love your mug groupLove your Mug!

Campaign to reduce plastic cup consumption at the UN in Vienna

INEX Sustainability Challenge – Service Learning Project

Our project was developed within the „Greening the Blue“ – Initiative, implemented by the United Nations with the general aim to make the UN more sustainable and carbon-neutral.

We knew that this initiative around the UN existed, but we also had the feeling that the UNOV was not quite close to being carbon-neutral. Through a small project for our university program, we wanted to explore where impacts could be made without huge infrastructural changes; we found out that in fact, there is quite a big impact to be reached solely by using all those resources available in a responsible way! This little initiative is to show yyouu how systematically changing just one little bit of your daily behavior can induce a big relief to the UNOV’s waste situation – thus making it a bit more desirable an example for larger institutions.

On June 7th, we had the chance to realize our parts of our project within the World Environment Day Conference 2011. In cooperation with the UNOV staff, we were able to demonstrate the staggering amount of plastic cups consumed by UNO city employees by showcasing one day’s amount of plastic cups. Below you can see the load of plastic thrown away at the cafeteria in only 2 days! On an average work day at the Vienna International Centre, approximately 3500 plastic cups are used! This amounts to almost 1 million cups being wasted during one year, which, if aligned, make up the distance between  the VIC  to the city center of Vienna 24 times. During the conference talks, we were also able to display our installation at the center of the cafeteria – a place daily frequented by a majority of the UN staff, thus raising awareness for the cause at the heart of the problem.

„Love your mug!“ – this slogan, which our group designed two posters for, opened room    for various discussions and valuable input by conference visitors as well as UN staff.