Action #10

For all previous actions, I mainly focus on my personal issues or people around me, so for this time, it’s time for me to get out from me and my friend-zone.

This is a photo I took when I travelled to Shanghai Disneyland last year, you can see the garbage all over the ground. I think the main reason for people littering is that Shanghai Disneyland is not well planned, and if people can easily throw their garbage in the garbage bins, they usually don’t choose to throw it on the ground.

So, I start wondering can I do some to help this. Coincidentally, the company I’m interning at is launching a small program that can be used for this purpose. This small program is inside WeChat, you may know that almost every Chinese has WeChat app on their phone (WeChat is just like Whatsapp and Messager, it almost contains all the functions of Messager and Instagram. And the WeChat small program is similar to a standalone app, but it eliminates the step to download a new app and is very popular in China).

This is what the small program looks like.

This small program is mainly focusing on scenic areas. When people enter the park, they can scan the QRcode to buy e-tickets, foods as well as drinks, and the program may record that they entered, and can record their visiting routine. And we can use the same method to track the wastes.

And this is a small local park as example.

This is a small local park in my city.

This is the simplified map of this park, there’s only four attractions (the red points above) that people may visit. So I put QR code on each of them and waiting at the entrance of this park. Another reason why I choose this park is there is only one entrance, which helps a lot when doing the counting work. At the same time, I marked the existing garbage bin in the park (which are shown as blue points in the picture above).

After finish these preparation, I start doing the counting work. However, Things didn’t go as smoothly as I thought they would. Because I asked people to help me by scanning QR codes, some passersby suspected I was committing fraud. I had to explain over and over again to people trying to enter the park that it was just a school project to collect data for statistical purposes. It’s really tired repeating the explaination time after time, so I wondering is there something can help me get rid of this explanation work.

And I got my inspiration from the surveys that supermarkets send out. Usually, if you agree to fill out a supermarket’s satisfaction survey, they will give you a small gift in return, so that both the supermarket and yourself are satisfied.

In this case I bought some discounted tissues from the supermarket to distribute, and all the people are satified on helping my data-collection work.

After I finish the data-collection, it was shown that most people followed the routine of B, D, C, A. And two of the garbage bins are largely unused. So I talked to the Park Superintendent department my study, they said they will invest my work and if it’s the truth they gonna rearrange the position of the garbage bins.

The project itself is not difficult; the biggest challenge is to get people involved in your project. And I have to say communication is really important, but sometimes some small tricks can help you easier and faster.

Action #9

Remember in Action #6, I tried to dig the potential of plastic in the sustainable perspective. And since the result I found plastic is not very “sustainable”, it reminds of my old friend – wood. No one can deny the environmental friendliness and sustainability of wood as a material.

So, in this action, I’m trying to show the potential of using wood in our daily life.

This is a woodblock that my friend picked up from a mountain (In China, living in the mountains is somewhat strange, but this friend is so rich that she has contracted an entire mountain and has built her family a luxury villa). And she sent the picture for me, we realized that: WOW, the shape really lends itself a coffee table!

So we start on shape it, dig a hole in the middle and sand it (I hate sanding). This is followed by a very long polishing work. In total it takes almost four weeks for us to finish polishing this coffee table. But see the picture below, it worth the time.

The following one is the by-product of making the coffee table, this is a piece of art made of tree bark. As you may have guessed, the bark comes from the stump on top.

This action also follow the “5R” principle in “zero-waste lifestyle”, the material is free, and it almost non-pollution to the environment. It explores the simplest application of wood as a raw material in our daily lives — Small Furniture and Decorative Objects.

Action #8

In this action, I’m continuing my study on “zero-waste lifestyle”, I’ve found it’s not enough just reusing scrap.

The core of “zero-waste lifestyle” actually refers to the various kinds of waste generated in production and life, which can be used as raw materials for other industries and maximize the reuse of domestic waste.

The method is to apply the principle of sustainable development to the management of resources and waste, with the goal of eliminating waste and toxic emissions, reducing the need for resources, and achieving reuse and recycling of resources.

To achieve zero waste, the first step is to update the idea that there is no such thing as useless material in nature and that the only creature that produces waste is human. Meanwhile, it is important to find the added value of garbage, to establish a new concept that garbage is also a resource and a valuable renewable resource, to reduce the generation of garbage through various means, to strengthen the recycling of resources, and ultimately to achieve zero waste.

To achieve this, I start to record my daily-life by making dairy.

I collected waste that I used throughout the day and tried to use them to complete my dairy, including putting together shopping receipts to remind me of my daily purchases and cutting up brown paper bags to use as dairy writing paper.

The left one is an example made of cut shopping bags.

The paper on the left is pieced together from the day’s shopping tickets.

The one on the left has a picture of where I visited the day, I cut it out of a free travel brochure.

This action is more of a self-reflection, reminding myself that I waste more than I think I do by keeping track of my daily consumption. And I found this is a good method to do self-reflection. I never recognize that I waste so much before I start tracking my day. By keeping a diary in this way, I have better control over my shopping craving, I think twice before I buy things, and I reduce a lot of unnecessary impulse purchases.

And I decided to post on my social media in a monthly basis, trying to encourage more people.

Action #7

“Reuse”: Making full use of the resources available around me to solve problems

Since I mentioned “sustainable” in my last action, for this one, I’ trying to learn from the idea “zero-waste lifestyle”.

This is a way of life that allows you to generate as little waste as possible! And there is a “5R” policy for the zero-waste lifestyle.

It just so happens that my keyboard is broken, and I thought maybe I could fix the problem myself rather than replace it with a new one…

A short slow-motion on how I “reuse” my old keyboards.

I need to thank my mom for her generous support: a rich resource of old keyboards! Without these I may not be able to make it. And I found that repairing some broken equipment myself wasn’t as complicated as I thought it would be. And the whole process was surprisingly fun, which made me feel the joy of DIY that I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Action #6

Since this action we can explore some context that interests us and dig deeper on it.

For my part, I’d like to explore the potential of plastics in the sustainable sector. So I called one of my friend to share the workload with me and prepared the most “sustainable ” plastic material I can ever found.

I got the second-hand chair from the recycle centre in my community, someone drops it there and I took it home, trying to give it a second life. And the plant-based glue is obtained from the plant beans, the main component is galactomannan, as well as protein, cellulose, water and a small amount of calcium, magnesium and other inorganic elements. The foam balls I bought is made of recycled plastic, it’s much more “sustainable”, and it is said to reduce the pressure of degradation.

A short video on how I made the foam ball chair, and thanks to my friend helping me finish this.

So the question comes: Is this really sustainable?

I’m afraid it’s not really “sustainable”, but I made this just since I want to give off an idea that there is the better solution to use the plastics rather than just collected them to the degradation centre.

Plastic degradation is a lengthy process and is difficult to achieve completely, and even if genetically engineered bacteria could be used to produce fully biodegradable plastics, the cost would still be high.

It is for this reason that the recycling of waste plastics has been commonly used by modern chemical companies. Waste plastics are screened and sorted manually, then crushed, granulated, and modified to become a variety of transparent and opaque plastic pellets, which are then sorted according to their appearance and finally become reusable recycled materials.

Action #11

One more!

Take your time to consider how you might use this last action…..

How might you use it to carry you toward the spring term?
How might you find a way to carry this studio community through the break?
or…ignore these prompts and do what you feel is appropriate

This year is a really tough year for most of the people in this world, we suffered a lot, and hopefully next year things can be better, people can get outside, the virus can be controlled.

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

For the spring term, the very first thing is I hope I can fly to Vancouver and attend class during normal hours…I really want to get rid of staying up late till 3am! But the news said foreigners are not allowed to enter Canada till January 21st, and the situation in BC is quite serious in BC, so I hope people are safe.

Internet is always the best solution under this condition!

This is a Chinese character “人”, which means “human being”.

When I traveled to Qinghai Lake, the scenery there is very beautiful, blue sky with white cloud, and the water is crystal clear, gently flow on the ground. I began to feel that people are very small, and it reminds me back to a classical literary I learnt in my high-school:

“寄蜉蝣于天地,渺沧海之一粟。哀吾生之须臾,羡长江之无穷。挟飞仙以遨游,抱明月而长终。知不可乎骤得,托遗响于悲风。” —-苏轼 《赤壁赋》

So I made this model with wood and straw with some rags, it is the shape of “人”, and I hope we can all be stronger, be positive to say hello to the coming 2021. Everything gonna be better!

It tooks me 1 hour and a half to make this wood-man, and after taking this picture I was asked to clean this up by the scenic staff lol.