May 12, 2008

TICE 2008@SMU

Posted in Bumbly thoughts tagged , , , at 8:07 am by littlemissparfait

Just returned as a participant of the TICE 2008@SMU, Shall be giving a  participant(customer) viewpoint of the camp.(pics shall be added later)

The Chairman says: its supposed to encourage all participants to choose green choices through events and experiential learning and to act as a catalyst for green initiatives in the tertiary institutes and the community.

In certain respects , it has failed to achieve some of these objectives and i shall be commenting and providing some suggestions which may be relevant. .

Day 1

The visits were Eveready Manufacturing, Zen Tyre Recycling,Tuas South Incineration, Centeonyx and Natsteel Asia.

Comments: Some of these plants do not relate directly to any form of recycling which students may be able to use. Some of the plants were too far away, requiring transport on a air-conditioned bus which is un-green.

Suggestions: Choose locations which may show technology which the students haven’t noticed and may be able to increase use of with the increased usage of them(e.g some green buildings? ) helping to push new  initiatives into the mainstream.  Locations shld be closer to the school to reduce transport.

Food

Comments: Normal catered food consumed with the use of reusable cutlery and food containers. Innovative use of these. The washing detergent was too viscous which encourages overuse of the washing detergent

Suggestions: SMU is located to Sunrise at the fort canning , wld it be possible for cooking lessons to be provided to show the ease of cooking to help to  reverse the trend of increased eating out of home.( or SMU being a business school is afraid that it will result this might sprout a trend of eating at home decrease the food retail industry’s revenue?) This will mean tht minimal packaging will be generated and will be healthy( as suggested by micheal pollack). Washing detergent may be diluted to reduce overuse.(Lower amount of detergent used meant lesser co2 will be generated.)

Day 2

Green Mission

Comments: Just a general amazing race around the city The games were not original and were just using the normal games with a tinge of green message. Something like green  washing the games. This means that the students only need to use their current green knowledge . It is sort of like teaching things which are already known .

Suggestions: Games which are directly related to being green. (e.g speed sorting recyclables contest?)

Chubby Bunny

Comments: Forcing marshmallows into the mouth and then trying to enunciate the words chubby bunny or whatever the judges choose to.It is wasteful and promotes the consumption of food products which need a high degree of processing and hence a wastage of energy

Suggestions: other games? or chubby bunny with other food products? 

Pantyhose Fight

Comments: Game was too long and it appeared to have lost the excitement for the audience after a while. Plus , it was ungreen( was said to be recycled , but frm observations, it appears that the panty appears appears to have lost its elasticity and won’t be recycled.

Suggestions: Other games which might be exciting

Day 3

Green vision

Comments: NUS with encouragement of Ebilling and SP with Green card.Other non winning teams were

NTU(Lights in money out): generally a mandatory switching off of lights at certain periods of time.

Concern: Inertia and resistance from school admin and students

RP : Collecting plastic bottles and then using them to christmas tree.

Concern :The energy and opportunity costs required to transport and process the bottles may outweight the educational messages.Moneyburner with little hopes of being self-sustaining

SP(a Ecocafe ): a cafe which tries to be green through the use of organic food,renewable energy and  green content.

Concern: High cost of implementation. High tempertures of the day in singapore make the ecocafe a  unsuitable

NYP: Shoes with solar panel.

Concern: Other Technolgy avalible  check out technology by MIT fitted on the knee of an individuals and captures the energy needed for the braking and speeding up of the leg on each stride much like a hybrid car. and another technology fitted on bag and captures energy frm the rising and falling of the body as it moves.

Ngee Ann and NIE: basically the same plan of transporting student to nature locales to appreciate the wonders of nature

Concern: Might not be sustainable unless other products\services are marketed through this plan. Just another money burner

The winners

Comments: The projects are similar in the manner that they are plans to influence the corporate world to do green things. Does this mean that TICE is succintly attempting to inform the students to stop plans which are sort of like a grassroots effort, but to seek to always seek to partner with the commercial partners?

Prizes

Comments: For the green mission cum skit, participants were awarded some files with packaged food and pepsi. The materials have been wrapped up in translucent plastic wrappings. Wasteful as usual and promotes the consumption of food which is highly processed and packaged.

Suggestions: Wrap prizes in recycled paper?( or used newspaper which is even more green) Encourage food which has a lower degree of processing?

In conlusion

The event has been a fun and exciting event for me. I feel that its has been really well organised. It would have been great to just end at that. But on the green aspect, it hasn’t really taught us much and was generally a downer on student initiated projects and didn’t really talk much abt the reduce(of the 3Rs.just makes us wonder if SMU has a vested/hidden interest in this. Is it trying to reduce the fervor of sudents for such projects? By reducing the “reduce” projects, it will seek to prevent the lost of coporate revenues/profits. Its just another green-washed(thanks to november tan for introducing this to me) event.

 

 

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2 Comments »

  1. monkey said,

    Hi Lil Miss Parfait 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. It’s very encouraging for me to hear that my talk was useful (and even inspiring!) to somebody 🙂 Made all the effort worthwhile 🙂

    First of all, try not to be too harsh to the organizers. It’s never easy organizing something to be 100% environmentally friendly. I’m not saying it can’t be done but perhaps you should send your comments to the organizers so that perhaps they can learn from your feedback too? 🙂

    Well glad you learnt something new from my talk – greenwashing! – but I was kinda disappointed you didn’t write your feedback about my talk! haha 🙂 Be brutal 🙂

    The food idea was fantastic idea – learning to cook. But Sunrise is not exactly the most environmentally friendly outfit out there so perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to provide the service? communal kitchens – or having participants come together and make a meal together is a great idea! Originally I was in the planning of another eco camp and came up with the idea too but logistically it’s quite a nightmare. Sunrise will probably cost a bomb.

    Now speaking of cost, (i’m trying to be the devils advocate here of course), don’t be too harsh to judge the organizers by saying that they are encouraging people to team up with commercial partners. On one hand, lots can be done at minimal cost. Most of my projects cost nothing. But having a commercial partner also enable lots to be done. But yes, we are constantly trapped into having to produce things or give away things that cost money. Otherwise people think it’s not professional or worthless, can throw away. It’s all about finding the perfect balance and that’s hard. Of course we should keep trying. Regarding packaging, sometimes the root source of that problem is the manufacturers. A lot of people who produce these corporate gifts use a gazillion packaging. Can you imagine if the organizers receive the stock they ordered then have to take it out of its plastic, throw those plastic away then repack in recycled paper for the participants? That would have generated more waste. Sadly we need to start with corporations when it comes to certain things. But grassroots action is just as important. Every one play a part. Nobody is more or less important 🙂

    Hope that helps!

  2. littlemissparfait said,

    I suppose it is not wrong for us to suspect that smu is trying to serve to increase consumer expenditure given that smu is business school and consumer spending is actually the lifeblood of the business sector. (even if they were not doing it on purposely , cld it be possible they are doing it subconsciously as a result of their education?)

    Sunrise may be out of the league , perhaps it wld be possible to have a partnership with one of the Polys which were invloved or a school which has kitchens for their home econs classes

    The gifts which were provided were not the corporate gifts which is normally given(which wld have been more of a waste but milo and snacks which were purchased ) so the org com cld either have wrapped it in newspaper or in the original carrier bags provided or even better in a reuable bag ?

    as for the grassroots action vs corporate action , what i was refering to was student initiated projects which addresses certain problems and then to send proposals to the corporal partners and not to have projects with primarily consist of begging the corporate sector to change. I wld think that a consumer demand causing corporate movement wld be more effective than a move which is initiated by the corporate sector.


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