Presenter/Author Information

Marijke Rijsberman

Keywords

waste, sustainability, participation, motivation, interaction design

Start Date

1-7-2008 12:00 AM

Description

Since the introduction of organized sanitation practices in the West, local governments and waste management business in the private sector have essentially adhered to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to residential garbage, by which, for a modest fee, individuals are relieved from responsibility for their own waste and from awareness of its impact on the planet. Together with the systematic deferral of the environmental costs of current activities, this out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach has fostered individual behaviors that exert a great deal of pressure on the environment. Current environmental challenges and rising environmental concern now dictate a greater awareness of the impacts of individual choices. This paper proposes that interaction design can play a significant role in breaking through the garbage “taboo,” helping to open up existing sources of data about waste in such a way as to stimulate individual participation in sustainable practices, such as waste diversion and source reduction programs. To demonstrate the relevance of interaction design to the challenge I use the example of the California Waste Stream Profiles, a database of information about municipal solid waste in California. The exercise delivers a basic set of interaction design principles to support individual sustainability that can be applied more broadly to sustainability at an individual level.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Reclaiming Garbage: Interaction Design for Participation

Since the introduction of organized sanitation practices in the West, local governments and waste management business in the private sector have essentially adhered to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to residential garbage, by which, for a modest fee, individuals are relieved from responsibility for their own waste and from awareness of its impact on the planet. Together with the systematic deferral of the environmental costs of current activities, this out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach has fostered individual behaviors that exert a great deal of pressure on the environment. Current environmental challenges and rising environmental concern now dictate a greater awareness of the impacts of individual choices. This paper proposes that interaction design can play a significant role in breaking through the garbage “taboo,” helping to open up existing sources of data about waste in such a way as to stimulate individual participation in sustainable practices, such as waste diversion and source reduction programs. To demonstrate the relevance of interaction design to the challenge I use the example of the California Waste Stream Profiles, a database of information about municipal solid waste in California. The exercise delivers a basic set of interaction design principles to support individual sustainability that can be applied more broadly to sustainability at an individual level.