Environmental Science and Policy
The Smith College Campus Center bulletin boards generate a large amount of paper waste. Fliers, advertising community and campus events, cover the boards and are removed every week. Although the fliers are reused and then recycled, reducing the amount of paper used initially would have a positive environmental impact. This project was designed to find a way to reduce the paper waste associated with the bulletin boards, as well as find out the best ways to communicate information about campus events with students. A study done on the two bulletin boards on the main level of the Campus Center showed that multiple copies of fliers were the largest contributor to the excess paper use. A survey of Smith students showed that Facebook and department emails were the preferred sources of information about campus events, but the bulletin boards were used occasionally. This suggests that students respond to information targeted at them, as well as posters that catch their eyes. Recommendations for improvement include phasing out the bulletin boards in the downstairs of the Campus Center and enforcing a limit of one flier per event on the upstairs bulletin boards by requiring people to turn in their fliers to be posted. This would ensure that each flier would be seen and duplication would not be necessary. Along with strengthening alternate methods of communication, especially online resources, within the college community, changing the bulletin board system would heighten people’s mindfulness about paper use and make it easier to find interesting events.
©2011 Amy Shmania
Shmania, Amy, "Advertising Gone to the Recycling Bin? Paper Use on the Campus Center Bulletin Boards" (2011). Class Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.