Blog #4 – Farewell Post!

As the course is coming to an end, our community based experiential learning (CBEL) project is in the process of being completed. Looking back on the last three months, our group gained a lot of knowledge on how waste reduction is important in building a more environmentally friendly society. For example, by reducing, we can save a significant amount of  resources and valuable space in the landfill (City of Vancouver, 2017).  However, we learned that recycling may not be the most effective approach as it has some negative environmental impacts. Transportation of cup waste contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming as transportation uses fuels and energy (Eisted et al., 2009). In this final blog, our group member would like to express our appreciation for the feedback and suggestions that our community partner, City of Vancouver and StudioCity, TA, and instructor provided. This course provided us with an incredible opportunity to connect with the real environment issue in Vancouver.

Here is the link of our project video:


A moment of significance

Now that we have completed our video, we were able to collect data to measure the effectiveness of the video by asking viewers to participate a survey. Our video was posted on social media (Facebook and Youtube) along with a link to our survey in the description box of the video. Our survey had 73 participants. Based on the results from the survey, we realized that our video provided some influence to 63% of the participants to decrease their usage of paper coffee cups. By looking through these results, we are excited to see how our project went well so far.

So what?


The creation of a video and survey are good channels of communication since they connected us with the audiences directly. We were able to collect quantitative data from our survey over the duration of two week. A survey was made because it allows for systematic interviewing which allows for questions that specifically targets our research (Sapsford, 2007). In addition, surveys enables standardizations by asking consistent questions (Sapsford, 2007). The participants were required to choose a single answer from the options given which result in precise answers to be further analysis (Sapsford, 2007).

After analyzing the result, we were glad that our video was effective because over half of the participants were concerned about this issue.

Now what?

Although our project may have not had a significant change in promoting the increase in overall reduction of single use paper cups, it is a step towards the reduction. We were happy to be able to collaborate with the City of Vancouver and CityStudio.

There several limitation that should be taken into account in future projects. For instance, we cannot measure behaviour change in person. In addition, the results do not reflect the effect of the our video for the people in Vancouver overall. This is due to the fact that non internet users and a large number were not taken into account. Further research must be considered to extrapolate the result the the entirety of Vancouver.

However, the data that was collected from our survey may be useful for the City of Vancouver. For instance, the survey can allow the City of Vancouver to pinpoint the area in Vancouver that uses the most single use cups. In addition, the survey can allow the City of Vancouver to know the method is most effective in to result in people using less single use paper cups. With this knowledge, the City of Vancouver may be able to better approach businesses to implement a strategy.




City of Vancouver (2017). Zero Waste Vancouver. Retrieved from

Eisted, R., Larsen, A. W., & Christensen, T. H. (2009). Collection, transfer and transport of waste: Accounting of greenhouse gases and global warming contribution. Waste Management & Research, 27(8), 738-745. doi:10.1177/0734242X09347796

Sapsford, R. (2007). Survey research. London, CA: Sage Publications.

Blog 3

It has been a few week since our last post. In this post, we will update you on our weekly objectives and achievements. Since our project is coming to an end soon, we will be sharing a summary of our moments of significant change below. In addition, we have finalized our video and posted it on Youtube!

Feel free to check it out:

Weekly Objectives:

By Nov. 5th

  • Finish editing the video (add music, cut clips together, add important captions)

By Nov. 8th

  • Communicate with community partners for feedback on completed video

By Nov. 9th

  • Create a survey for data collection that will be linked in the description box of the Youtube video

By Nov. 10th

  • Posting the video on the social media (Youtube and various Facebook pages) and begin collecting data

By Nov. 15th

  • Start working on the infographic and final report


On Oct. 25th

  • Met with community partners to discuss our video idea

On Oct. 29th

  • Finished filming video scenes
    • Coffee cups falling out of locker
    • Multiple scenes showing how cups are consistently disposed of


Moments of Significant Change Workshop:

During our Moment of Significant Change workshop, we created a graph showing our personal progression in knowledge and emotion from the start of term to now. The y-axis represented both knowledge and emotion while the x-axis represented progression of time. The red line represents emotion while the blue line represents knowledge. Some of our significant events included our community partner meetings, our proposal, and blog postings. As shown on the graph, the our knowledge increased with time, whereas our emotions tended to fluctuate throughout the term.

Our emotion was the highest when we had the first meeting with our community partners. We were excited to work with City Studio and the City of Vancouver and contribute to the community that cares about environmental sustainability. Our goal is to promote awareness of waste reduction. They gave us a lot of encouragement for this project. Next, we were required to write a blog. None of the members in our group had blog writing experience, so we struggled on the content and the writing style. When we got our blog mark back, our emotion dropped a lot. The next assignment was a proposal on our project (please see previous two blogs). Our emotion dropped to the lowest after we received a low mark and feedback for our proposal. We were confused about the direction of our project and how to achieve the goals and expectations. However, things were getting back on track after we had the second meeting with our community partners. They provided us with a more clear direction and feasible advice about our video. Therefore, our stress level decreased dramatically from then. We hope this positive flow of energy continues throughout the remaining term.

At first, we had limited knowledge as we were just starting the course. However, our knowledge continued to increase with time. Our knowledge increased dramatically after the proposal write up and the the greatest after the second meeting with the community partner.

So what?


During our Moment of Significant change workshop, we were able to visually review what we have done and evaluate our performance throughout the term to make improvements in the future. We noticed that the majority of our significant emotions resulted from a struggle to understand the expectations of tasks, difficulties in communicating with group members and low grades on assignments. We noticed that all of these are instances of uncertainties. Although it was challenging and frustrating, it was important to overcome the uncertainty in all situations because it is inevitable. We reminded each other to embrace the problems with positive outlook. In addition, to cope with the uncertainty we were dealing with, we tried to focus on what we could control such as adjusting our group dynamic. We stressed the importance of focusing on our project goal because the end project might be valuable for future use. Although we did not realize at the time, these emotionally negative events actually result in a gain of knowledge. We believe that the uncertainty we experienced was a huge factor because comfortable situations does not require as much thought.

Now What?

Strategies for Successful Project Completion:

In order to successfully complete our Zero Waste project, our group will use a variety of strategies. Most importantly, we will continue to remind each other that any uncertainty that will occur should be handled with a positive outlook. For successful project completion, we will work on our group dynamics by cooperating with one another. We will assign tasks that correlate to the strengths of each member. We will do this by continuing to meet after tutorial every week to work on upcoming tasks. We will set up more times to meet with one another if our weekly objectives was not completed. Additionally, for divided tasks, we will check on each other to ensure that we are keeping up with deadlines. We plan to send our partners our video asking for feedback. We will send the email and video link early in order to use their feedback then make necessary adjustments. After the video feedback is received, we will make ourselves a detailed and feasible timeline. We will check this timeline regularly to ensure that we are staying on top of our schedule. We will then compile our research and data and start working on our final presentation, infographic, and final report. Finally our infographic will include significant findings and will be presented at the LFS final project showcase as well as the Hubbub event. We hope that our  project will provide data that can be incorporated into further waste reducing projects in our community.

Blog #2


Weekly Objectives:

  • Continue collecting used paper coffee cups for our video
  • Finalize the statistics for the video including:
    • The amount of yearly paper cup usage for an individual
    • The amount of trees cut to produce the yearly amount of paper cups
    • The environmental cost of producing and disposing paper cups
      • The cost of transportation to the recycling station
      • The cost of equipment and utilities to perform the waste diversion
      • Labour cost of employees in the industry
      • The amount of additional waste that is associated with paper cups; the sleeve and the plastic lid
    • Edit project proposal


  • Connected with community partners: CityStudio and The City of Vancouver
  • Clarified the three main scenes to our video (see below)
  • Completed our project proposal
  • Finalized our target audience for our social media video

Reflect on a moment of significance that has occurred in the course so far.

The objectives of our project was discussed during our meeting with the community partners, CityStudio and the City of Vancouver. They asked us to create a social media campaign to promote the use of reusable items. To do this, our group decided to have each member come up with a social media campaign idea. We all insisted that our individual concept was the best and most effective for the social media campaign. We communicated through Facebook messenger in hopes of agreeing on a single social media campaign. However, our discussion resulted in no conclusion as we were focused on our individual ideas and we each did not want to compromise.

We agreed to meet in person to discuss the pros and cons of each idea. Meeting in person made us realize that there were major flaws in some of the campaign ideas that we overlooked and helped to eliminate some of our ideas that were not feasible for our project, particularly ideas related to cooperating with businesses. For example, we eliminated our idea on providing discounts or rewards for using reusable cups. In addition, we were able to eliminate ideas that required participation from community members as we had a time constraint.  Finally, we were able to agree on producing a video for our social media campaign as we thought it would be the most effective method to generate an emotional impact on viewers. Although we had a general idea of what we wanted to include, we were still confused about the exact content for our video. After receiving feedback from our peers, our teaching assistant, and our professor, we decided to integrate three scenes into our video.  The first scene will be a visual representation of the cups used by individuals, then a statistic animation outlining the environmental impact, and a visual of the additional waste produced aside from paper coffee cups.

As a strategy to face ineffective online group meetings, we plan to set in-person group meetings weekly to work on our project. We hope that this will allow us to receive direct feedback on our ideas and keep each other updated and on track. In addition, we will actively listen to each           other’s ideas and make compromises to produce an even stronger idea. Lastly, we will reach out to people from different fields to gain various perspectives which will help in indicating project flaws we overlooked as a group.

Identify upcoming objectives and strategies to achieve them.

By October 20:

  • Finish collecting 200 paper coffee cups for video
    • Each group member is expected to collect 34 coffee cups
    • We plan to go to cafes, libraries, restaurants to collect coffee cups
  • Collect the statistics that will be presented in the video
    • Research literature on UBC library and The City of Vancouver’s website to find values of the statistics we mentioned in the weekly objectives.

By October 21st:

  • Edit our project proposal
    • Add the suggestions and additional information required by our community partners


GROUP 16 – Paper Coffee Cups Waste Project

Have you ever got bombarded with all the waste that humans are generating and lost hope in saving the environment! If this thought ever passed your mind than you are not alone. We have also felt the same way and want to take an action!

We are a group of six people who are passionate about eliminating the number of single-use paper cups to reduce pollution, waste, and preserve resources. We know that this will be a challenging task but we think we can make a step towards it!

Our LFS 350 course has provided us with the opportunity to partner with City Studio and the City of Vancouver to make a difference.




Hello! My name is Chantel Dong and I am a third-year student majoring in Food Science. I love cooking, baking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends. My interest in the environment began in high school, where I was the Co-President of the recycling club. When I started university, I did not have a chance to participate in any sustainability efforts aside from sorting my garbage on campus so I am excited to be involved again!




Hi there! My name is Yijie Wang and I am a 3rd year Food, Nutrition, and Health major student. Since the first time I came to Canada, I realized how recycling can be done very efficiently. As in my hometown, people have less awareness about waste recycling, and the public also do not tender completely recycle facilities. By attending “paper coffee cups recycle” project, I want to learn about how the people, in Vancouver, think and implement waste diversion and management. I am so surprised that City Studio had already planned numerous projects, and applied “Zero Waste” project so well in Vancouver. I hope I can contribute further to the future project of the City of Vancouver and CityStudio!



Hello! My name is Linda Shi. I am a third-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences. I am interested in making food and I’m not afraid of trying new things. During my free time, I like to search for recipes from different countries. Doing handwork is another hobby as I like to make woolly hats, needle felting animals and more. Sometimes, I make good use of waste materials, I reuse coffee cups as flowerpots. I chose this project because I want to use my skills to solve the problem of single use items that is being wasted.




Hello!My name is Zinan Zhou, and I am from China. My major is food market analysis. I love trying new things, eating new foods, and meeting new people. Vancouver is also a coastal city, similar as my hometown, so I have a special feeling towards Vancouver and want it to be a better city for living. The project of “Zero waste coffee cup” focuses on the reduction of paper coffee cup. I am so excited to work with CityStudio and the City of Vancouver to pursue the goal of zero waste 2020 and let Vancouver be the greenest city in the world. I believe small changes can make a great difference.



Hello! My name is Betty Chiang. I am a third year applied animal biology student. I was born and raised in Taiwan. When I was in highschool, I attended a summer camp where I was taught that the modern day food industries, especially meat production, inflicts severe damage on the environment.  This planted a seed of concern within me, I then decided to take action and become a vegetarian for eight years. The same impulse led me to advance further in helping preserve the environment. As I’ve come to learn that the common practice of recycling is among the most trivial courtesies we human can do to the planet, I now discipline myself to consume as little energy as possible in my daily life in hopes of becoming a true friend of mother Earth.



Hi! My name is Nada, and I’m a third year student majoring in Food, Nutrition, and Health. My home country is Saudi Arabia and my favorite ice cream flavour is vanilla. I am concerned about the environment and about leaving the world a better place for future generations. I hope I could learn more about Vancouver’s waste diversion and how to get the community’s involvement. I strongly believe in the power of genuine initiatives! Thus, I hope that our project enhances Vancouver waste system to reach its 2020 Greenest City goal, and I hope it could be applied to other cities around the world.



About Our Project

      Our main goal is to become an active citizens and have a positive impact on our community. To achieve that, we want to create a successful social media campaign to set a foundation for the City of Vancouver and CityStudio to normalize and promote the use of reusable cups. We are pleased to have the chance to work with CityStudio and the City of Vancouver and we hope our project will make a difference.

      From our experience in LFS 350, we wish to gain hands on experience in the community. As well as a chance to integrate creative ideas from our group’s varying fields of study. We hope to be able to apply our knowledge from both  LFS 350 and our various other classes to our project.
Our interest is to reduce the number of single-use paper cups in an attempt to achieve Vancouver’s 2020 goal of Zero Waste. As a result of reducing the number of single-use paper cups, the city will be able to reduce energy input, create less pollution, and help Vancouver be an even more sustainable city. We want to encourage people to save a tree by bringing their mugs to help the environment.

      In 2011, Vancouver devised a plan to become the greenest city in world by 2020 (City of Vancouver, 2017). Their Greenest City Action Plan’s main goal is to create zero waste. They aim to reduce the amount of solid waste going to the landfill and incinerator by 50% from amount in 2008 (City of Vancouver, 2017). They will do this by diverting waste from the landfill. As of 2015, the annual solid waste disposed to the landfill has reduced by 27% from 2008. The priority list for years, 2015-2020, includes waste reduction related awareness  programs to achieve the 2020 goal (City of Vancouver, 2017).

      We are very concerned with this issue because we noticed that recycling bins are overflowing with paper cups at UBC, especially around exam season! In addition, when we are in line at cafes, we rarely see people bringing their own cups or mugs. Thus, we are also interested in comparing the statistical data before and after our media campaign, to compare the difference we were able to achieve. In addition, we want to apply our academic knowledge to the real world and gain hands on experience. We also want to present how small initiatives can make a huge difference for the city and future generations.


Our focus for this project is to reduce the number of single use items in Vancouver.

  1. Develop a campaign using social media, print, or physical ways to normalize the use of single use items
  2. Develop a strategy to test our campaign
  3. Compile the data and analyze to share with community partner to help make a difference and provide a foundation for future projects.

Community Partners

      In our project, we will be working with two community partners: CityStudio and the City of Vancouver. CityStudio Vancouver started in 2011 and they work together with the City of Vancouver and public post-secondary schools in the area. They help students gain practical hands on experience to help students with future jobs (“What We Do,” n.d.). They were involved in 300 community projects. Furthermore, CityStudio is a place where community members, students, and City staff are able to work together on projects in order to solve sustainability problems and improve people’s living environment in Vancouver.

      The next step for the Zero Waste group working with the City of Vancouver is to make the city greener. The City of Vancouver has already improved the city’s waste divergence from 83% of waste products being recycled and only 17% of waste going to the landfill. The City of Vancouver wants to improve the environmental impact even further. They aim to encourage people to reduce their waste of single-use items instead of  recycling them.

First Impressions

      Our first impression was really great. Our community partners are very friendly, encouraging, and organized. They are allowing us to be creative with our ideas while still providing guidelines to follow. We are also very thrilled to be part of a group that has a similar concern for the usage of single use items.

      Thus far we are starting to brainstorm ideas for executing the social media campaign. Our initial struggle is identifying how to collect data for the end effectiveness of the campaign. We plan to observe how many people are bringing their own mugs before we release our campaign and observe after the release of the campaign. However, it will be difficult to know if the customers have seen our campaign or not therefore it will not be an accurate representation of the effectiveness of the campaign. We could also show the video campaign to the customers in line, but due to time constraints of customers, this may not be possible. Therefore, we need to try to come with a more creative ideas to overcome this issue.  

      As Ernesto Sirolli (2012) mentioned in the Ted Talk, “if we want to help someone, we have to listen to their thoughts and ideas”. People are the owners of the city, and we are not above them. The best way to initiate their change in behavior is first to listen to their voices. By listening to the people’s voices, we can make an environmental campaign that has influence on them. Moreover, we can encourage people to participate in the reduction of waste and to also increase the rate of waste diversion. Pursuing the goal of Zero Waste 2020 and giving back to the community is one of our important objectives as sustainability is the cornerstone in achieving food security and food justice.



CityStudio What We Do. (n.d). Retrieved from
Vancouver, C. O. (2017, June 21). Zero Waste Vancouver. Retrieved October 03, 2017, from
Sirolli. E. (2012, November 26). Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! [Video file]. Retrieved from