Edited By Walter Leal Filho
Greening the Waste Stream: A Case Study in Applied Environmental Analysis at Pomona College
Char Miller, Bowen Close Abstract Purpose: This paper presents the pedagogical initiatives associated with, and the practical outcomes of, a multi-student independent study that analyzed the cam- pus waste stream and developed real-world solutions in accord with the college’s sustainability commitments and goals. Design/methodology: The paper reviews the course structure, presents research findings and the individual student-developed solutions, and assesses their ability to reduce the campus’s waste stream. Findings: Developing a class to audit the campus waste stream offers students an unusual educational opportunity to apply theoretical insights to, and test these against, a real-world problem; their analyses and projects have also helped the college more sustainably manage its waste stream. Originality/value: This paper identifies the practical and educational advantages for participating students and the particular benefits the institution will derive from their waste-stream research. Introduction At the September 2006 opening convocation at Pomona College, President David Oxtoby posed a number of critical questions about the global economy and mass consumerism that he hoped the class of 2010 would wrestle with over the next four years. “Is growth in and of itself desirable?” he asked rhetorically. “Are there limits to growth? Can we begin an urgently needed dialog on the move toward a sustainable world?” (Oxtoby 2006). His queries were not unique; many around the world had been raising similar concerns about the consequences of 252 Char Miller, Bowen Close and limits to growth, particularly in light of the scientific evidence connecting human behavior to global warming and climate change...
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