Global Green University Education Partnerships

Global Green partners with leading universities to provide hands-on education to university students, and the innovation and creativity of the university setting to collaborate on addressing pressing sustainability challenges.
 

Case Study

In the 2013 Fall semester, Global Green USA and Parsons the New School for Design held a class focused on re-designing New York City school lunch trays. With over 830,000 lunch trays sent to landfill each school day in NYC, the challenge is: Can we transform trays currently made from unrecoverable expanded polystyrene foam into aesthetically pleasing, functional, recyclable, and compostable lunch trays.

The curriculum for the class, taught by Parsons faculty member Daniel Michalik, was designed in conjunction with Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR).  This semester-long class provided a valuable applied educational experience for undergraduate design students; it brought experts in the field of food service packaging design and paper fiber together with young student designers who bring a fresh take to a timely issue in NYC. Parsons students worked both individually and in groups to research the design constraints associated with these trays. Glob-al Green coordinated school visits to see trays in use and tours of manufacturing or recycling facilities, and arranged for product samples and presentations from industry professionals.

The objectives of the class were to provide a hands-on educational experience for design students, to inform the design of prototype trays that would, if produced and used en masse, enrich the lunch experience for New York’s school children by giving them the chance to act responsibly for the environment, and to reduce the ecological impact of school lunch.

Global Green is seeking to develop a key transformative university partnership in 2015 in order to provide hands-on education to university students, and the innovation and creativity of the university setting to collaborate on addressing pressing sustainability challenges.

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