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Environmental Science and Policy
Since Grab ‘n Go’s implementation in 2004, members of the Smith College campus community have been concerned with its operational design, as one based on producing large quantities of waste at every meal. This most recent investigation sought to answer questions about basic student behaviors in relation to Grab ‘n Go, about the amount of waste generated through the system and to begin investigating solutions to perceived problems. Two senior Environmental Science and Policy (ES+P) seminar students, Camila Fierro and Alana Miller, created a comprehensive survey and conducted statistically significant interviews with students who use Grab ‘n Go, as well as interviews with key staff members about the operation. The results show a shocking amount of waste is generated daily by the system, which goes directly to a landfill where it cannot decompose. Interviews indicated that many students use Grab ‘n Go for reasons other than its intended purpose (of taking food to-go), that many students are concerned about the environmental impacts of the system, and that the majority of students would be open to alternative, more sustainable solutions. The study’s findings fit well within the context of Smith’s commitment to sustainability, as well as its responsibility as an institution of higher education to foster awareness of environmental surroundings and critical thinking about community impact and actions.
©2010 Alana Miller
Miller, Alana, "Behaviors and Numbers: Investigating Grab ‘n Go." Group project by Miller, Alana & Camila Fierro. (2010). Other Projects. 25. https://scholarworks.smith.edu/other_projects/25
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This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of group members to identify a problem in sustainability; gather background information; collect data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyze results, and report findings to the public in an oral presentation. Each member of the group was required to submit a separate written report. This student’s report was selected by the course’s professor to represent the project.