste management systems need to be put into place. Earth Power are an Australian organisation set out on a mission to collect organic waste from industrial, residential and commercial facilities and convert it into green energy and rich fertiliser. They create green energy by utilising the anaerobic decomposition in a controlled environment. The methane gas is then used to dual cogeneration engines, which results in energy. This process makes sense. Why leave organic waste in landfill to create wasted harmful methane gas? Earth Power cleverly and simply use this gas as an energy generator.

creating_green_energy_process-1.jpg
Earth Power green energy process diagram.

ReWrap are a Dutch design brand that focus on the sustainability of products using organic materials. Their products are biodegradable as a result of using organic material. For the ReWrap brand waste is the main focus for their products which result in non harmful products and material.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 8.51.28 PM.png
Tree Bag: screen shot form ReWrap offical site.

The Main body material is made up from coconut husks, which are pressed along with natural resin to create a durable material. Wood work is even polished using bees wax. Wood pulp is a product created from wasted sawdust. This makes a great material for thread. Hence using wood pulp as a sustainable thread. Their website shows a great promotional video showing the evolution and biodegradable process of the tree bag.

This process of combining and using wasted organic materials and forming new material, which in not harmful to the environment and can biodegrade. This is a great idea for reusing and recycling natural organic substances and converting them into products that we use everyday. To facilitate this there would need to be a clever collection process to convince people to put there organic waste towards these products with ease and no more effort. At the end of the day people are lazy and will generally do what is easiest for them.

William Sandstrom, 11997943, Group C

References:

Environment Victoria, The problem with landfill,Victoria 60 Leicester Street Carlton, website, viewed on 13th June 2016, http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/problem-landfill

ReWrap, TreeBag, website, Anjeliersstraat 410 1015 NL Amsterdam the Netherlands, viewed on 5th June 2016,http://www.rewrap.eu/tree-bags/

EarthPower, Creating Green Energy, website, viewed on 12th June 2016,  http://www.earthpower.com.au/creating_green_energy.php

EarthPower, About us, website, viewed on 12th June 2016,  http://www.earthpower.com.au/creating_green_energy.php

EarthPower, EarthPower Technologies Sydney, website, viewed on 12th June 2016, http://www.earthpower.com.au/docs/EarthPower%20Profile%20v2.pdf

A: Cup to Compost

In order to track the organic waste that I personally accumulated over a one-day period, I monitored what foods I consume on an average day. I recorded my food intake, where I generally consume food and the subsequent organic waste.

food intake.jpggjh.jpg

I noted that I generally consume food at home or at work. In both of these environments plastic, glass and paper waste is separated for recycling. However, organic waste is disposed as part of the general waste and therefore ends up in landfill, something that could be easily changed if recycling methods in any given environment were altered.

In analysing the created organic waste, I decided to further investigate the lifecycle of a tea bag that I always dispose of in general waste. I selected the tea bag, as with the small label, staple and string I wasn’t sure if the tea bag is a viable choice for composting. This point was contested widely on many recycling sites and blogs. I ultimately determined that the tea itself and a majority of tea bags are recyclable, the small staple, used in some tea varieties just needing to be removed.

Tea is the most consumed manufactured drink in the world (Chang, 2015). Therefore, despite being comparatively small in size, compared to other organic waste, when recycled correctly they could significantly reduce the amount of organic matter ending up in landfill annually.

In thinking about the tea bag that I created as organic waste, I began to consider its lifecycle:

–       Grown for multiple weeks in countries such as China and India with the appropriate climate.

–       The tea is then harvested and dried.

–       Tea is shipped to a manufacturing warehouse where it is packaged.

–       Tea is shipped 1000s of miles to Australia.

–       After its arrival it is transported to a warehouse.

–       From the warehouse it is transported to a supermarket.

–       Purchased in a supermarket and transported home.

–       Diffused in hot water for a few minutes.

–       Dispose of in the general waste.

Considering the resources expended for me to drink a single bag of tea, I determined that this is something I can easily recycle either by reducing the number of teabags I use and buying loose leaf tea or by recycling the teabags themselves.

 In researching current methods of tea recycling I came across an initiative put into place by Unilever, the world’s largest tea company to tackle the issue of 370,000 tonnes of tea bags being sent to landfill in the UK each year (Unilever, 2013).  Amongst a variety of initiatives to create public awareness, Unilever teamed up with Brentwood Borough and Chelmsford Councils to encourage residents to dispose of their teabags amongst other organic waste in council food waste collections rather than in their general waste (Recycling Guide UK, 2012).

Prior to conducting this campaign, Unilever researched consumer’s knowledge concerning the recycling of tea bags. It showed that “more than 4 in 10 consumers are not aware that it is possible to recycle tea bags, yet more than 8 in 10 might or would consider recycling them if they knew how to go about it” (Unilever, 2013). This indicates that it is often a lack of knowledge that prevents positive recycling habits and which any recycling initiative, education is of paramount importance.

References:

Kaison Chang. 2015, ‘World Tea Production and Trade: Current and Future Development’, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States, viewed 10 June 2016, <http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4480e.pdf>

Recycling Guide UK. 2012, ‘Unilever Encouraging Tea Bag Recycling’, weblog, viewed 10 June 2016< http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/blog-unilever-encouraging-tea-bag-recycling.html>

Unilever 2013, From cup to compost: PG tips tackles the issue of tea bag waste with Recyclebank, viewed 10 June 2016 <https://www.unilever.co.uk/news/press-releases/2013/from-cup-to-compost-pg-tips-tackles-the-issue-of-tea-bag-waste-with-recyclebank.html>

 

Post A:My one day ORGANIC WASTE

People have organic waste everyday, at first, it is the environment to everyone, organic waste will be decomposite to greenhouse gases by bacterial, the volume of greenhouse gases can be 100kg by 1ton food, of course, greenhouse gases are the most important factor of global warming. The organic waste of Australian households has a substantial impact on the environment, although some organic wasted are unavoidable, a large part of this problem demanded avoidable or edible are being wasted, very little is being done in Australian households to recycle. In 2013, most organic waste generation New South Wales was set to landfill, organic waste also impact the environment the waste energy and resources that have been used to produce transport. All my life I’ve been concerned about wasting.

I conducted my one day waste audit of all the ‘waste’ that I produce is in the following graph and images. Basically, my daily waste is about the organic waste and non – recyclable waste, but what I am focus on is the organic waste. As we can see though the pie chart, almost half of waste is the organic waste.屏幕快照 2016-06-12 下午4.03.54

One of my element of the organic waste is the reed leaves, which is from the Chinese traditional food, Zongzi, a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of sticky rice and wrapped in reed leaves, will have pride of place on our dining tables in the days to come.

Lily, W. 2016, The One Studio, photography , Sydney, private collections

Life cycle of the reed:

Reed, the reed leaves, reed stems, all can be used as a medicine. Medicinal value for solid barrier to soil and plants. Reed stem can make paper and rayon, spun rayon material, also for woven seats, curtain, etc; Contain a large number of proteins and sugars when young, good for fodder; The buds are edible; In addition to that, if I don’t use the reed and just throw them to the garbage bin, the reed will just been wasted and valueless.

What changed and made me more extreme was the discovery that there’s all this food. I think that a lot of people will stop and pick up a lamp on the curbside, with the sign that says “Take me.” But it seems like a big step to go to taking food. And I never really believed it was possible to find good things in the garbage on a regular basis about organic waste.

References:

Household Food Waste in Australia 2013,RBS University, viewed 05 June 2016<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4Us_TNyLZ&gt;

Barnard,  A., 2016, Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America ,  University of Minnesota Press, London

Jim, M. , 2005, An Unnatural Order: Why We Are Destroying the Planet and Each Other, Lantern Books, New York

Blog post C. Literature review and organic waste management

Literature review of organic waste management 

By researching organic waste for blog post A and B, I realized how important organic waste management is. However, in current, there are lots of organic waste management does not operate properly. I can give the example is based on my experience. My old unit and current apartment contain only two kinds of bins: general and recycling bin, and it is very common situation.

2BINS-01

(I took the pictures of my current apartment garbage section.)

Therefore, people normally throw away paper, cardboard or plastic stuff in the recycling bin, and the rest of their garbage goes in the general bin. However, this basic management would have a negative impact on the environment. Even though the workers sort out organic waste from the general bin, they cannot ensure organic waste does not send to the landfill. It does not mean only we lose the resources. According to Environment Victoria (n.d.), buried organic waste in landfill undergoes anaerobic decomposition due to the lack of oxygen and produces methane. When it is released into the atmosphere, methane is 20 times more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. However, methane is still a significant resource. As I already mentioned about food waste to renewable energy in Post B, we can make better cases if we create wiser organic waste management. What is more, it is our duty that we follow the management properly to reduce organic waste. If people do not act what the management would like to, there will be no improvements at all. Therefore, before we set up right management, the initial step is that people should be aware of the importance of organic waste management.

Making app would be appropriate example that let especially the designer being conscious of the significance of organic waste management. Nike (2013) described that Making ranks materials used in apparel based on four environmental impact areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. Therefore, the designers can compare the materials, and recognize which materials are more sustainable; so, the designer can make better materials choices in the initial stages to generate better cases for consumers and the planet. The app required the secondary sources to give exact data of the materials to the designer, In addition to, Nike tested Making app with the designers at London College of Fashion over a period of 18 months to release in real world (Pritchard 2013).

This application might not be relevant example completely to show what their waste management is. However, I think that this app shows what we need to do as designers for organic waste. People produce all of the waste, and it is totally up to them whether the waste changes to wealth or not. Hence, we as designers consider about the lifecycle of our design when we are in initial stage; thus, it would bring about the reduction of organic waste. We also have the responsibility to create better organic waste management, which makes people being aware of the organic waste problem and motivate them to take action for organic waste management.

Hyunjoung You (Lia), 11550656

Reference

Environment Victoria, n.d., Organic waste, viewed 11 June 2016, <http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/organic-waste&gt;

Nike, 2014, Making app adds new features for sustainable design, viewed 09 June 2016, <http://news.nike.com/news/making-app-adds-new-features-for-sustainable-design&gt;

Nike Better World, 2013, MAKING Matters, YouTube, viewed 09 June 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXPuuwAhtQo&gt;

Pritchard, O., 2013, Does Nike’s new Making app place sustainability at the forefront of design, viewed 09 June 2016, <http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/nike-making-app-sustainability-design&gt;