Team One Planet Living’s Weekly Blogs

Stay updated with our project with our weekly blogs here!


Week 7 (Dec. 3-Dec. 7, 2012)Reflections on our IQP Experience

We have now reached the final week of our project. In these 7 weeks, our team has put in many long nights of work and has taken ownership of our project. As we completed our project, our team gained valuable experience that allowed us to grow as team members and as individuals. Our team learned that every small decision we make in relation to sustainability will have a direct impact to our future. We also learned how to work with each other’s strengths and weaknesses to produce the best work. Looking back, we see all the obstacles we have faced and overcome. As a team, we are proud of our work and our accomplishments.

It’s certainly a bittersweet feeling finishing the project term. Fortunately for our project, this is likely not the end. We have been invited by the President’s Task Force on Sustainability to assist with Phase II of WPI’s Campus Sustainability Plan development. This is a great opportunity for us to help not only the campus, but also to help further our project and implement the One Planet Living framework in the sustainability plan. We want to thank WPI for giving us this opportunity to work on this project and our advisor Prof. Corey Dehner for her guidance and help. Good luck to everyone finishing their project!

Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team


Week 6 (Nov. 26-Nov. 30, 2012)A successful turnout!

Hello Everyone! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving last week!

To refresh everyone’s memory, one of our project goals is to write an integration plan. This plan details recommendations for WPI for the implementation of the One Planet Living framework for the campus sustainability plan. Right before Thanksgiving break started, we received confirmation from the President’s Task Force on Sustainability (PTFS) that we could join their meeting and present our integration plan to them! This exciting news really got us fired up! In the past week, we worked diligently to write an impressive integration plan.

Today, we presented our project to the PTFS after days of hard work and preparation. We presented our project goals and the purpose of our integration plan with one of our detailed suggestions to gain the support of the PTFS. The feedback was very rewarding. Members of the PTFS agreed that our project fits nicely with the objectives for WPI’s Phase II campus sustainability plan and that the One Planet Living framework will help guide WPI in its pursuit to becoming more sustainable. Our presentation was, to say the least, a success! We were also excited to see CAI present their project and receive positive feedback. This week certainly ended with a happy ending. Now… off to wrapping up the remainder of our project. Stay warm and keep reading!

Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team


Week 4 (Nov. 12-Nov. 16, 2012)Is your IQP what you expected?

As of this week, we find ourselves halfway through our project.  The largest accomplishment for the One Planet Living Team this week has been a significant amount of reorganization of our project. As our project nears the end and we have begun working on our final product, our integration plan, we realized we have much more to do than we originally anticipated. With each step of the project we have found something new to be looked into or addressed.

Along with this, the One Planet Living Team became aware that we are very limited by our time constraints as well. We are three students who have seven weeks to work on this project, yet becoming sustainable is an issue that WPI has been working on for the past several years.  Because of this, we have not been able to delve into many facets of this project as much as we would have liked.  Given more time and resources, we could certainly create a very detailed integration plan that would direct WPI’s sustainability efforts to follow the ten principles.  However, we must be realistic in our goals and our integration plan is now expected be a guide on how to figure out what needs be done to integrate the principles rather than a guide on how to actually integrate the principles.

In the last weeks of our project, our efforts will be focused on the creation of our integration plan and on our potential presentation to President’s Task Force on Sustainability.

To finish on a more exciting note, Thursday we participated in the 2012 Annual Waste Audit hosted by the Student Green Team. It was quite an experience! We are very anxious to see the results. Check out this picture of us diligently sorting waste!

We also had a table set up during the event!

 Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team


Week 3 (Nov. 5-Nov. 9, 2012): That’s one small step for WPI and one giant leap for One Planet Living Team

One Planet Living Team took a big step forward this week! We finished data collection!! Our last interview was conducted with John Orr on Monday. We did a significant amount of document analysis on documents pertaining to WPI’s sustainability efforts and also made significant progress on our Principles Matrix and Sustainability Comparison Matrix on Tuesday.

We had our interactive presentation with the Student Green Team planned for Wednesday following their general body meeting. However, after some critical thinking, we decided it would be best to do this presentation next week after we complete the analysis of our survey results. We decided that we would actually like to receive input and feedback from the Green Team on some of the suggestions for sustainability improvement at WPI instead of asking for additional suggestions as was previously intended. Coincidentally, the Green Team had to cancel this meeting as the snow storm that began Wednesday afternoon continued into the night.

Starting on Thursday, we began the data analysis of the survey. We closed the survey with a total of 421 responses! Throughout data analysis, we have found interesting trends and responses. Can’t wait to share our results!

Next week we will be participating in WPI’s Annual Waste Audit on Thursday, Nov. 15th with Team CAI! We look forward to increasing awareness of our project and learning about more sustainability ourselves in the process. Stay warm in this cold weather and stay posted!

Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team


Week 2 (Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2012): Oh Sandy! 

It has been another interesting and exciting week for our project team! Hurricane Sandy got WPI to cancel classes! Therefore, we couldn’t go to the Worcester Community Project Center. Fortunately, Hurricane Sandy didn’t hold us back on our schedule.

We interviewed several community members who are involved with WPI’s sustainability efforts. We first spoke with Elizabeth Tomaszewski, who gave us a better idea of how the President’s Task Force operates, what they are currently working on, and some of the obstacles that they have identified. We also learned more about WPI’s two phase sustainability plan that is now in progress. We also spoke with Ryan Pollin, who wrote the 2012 Campus Sustainability Report. Next we spoke with Christine Girouard.  She helped us better understand the efforts of the Community Engagement working group as well as the two phase plan as a whole. We also interviewed Chris Sontag about the efforts of the Student Green Team and we set up a time to conduct an interactive presentation with the team. Next Monday, November 5th, we will be interview John Orr, a chairman of the Task Force.

Also this week, we sent our survey out to the student and faculty email aliases. We also decided to table-sit by WPI’s fountain and this Thursday and campus center this Friday. To be most efficient, we set up four different laptops. During our tablesitting we even had 7 laptops running at one time! As of 9:02pm on Friday, we have 405 responses! Elizabeth Tomaszewski walked by our table on Friday and informed us that she told the Task Force about what we were doing and they were excited to hear about it!

We have also continued on our document analysis this week and hope to complete it over the weekend.

This past week, we’ve learned what a challenge it can be to get the student body involved, even with something as simple as taking a survey. We also were told by several of our interviewees that if the resources were there, they would ideally like to see a single person who or an office which coordinates the sustainability efforts.  This is because all of the people who currently take part in WPI sustainability efforts do so in addition to their main responsibilities. In the upcoming week, we will be analyzing the data collected from the survey and during our interviews. Stay posted for more exciting news!

Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team



Week 1 (Oct. 23-Oct. 26, 2012): Reflections on the First Week

Hello Everyone!

Hope all of you had an awesome first week at the Worcester Community Project Center (WCPC), because our team sure did! In the past week, our team was able to get off to a good start with our data collection. We first made a more extensive, detailed timeline with specific deadlines for specific tasks. This will help us stay on track and maybe even get ahead! We have scheduled five out of six interviews  for next week. We have already begun our document analysis on the Annual Sustainability Reports from 2010-2012 and the Phase One report. Ideally, at the end of week 2, we would be done with data collection and will move on to data analysis.

After attending everyone’s presentations, we learned that we can use Google to make a survey with unlimited free questions as opposed to a monthly charge with SurveyMonkey or having to limit our survey to 10 questions. Utilizing our office windows, we wrote out the objectives for our survey, in other words, we asked ourselves what information we want to get out of the survey. Our survey, which is made with Google, is expected to be released early next week. After hearing other opinions, we are now planning on table-sitting on-campus in addition to emailing out the survey. We would have 2-3 laptops available for students to stop by and fill out a survey in exchange for Halloween candy and baked goods!

It’s certainly been a good time in the WCPC office. We made WCPC our second home with  a makeshift blackboard, a calendar white board, and a pantry corner in our office! As we work on our project, sometimes we get to interact with other groups and learn about their progress and ideas that may be helpful to our project. We are definitely looking forward to the coming weeks and a successful project term!

Check out how snuggly we are!

Peace, Love & Sustainability,

One Planet Living Team