Monday, April 28, 2008

Connect the Dots: Automobile Carbon Emissions and RPI

My final project was a study to find out what students' ideas were on the carbon emissions of the average car. Being college students, we have cars to drive us to jobs, grocery store, and to entertainment venues. We also use these automobiles to transport us between RPI and home. It can also be assumed that the closer that we live to RPI, the more trips we make between home and school. This project was an opportunity to involve the students at RPI and make a link between their home towns and the school in a display of the automobile trip.
I used one of my classes as my project group and first asked them to put on a blue dot how many pounds of CO2 they think is emitted from an average car per mile driven. I then collected the dots and passed out dots of different colors to the class. The color that the student received depended upon where they lived in the United States: the East Coast, Midwest, or the West Coast. I then told them the amount of CO2 emitted per mile (1.10 lbs) and asked them to multiply that by the distance in between school and home. I had them post both their blue dots and their colored dots on a board to display their work and participation.
It is interesting to see how much carbon is emitted per trip even when the majority of the students in the class live on the east coast. Considering how many students there are at RPI and their distances between here and home not to mention the amount of trips made in between the two, it is staggering to understand the amount of automobile emissions that are being put into the atmosphere. We are a community here at RPI and it is important to be aware of what we are doing to ourselves, nature, and the global environment. Without awareness, the world will come to an end, and communities as we know it will cease to exist.

Community Development Definition

My community definition began as a study of different infrastructure to describe the interactions between people, infrastructure, and nature. There are different sizes of community, the base being the home, which can ultimately grow up to a global community. Religion, shopping, and other various activities can facilitate interaction and thus bring about a sense of community. This photo journal became the base for my community project. I did not want to do such a broad community, as my original intention had something to do with the link between my home community in Ohio and my community here at RPI, but this provided the basework for how I was going to define a community in my final project.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Final Individual Project

I am doing a project involving the mobile community at RPI. As a diverse community, there are students here from all over the world. Most of us travel home for the summer and for holidays and thus use means of transportation that releases carbon dioxide as well as other emissions into the atmosphere. Driving is not as dangerous as flying (because flying emits CO2 right into the atmosphere) but we drive more often due to its low cost relative to flying so we do it more. Long trips like those home for the holidays or breaks can emit much CO2 into the atmosphere. I am attaching a file that expresses the research from a survey that I did of RPI students. I asked if students have cars and where they are from. On the file, I also recorded the distribution of how many pounds of CO2 are emitted per passenger.
My proposal for the final project involves a display that puts students and their traveling CO2 emissions into intervals depending on how far from home they are and how they get to school. The intervals will be represented by color coded stickers and placed by the student on a board to display a distribution. Hopefully, I can participate in Elly's event in the Union, since there is an environmental theme, to raise awareness for the carbon emissions that we release to hopefully influence some concern and hope for more environmentally friendly transportation.