SUST 240 Waste Course Preview (Fall 2013)

This coming fall semester (2013) I will be offering the inaugural section of SUST 240 Waste at the Schaumburg Campus in an innovative bi-weekly hybrid format. The class will meet face-to-face in Schaumburg every other week, and make extensive use of 240 Blackboard (Bb) site throughout the semester, particularly in the intervening weeks. This class is open for enrollment by fully online students, who have the option of attending any of the scheduled Schaumburg Campus sessions on Wednesday evenings.

  • Title/number: SUST 240 Waste (section L24)
  • Semester offered: Fall 2013
  • Format: Hybrid (6 class sessions + online interaction; first session Wed, Sept. 11th)
  • Campus: Schaumburg, room 525
  • Day/time: Wed 6:30-9:00pm
  • Pre-req: ENG 101
  • Text: Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health — and How We Can Make It Better (Free Press, 2011, paper, ISBN 978-1-4516-1029-1). Will be on order at the RU bookstore.

Story of StuffWhat’s Cool about this Class: Sustainability and Accessibility

If you’ve taken one of my hybrid SUST 210 or 220 classes in the past, you know that this type of class, in many ways, offers an ideal blend of learning modes. Our Wednesday evening sessions at the Schaumburg ensure us plenty of face time, which is great for conversation, community-building, and hands-on learning. Meanwhile, our Bb-based online interaction allow us to go into greater depth on topics we couldn’t otherwise do in a 2.5-hour class session; plus, by cutting down on our commutes to campus, we greatly reduce our GHG emissions from transportation for this course. That’s no small thing, especially for a class on waste!

Finally, this hybrid design means that students who need a fully online course can still take SUST 240 Waste this term. I will set up our Bb site and interactive Discussion Board forums in such a way to facilitate this fully online experience, with the caveat that any online student always has the option for attending any of our scheduled Schaumburg Campus sessions. You won’t find that option in a typical online course!

You’ll See Garbage in a Whole New Way — I Guarantee It!

Last fall (2012), students in two sections of 240 Waste conducted waste/recycling rate audits in Roosevelt’s new downtown showcase, the Wabash Building — specifically, by closely analyzing the waste stream and recycling effectiveness of the WB dormitory and two floors of administrative offices. This fall, we’ll plan on a similar audit for the Schaumburg Campus, in collaboration with the Department of Physical Resources and Facilities, which has a keen interest in environmental sustainability and in improving the recycling rate at our suburban campus.

You can read these impressive student-authored reports from Fall 2012 here:

  • RU Wabash Building Dormitory Waste Audit (pdf)
  • RU Wabash Building Office Waste Audit (pdf)
Poster - Spreading Awareness

This poster on reducing food waste was created by RU students in a
Fall 2012 SUST Waste 240 class.

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