Lights, Camera, Recycle!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

uOttawa students will contribute to RecycleMania this year by filming their commitments to break up with waste

Reading week is upon us and that means another edition of the Alternative Student Break (ASB) has arrived. Some of you might remember that last year we had about 9 volunteers that joined our office to create recycling installations on campus. The installations were pretty cool. Our volunteers made a giant chess board out of recycled bottles, a forest out of textbooks, a throne out of cans, etc...

The installations were placed all around the campus to share the message of recycling. The participants of course took tonnes of pictures of the experience and told all their friends. I think that they did an amazing job and they actually helped us win RecycleMania (last year the University of Ottawa beat the next group by less than 1%).

So this year we of course have to do something to help get people into that recycling feeling again. I think that we might have found the perfect balance between awareness and social marketing. This year we are going to be working on the "Breaking up with Waste" campaign.

The campaign is very simple, it is time to end your relationship with the garbage bin and start getting to know your recycling bin a little better. This was a concept we heard about from our colleague Tim over at the University of Toronto Scarborough. We loved it the moment we heard it and so we decided to make it happen here.

So over the course of the next week, our ASB participants will create a "Speaker's Corner Booth" where individuals can come and announce that they are Breaking up with Waste. We will video tape the responses and the best "break-up" will win a prize.

The reason we like this concept is because it is fun and it get's people to make a social commitment to changing their behaviours and practices. This is one of the pillars of community based social marketing. Beyond that, the videos are easy to make and easy to share online. The hope is that we can reach out and get a few people to rethink their choices (even if it is just for a moment).

~jon- campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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