How might we motivate college students to live sustainably on campus?
As senior design students, the focus of our final semester was to solve a problem for one of the Office of Sustainability's main initiatives.
While most college students we talked to claimed they were interested in living sustainably, it became clear that they weren't entirely sure of how to do so, and were hardly motivated to make any sacrifices beyond "trying" to recycle. How might we help the Office of Sustainability meet their water-saving, recycling, and community involvement goals if students weren't willing to take time to be informed?
After interviews and campus walks, we noticed one thing students were going out of their way to do: visit the Chew Crew. The Chew Crew is a group of 12 goats on campus that travel around for weeks at a time eating invasive species in confined areas. They garner a lot of attention, have remarkable attendance at their volunteer days, and have a significant following on social media.
If the Chew Crew can do their job everyday to help our campus stay green, so can you.
Another goat-loving senior and I collaborated to create a calendar teaching students about sustainable living as a college student at the University of Georgia. Because students love stopping by the goats between classes and watching them eat, they'd show them how it was done.
Taking the idea "Don't bite off more than you can chew," we chose to help students master sustainable living by only providing one goal each month by providing a lesson about sustainability in that area. As the calendar year moves along, the cute goats eat away the leaves covering each month while students form their new habits.
Outcomes & Learnings
About halfway through the project, we had to change direction. First, I cut my finger badly with an exact-o knife and got stitches. But as we began promoting our project, we found real interest in the final result. We needed to compromise. Rather than experimenting with a calendar form with intricately cut-out numbers and layers, we decided to use the standard format so that we could reach a larger audience and focus on bringing quality content and illustration.
My partner Abby drew the beautiful leaves and I came in and with the goats and the content.
View our process book, some photos and the finished product below.