Page 1




SUST 743 INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO II Through observation and participation in diverse ecosystems, designers research human behavior, such as cultural rituals and daily interactions. Using their discoveries as inspiration, designers develop design solutions creating viable sustainable behaviors and practices.

TEAM 743

Christopher Beardsley

Gabriela Velez

Jenna Bower

Kaley Blask





Luisa Solano Ghisays

Manasi Nandakumar

Scott Crotzer






What Is The Goal?



Who Are The Culprits? • Observations



• Interviews


Why Are Straws A Problem?

• Cultural Probes


• Social Media


• Research Synthesis


• Course Material


• Culture


• Communication


• Company


• Consumers


• Influence


• Customer Segments 30 • Benefits & Barriers


• Ideating Solutions


DESIGN DEVELOPMENT 35 How Can This Problem Be Solved? • The Campaign


• The Goals & Impact


• The Event






Clear contributors to an environmental challenge Repetitive human behavior creating the problem The impact shifting in behavior would have New behavior replacing the old one The benefits and barriers to the new behavior

DESIGN An intervention addressing the balance between the challenges and rewards of the old behavior by introducing a new behavior for a specific demographic and environment. PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR The team identified the problem as the consumption of straws in a restaurant setting. INTENDED OUTCOME The shift in behavior will be from habitually using straws to refusing straws before they are served.



WHY ARE STRAWS A PROBLEM? OCEAN PLASTIC STATISTICS • By 2025 it is estimated there will be 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish. At this rate there will be more plastic than fish by 2050. • 8 million tons of plastic are deposited in 1 year in the ocean, adding to the 150 million tons of plastics in the ocean as of 2017. • 6% of global oil consumption is used in the creation of virgin plastics. STRAW STATISTICS Of the 8 million tons of plastic trash flowing every year into the world’s oceans, the plastic drinking straw is surely not a top contributor to all the tonnage...size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangled marine animals and are consumed by fish. - Laura Parker (National Geographic) • Currently 99% of the global straw market is made up of plastic. Paper, glass, and metal straws makeup the other 1% • Straws are the 5th most common type of trash found on coastlines • In California alone 32,214 straws were picked up on California Coastal Cleanup Day in 2017. 4

COURSE MATERIAL EARTH CHARTER The Earth Charter states, the global population stands at a moment of critical mass in earth’s history where humanity has the power to change their future. The world is becoming increasingly more fragile, making it a necessity to recognize humans are, despite cultural differences, essentially one Earth with one common destiny. Humanity’s future relies on the creation of a sustainable global society being respectful of the fragile planet with all its creatures, ecosystems and resources. A peaceful unity of all living things which includes awareness of humans’ responsibility for their actions and the repercussions of those actions. The Earth Charter provides a common outline of goals, creating a pathway to the formation of an emerging world community. The charter provides a standard for all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments and institutions to follow as humanity jointly strives to achieve the One World Mentality needed for success. DESIGN FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE Designing for Behavior Change gave the team information about how the mind works. Some of the surprising takeaways include: • The mind is not consciously deciding what to accomplish next. • Humans are creatures of habit and while habits can easily be created, they are very difficult to change. • If changing a habit is considered hard work, people will avoid it at all costs. • Humans look to their peers to guide them, but they will 5

continue to make immediate decisions based on their experiences in the past. • It’s important to design things which are straightforward, common, advantageous, alluring, compelling, and achievable. The CREATE Action Funnel: In order for immediate action to be taken, five things need to happen for a movement toward the action to be initiated. First, a person starts thinking about the action when an appropriate cue is given. This will produce an automatic reaction as an initial response to the action or cue. The mind will then evaluate the idea with respect to cost and benefits checking at the same time for the internal ability to act. This ability will be solely based on the person’s feeling of security of understanding what to do as well as having the needed tools to achieve the act. The person has to ultimately believe they can succeed and if the timing is right for the action. If all five stages are passed including cue, reactions, evaluations, abilities, and timing, then the action will be executed. Successes in behavioral changes include removing work for the user whenever possible with technical solutions. Designers engineering a solution is a whole lot more effective than changing a behavior. In fact, turning a behavior into a side effect of something else is more effective. If you can make something a habit it will anchor a repetitive behavior in a huge way. Habits are so ingrained, it is not sustainable to focus only on changing an existing behavior. It’s better just to create new ones. Habits are so powerful, better results are found when you distract from them completely, be mindful to divert the cues, replace the routine, and crowd out the habits instead.

DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR When designing sustainably one must take into account the environmental, economic, and social impacts the product can have throughout its lifecycle. The most effective way to reduce the social and environmental impacts of products is to “moderate how users interact with them.” Designers need to be conscious of possible consequences resulting from user performance, as well as understanding behavior change can be an initial step in limiting environmental and social impacts by bettering product design. By observing user behavior, one can identify the social impact, such as resource consumption, and make consumers aware of the link between their own behaviors and the direct impact on their surroundings and the people around them. With little deliberation, humans tend to habitually use products as if the process is ingrained in their DNA. User interaction with these products in such a conforming manner, makes apparent the social and cultural values shaping the users’ behavior. This makes it necessary to record the behavior in the context in which it occurs, allowing designers to understand the reasoning behind the deep-seated behaviors they wish to change with their designs. SOCIAL CHANGE A synthetic and an analytic approach exists to clarify the influence of products on human behavior. “Synthetic approaches to understanding product influence raises specific awareness of the dynamic, interacting factors that make up human life, which may in turn help a designer to better understand where to intervene when

aiming to change behavior.” The “analytic approaches to understanding product influence provide a clearer grasp of what happens during user-product interaction, and how this interaction impacts behavior directly.” (TROMP, N., & HEKKERT, P. (2012). DESIGNING BEHAVIOUR.IN J. DONOVAN & W. GUNN (EDS.), DESIGN ANTHROPOLOGY: ASHGATE)

There are six theories about product influence: • Affordance Theory: Usually action-related, where people don’t initially see an object’s physical properties such as color, texture, or form, but rather what a product or object allows them to accomplish or offers them. • Nudge Theory: Refers to the slight push that the environment gives people to make certain decisions. Often when confronted with what most people will do, others will follow the same suit and steer unconsciously in that direction. • Persuasion Theory: Describes how people tend to influence one another in interpersonal relationships. • Activity Theory: Involves a conscious and goal-directed process supported by automatic operations happening unconsciously. • Practice Theory: Is ‘a routinized type of behaviour which consists of several interconnected elements: bodily activities, mental activities, ‘things’ and their use, and background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge.’ • System Theory: Interventions can cause both immediate and side effects. Feedback loops allow designers to be aware that products have influence over time.






Marvin Chester Stone, inventor and patentee of the spiral winding process making the first straws possible, glued individual pieces of paper together to replace the ryegrass straw used at the time. Mr. Stone found the ryegrass straw irritating because it was known to continually break down in his cocktails leaving a gritty residue, so the paper replacement was a welcomed innovation. By the beginning of the twentieth century, hospitals commonly used straws to prevent the spread of germs, such as the ones responsible for the dreaded polio epidemic. Sixty years later, straw use became a widespread phenomenon as restaurants helped usher in the age of the disposable plastic straws constructed out of polypropylene.

Today, Americans use 500 million straws daily, equaling 1.6 straws per person, per day. BEHAVIOR The vendors think the consumers want the straws and the consumers are too slow and can’t be bothered to say we don’t need one when it is served to them. Both sides are complacent in the problem. People are simply numb to this issue. - Doug Woodring



It wasn’t until 2015 that people started realizing the environmental impacts of straws. The straw-free movement really got its start with the viral video of a rescuer pulling a straw from the nostril of an injured turtle. This uptick in awareness was all due to this viral video. To date, the video has been viewed more than 11.8 million times. Since the release of the video, straw free campaigns have started blooming all around the world.

One such campaign is Straw Wars. Straw Wars is comprised mostly of bars and restaurants in the United Kingdom that have pledged to eradicate straw usage within their establishments. The initiative is the brainchild of leading bars, restaurants, and hotels of the Soho London area.


COMMUNICATION STRAWLESS OCEAN CAMPAIGN On the opposite side of the Atlantic, Actor and founder of Lonely Whale Foundation, Adrian Grenier, started the Strawless Ocean Campaign. With the hashtag #stopsucking, consumers are both challenged to quit using straws and asked to challenge their favorite restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or venue to join the movement. STRAWLESS IN SEATTLE Fueled by the power of celebrity involvement, The Strawless Ocean campaign gained enough steam to make policy makers take notice. On the launch of Strawless in Seattle, the Mayor of Seattle announced that as of July 2018, Seattle will become the largest metropolitan city to ban single-use plastic straws.




Due to the fact that these movements are centered around the impact that straws have on coastal ecosystems as well as oceans, it was no wonder that grassroot organization Surfrider Foundation would also participate in the strawfree movement. The Surfrider Foundation highlights businesses that pledge to meet an ocean friendly standard, including limiting all plastics. Charleston, South Carolina’s Surfrider Foundation chapter even challenged the hospitality industry within its own city limits to be strawless for the summer of 2017, with great success.

The Last Plastic Straw movement strives to educate the public about the absurdity of single-use plastic, its effects on human health, the environment, and the ocean. The Last Plastic Straw movement challenges bars and restaurants to only provide straws if the customer requests one, or to take the next step and not offer straws at all.


COMPANY The previous campaigns help to deliver a message of change, yet even if these establishments want to take up the challenge of reducing their single use waste, many find that they can’t do so because of rules and regulations set up by the FDA or local governments. LOCAL RESTAURANT POLICIES In the state of Georgia, single-use plastic can be only used once, and once it’s been given to the customer, it cannot be returned even if the item has not been used. An example of this is straws and condiment packets—even if the item is still in its packaging, once it’s given to the customer it cannot be reused because it could be contaminated and thus it must be thrown away. These rules concerning single-use plastic are common in many states across the country. However, more progressive states like California and Washington are making changes to their laws and regulations to address the issues related with single-use plastic consumption. For example, Californian cities are requiring hospitality establishments to keep their plastic straws to themselves unless a customer asks for one specifically. A single case has roughly 12,000 straws. Each case costing $76.89 from one supplier. This equated that straw cost roughl $0.0064 each


LIFE CYCLE & INFRASTRUCTURE Changes in the hospitably regulation is but one step. The team needed to fully understand the life cycle of straws and the infrastructure in place to deal with them once they are discarded. So the team started by asking the question: “what exactly are straws made of?” Straws are made from Polystyrene which happens to be fully recyclable, lightweight, low density, and can be used multiple times before incineration is required. Yet with all of these wonderful characteristics, straws tend to be difficult to recycle. Straws fall through the cracks of conveyor belts of recycling facilities due to their size and either end up in a landfill or lost during the decontamination process, ending up in water output and eventually into the nearby water supply.

Some companies are taking the initiative to address the issue of plastic straw waste. STRAW INNOVATIONS The company Lolli Straws has produced the world’s first edible, hyper-compostable straw. Aardvark Paper drinking straws has taken a different approach and looked towards the past for inspiration and designed a “modern” paper straw which would be easier to recycle or decompose naturally.

LOCAL INITIATIVES In Savannah, local initiatives have also taken up the call to fight against single-use plastic. The local organization 100 Miles produced a comprehensive list of ways to reduce plastic litter on the coast of Georgia. A champion in the straw-free movement in Savannah is Tybee Clean Beach Initiative. Tybee Clean Beach began with the simple premise of cleaning up Tybee Island, with groups of volunteers hitting the beach several times a month to manually pick up litter off the Tybee coast. Tybee Clean Beach also seeks to teach people how they can reduce, reuse, and recycle waste to create things of beauty.

REMOVAL OF PLASTIC STRAWS Companies like Ted’s Montana Grill have made the switch to paper straws to reduce their impact on the environment. And Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Smithsonian Institution museums have taken a step further and ban straws all together. 12

CONSUMERS CONTEXT The goal of the project is to target a specific behavior to change, so it was very important to the team to clearly define the context of where this behavior is occurring. Straw use most frequently occurs in restaurants settings, so the team broke down the different types of restaurants into four categories in order to decide on which type to focus on: fancy, casual, fast casual, and fast food. Fancy restaurants were eliminated because they typically serve drinks without straws. Next, fast food restaurants were eliminated because more often than not, the consumer has no choice in the single use items they’re given. They are handed a bag, napkins, sauce packets, and a soda with a lid and straw when they go through the drive-thru window. The types of restaurants that remained were casual and fast casual because these types of restaurants are where consumers have the most autonomy over their actions around plastic use. In a fast casual restaurant, such as Panera Bread or Chipotle, consumers can choose whether or not they’d like a lid or a straw for their drinks from self-serve stations. Additionally, at a fast casual restaurant consumers are more likely to be dining alone, quickly on their lunch breaks, so individuals rather than groups of people would have to be targeted, making this setting a little difficult to research. In a casual restaurant, such as Chili’s or Tequila’s Town in Savannah, consumers can tell the server whether they would


like a straw or not. In this type of setting, consumers are more likely to be dining with one or more people, for longer periods of time, so there is greater potential to use group influence as a behavior change strategy. TARGET CONSUMER After the team had decided which two types of restaurants to potentially focus on, they had a discussion about who the target audience might be. One thing the team considered is who they had the easiest and widest access to in Savannah, which, given their enrollment at Savannah College of Art and Design, was college students. HYPOTHESIS To find out specifics about dining experiences in restaurant settings and about the selected target audience, the team decided to form a hypothesis that could be tested with a survey. The survey results would help the team to solidify the type of restaurant setting and the type of consumer to target for the behavior change intervention. The hypothesis formed was: Students between 20-35 years old who eat out 1-2 times a week at casual dining restaurants dine in for 1-2 hours.

SURVEY To confirm or deny this hypothesis, the team created a survey with 9 quick, simple questions that could be posted to social media. The team wanted the questions to be purely about college student demographics, with no questions about single use items or straws because the team did not want to lead the survey takers into lying about their straw use. According to the class readings, survey results about specific behaviors, especially ones that are so habitual like straw use, can contain false information. When people are taking a survey and they’re asked “Do you use straws at restaurants?” or “How frequently do you use straws?” they may have a tendency to lie. Whether it’s because they’re ashamed and know better, or because there is a human tendency to underestimate the amount of trash they create, the team did not want to risk the chance of the survey results being inaccurate. The survey had a total of 71 responses.


CONSUMERS 1. How old are you?

3. What type of restaurant are you most likely to dine at?

19-24 years

25-30 years


31-36 years

Fast casual

2. What is your gender?

4. How many times a week do you dine at this type of restaurant?

1-2 times





2-3 times

3-4 times

4+ times

5. Who do you dine with the most at this type of restaurant?

7. Are you most likely to get your meal to-go or dine in at this restaurant?

By myself

With my significant other


With a small group of friends

6. Which meal do you get most often at this type of restaurant?



8. If you dine in, how long do you stay at the restaurant?

> 1 hour


1-2 hours


<2 hours


CONSUMERS THEORY The results from the survey allowed the team to turn the hypothesis formed prior to the survey into a theory. This theory was used throughout the rest of the project as a reminder of who and where the final solution should address. Students aged 22-24 years old who eat out 1-2 times a week at casual dining restaurants with 2-4 people for dinner dine in for 2+ hours. PERSONA With the theory in mind, the team created a persona to help visualize an example of who the target audience is for the final solution. Elizabeth SCAD Illustration major 23 yrs old She’s always pretty busy and can’t concentrate at home, so she has a few spots where she can go and get inspiration to draw and research. She almost never eats at home, but when she does, she’d normally have microwave dinners. When she wants to relax, she meets her friends in casual restaurants downtown, to have a proper dinner and chat with her classmates or roommates. They like to try new places but most of the time go to the same restaurants like, Tequila’s Town, B&D Burgers and Kayak Cafe.




The four types of influence are: Decisive Aware that influence is externally regulated and unaware of deliberate influence.

Coercive Aware that influence and behavior change is a reaction to influence.

Seductive Unaware of influence and regard behavior as internally motivated.

Persuasive Aware of influence and behavior change is a reaction to influence, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weak.



Force of Influence

The team plotted the case studies researched in the Communication part of the secondary research phase as well as several other behavior change case studies that the team looked into onto a Force/Salience matrix. A Force/ Salience matrix is a tool that can be used to analyze the four different types of influence on a scale of weak to strong force of influence and implicit to explicit salience of influence. Analyzing the case studies using this matrix helped the team to determine which case studies to be most inspired by when ideating for the final solution later on in the process. All case studies were categorized into either products or activities/social gatherings.

COERCIVE Buddy system

Shaming voters to vote

The Last Plastic Straw Strawless in Seattle

Dog poop bags Vaporizer Strawless Ocean #stopsucking


IMPLICIT Salience of Influence


Strawless Summer Cody Stella Artois Challice

Straw Wars Surfrider Foundation WEAK


Hospital Hygiene Movember Ice Bucket Challenge



WHO ARE THE CULPRITS? TARGET CUSTOMERS As mentioned in the previous section, the target audience for this project was students aged 22-24 years old who eat out 1-2 times a week at casual dining restaurants with 2-4 people for dinner and dine in for 2+ hours. For primary research, the team employed a few different methods to gather data from their target audience. First, each team member did individual observations in casual restaurant settings to see where the points of intervention could be in the straw-to-table timeline. Next, the team conducted interviews with experts to get their insights on behavior change around straw use. The team also utilized social media to get responses about user motivation to use straws. Finally, the team performed cultural probes to gain more user insight into their motivations for either using or not using straws.


OBSERVATIONS OBSERVATIONS AT RESTAURANTS Part of the team’s primary research consisted of in-person observations. Each team member was asked to keep record of their experience when eating out at a casual restaurant. Together, the team created a matrix on which to record each experience by expanding the timeline from entering a restaurant to the moment a straw touches the table. The results from the initial demographic survey narrowed


the team’s focus to observations on small groups of college-age people. The team also kept track of their own experiences in order to pinpoint a moment of intervention either for the customer or the wait staff. The graph illustrates the expanded timeline and the points of intervention most seen through the team’s observations.

INTERVIEWS MEGHANN CRANFORD, CAMPUS COORDINATOR, THE POST-LANDFILL ACTION NETWORK The team believed it would be good idea to interview Meghann, as she has the experience of working with students within university campuses. According to Meghann, in order to target students one has to target what drives them, and hence incentives and disincentives can be effective. According to her it is more effective to target systems and then individual change. In short, make straws unavailable in the first place before students can even resist them. It helps to shift behavior and also reduce unwanted material.

SHARON-CHRIS, CO-OWNERS, BULL STREET TACO Through the team’s research, they discovered that the restaurant Bull Street Taco in Savannah was actively banning straw usage within their own establishment, so the team knew they needed to interview them. For owners Sharon and her husband, it was an easy decision to be strawless. For them it was just something they believed in and wanted their restaurant to reflect their own beliefs. With the disclaimer on their menu “reconnecting you to your drink”, Bull Street Taco is making people aware of their straw usage. Though they have experienced little if any backlash from banning straws from their customers, they do offer biodegradable straws if a customer really wants one.


INTERVIEWS KATHRYN WILLIAMS, CO-OWNER, NORTH BEACH BAR & GRILL The team also had the opportunity to meet with Kathryn Williams, the co-owner of North Beach Bar and Grill on Tybee Island to discuss their current business practices. Over the years, North Beach had phased out almost all of their unsustainable take out containers, but one big hurdle remained – phasing out single use plastic straws. The team inquired about what their barriers to transitioning were, and Sharon expressed how the more sustainable paper straw options were much more expensive, how restaurant profit margins are so low, and how the city doesn’t provide any incentives for restaurants to make the transition. However, North Beach has now transitioned from providing plastic straws to only providing paper straws upon the request of customers. Kathryn told the team how these changes were made possible through her persistence in trying to always do the environmentally friendly thing, and the persistence of Tybee Clean Beach in trying to advocate for change. Kathryn also told the team about her own personal experiences going out to restaurants, and how when she is offered a straw, she lets the waiter hand her the straw and then politely hands it back stating, “500 million of these are used in America every single day. I don’t need a straw.”


CULTURAL PROBES LEMONADE/ICED TEA STAND In order to gain more insight into the motivations behind straw use within the target audience, the team set up two cultural probes on different days and different locations. The team set up a lemonade and iced tea stand and gave out free drinks to students in between classes at the Gulfstream Center for Design on Monday 2/5/18 and the SCAD Museum of Art Courtyard on Tuesday 2/6/18. As the students approached the two team members serving drinks, the remaining team members were set up to observe who took a straw and who didn’t take a straw. After the students walked away from the table, these team members approached them to inquire as to why they did or did not take a straw. The table was set up in such a way that the straws were prominent enough for people to see them and were cued to take one. During the second cultural probe, the team added a question to the follow-ups for people that didn’t take a straw for environmental reasons: “Do you try to influence your friends to stop using straws? And if so, what do you do?” The team hoped that this question would give them more insight into how people may try to shift the behavior of their peers in a social setting. Between both cultural probes, the team had 127 participants.




SOCIAL MEDIA FACEBOOK + REDDIT In order to incorporate some other methods into the primary research phase that could complement the Cultural Probe, the team decided to explore what people’s answers would be in an online environment where they are showcasing their personalities, such as Facebook and Reddit. This method had around 130 participants, the majority of which came from Facebook. Using Facebook status updates, all the team members posted the question: “Hello people! When you use a straw, why do you use it?” On Reddit’s “Ask Reddit” feature, the team posted the same question. Both platforms provided rich insights about people’s straw use habits. Additionally, posting on social media gave respondents more time to dig deeper into their reasonings behind using straws to answer the team’s questions, compared with the limited time to answer during the cultural probe. Facebook showed that most people create rationalizations to defend their straw use, for example, “it’s cleaner to drink from a straw because the glass is dirty.” The responses revealed that the connection with straws is mainly emotional, rather than functional. Reddit on the other hand is a space on the internet for users to showcase their witty and funny personalities. On Reddit, the responses provided more socio-cultural insights and more respondents in favor of not using a straw than on Facebook. Respondents had a discussion about the rationalizations people make for using straws, challenging

why people feel the need to use a straw for a water or soda glass, but not for a wine or beer glass. The answers from Facebook and Reddit were classified into 4 categories: • Psychological: Rationalizations for using a straw that when confronted by logic are easily broken (ie: hygiene, drinking faster or slower with a straw). • Emotional: An emotional attachment to straws or a “fun” factor that straws have (ie: bendy straws, blowing spit wads). • Physical: Some straw users feel they are clumsy or have difficulties with time management. This forces them to use a straw in cases when they are in a rush, don’t want to spill their drink, or in some cases when the beverage is too thick. • Socio-cultural: Correlating the use of straws to gender, (ie: using a straw is feminine) or acknowledging that using a straw is so embedded in culture, it has become a habit hard to break. The most important finding from the social media postings was that while many people realize that using straws results in negative environmental impacts, it is an incredibly difficult habit to break. Therefore, people create rationalizations as to why they continue to use them. The disconnect between knowledge of environmental impact and continued straw use served as an inspiration for the team throughout the remainder of the project.


RESEARCH SYNTHESIS AFFINITIZATION The information from cultural probes, interviews, personal observations, and social media posts was separated and distilled by small groups within the team. Each group was in charge of determining the most beneficial insights to the project. The small groups elected to distill the information as they saw fit, coincidentally coming back together with similar insights.

To Straw Or Not To Straw

Yes 53%


No 47%

Male & Straws

Yes 49%

Female & Straws

No 51%

Yes 55%

No 45%

Did Take Straws

Event 1

Event 2

Did Not Take Straws

Event 1

Event 2

No Lid Ice

Mouth Wrinkles

Just Cuz

Turtle Video

No Spill



Peer Pressure


Not Given




Didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Notice


Personal Choice



Did Take Straws

Did Not Take Straws

30% 19%


16% Convenience








Personal Choice


9% Peer Pressure


RESEARCH SYNTHESIS BENEFITS & BARRIERS Once the information was broken down into more a more manageable amount, the team worked together to utilize a Benefits and Barriers matrix in order to understand what had been learned. The team determined three initial competing behaviors to the new, desired behavior of refusing a straw. These three competing behaviors, as determined through primary research, were; asking for a straw, letting the straw come to you, and external distractions. These three competing behaviors were the

most common behaviors that prevent people from refusing a straw. Many of the perceived barriers to the new behavior were personal excuses and rationalizations that stem from the knowledge of straw uses, harmful effects on the environment, and yet the habit remains unconscious, having been developed over years of always having a straw. This helped back up the team’s initial understanding of the target audience being a young person that is aware of environmental impact but still uses straws.

No Straw Straw Timeline/Observations








Refusing a Straw

Asking for a Straw

Letting the Straw come to you

External distractions

• • • • •

Turtle Video Unnecessary Environment Health Benefits Mouth Wrinkles

• • • • • • • • •

Personal Choice To-go Personal Choice Health Hygiene Pain/Discomfort Beauty Fun/Amusement Thick Beverage

• • •

No Spilling Just Because Habitual

• •

Habitual Small Talk with the Server

• • • • •

Rationalization of use Don’t Care Obstacles Convenience Drink has Ice

• • •

Peer Pressure No Lid Feeling of Ice

Not Given a Straw

• • • • • • • • •

Didn’t Notice Talking on the Phone Reading the Menu Tired from Work Looking at Decor Talking to Friends Nervous about Date Looking at Phone Flirting with Waiter

CUSTOMER SEGMENTS REFINED TARGET CUSTOMER Based off of the research from the secondary and primary research phases, the team mapped customers based on their level of environmental awareness versus their preference for straws.

The team concluded that there is more potential to impact change by focusing on the second customer segment; the ones who are aware of environmental impact and yet use straws anyway.


The four customer segments were: AWARE of environmental impact and DOES NOT USE straws

AWARE of environmental impact but USES straws

• Cares about the environment, oceans etc.

• Apathy • Perceived hygiene • Habitual dependency

UNAWARE of environmental impact but DOES NOT USE straws

UNAWARE of environmental impact and USES straws

• Personal preferences • Social perceptions

• Blissful ignorance


BENEFITS & BARRIERS RATIONALIZATIONS competing behaviors, allowing the team to analyze how to get to the root of why people really use straws. The team first listed what the perceived benefits to the new and competing behaviors were. Doing this revealed what the perceived barriers to the new and competing behaviors were, which the team used as a brainstorming space for what the final solution needed to accomplish.

The Benefits and Barriers Matrix was done again, this time with the most prevalent rationalizations found in the distilled and affinitized information from the first Benefits and Barriers matrix. The results from this matrix helped the team to brainstorm ideas for the final solution. The team identified 5 major rationalizations as to why people use straws. This created a new spectrum of
















Refusing a Straw










No spill


Self image





Slow down


Always been there



Connecting/ tasting

Emotional connection




Less fun


Slow down

Social isolation

Social proof Fashionable


Not appealing

Empower new containers

Notifications or restriction

Social proof

Remove them from setting

Encourage new possibilities

Create new tools

Physical cues

Break emotional connection

Slow down

• •

Stop using ice

Encourage server interaction



IDEATING SOLUTIONS MAPPING BRAINSTORMED SOLUTIONS The team utilized the Force/Salience matrix again, this time as a way to plot their brainstormed ideas for the final solution against the case studies researched during the secondary research phase of this project. Plotting the brainstormed ideas on this matrix revealed which ideas used the right amount of force and elicited the right amount of salience in the target audience. Solutions were categorized by their nature (product, campaign, social innovation, and technology) and then Campaigns

Social Innovations

DECISIVE No straw section

No straw order app


Once the brainstormed final solutions were plotted on this matrix the team voted for their favorite solution per category (product, campaign, social innovation, or technology), totaling 4 favorites. At the end of the voting session, the following 4 solutions remained:



Force of Influence


plotted in the matrix. The majority of the solutions fell into the coercive and persuasive quadrant. Within these quadrants, the majority of the solutions were focused on the user, and not on policies or products.

Light up/musical cup

Stuffed plastic animals Dating event

Cultural straw exchange

Geolocation app

Phone stack game

Slap bracelet straw

Sit out

Telescoping straw

Plastic surprise

Turtle t-shirts

Strawless happy hour


Unwrap the Earth Family heirloom

There is no straw heaven Leave your mark



Slow down and enjoy



â&#x20AC;&#x153;500 millions straws a dayâ&#x20AC;?

Salience of Influence


Turtle face straw dispenser

Straws for growth

Trannies against straws Ice cup challenge

You saved a turtle today!


Persuasive Family Heirloom and Unwrap the Earth were placed in the persuasive quadrant. This means that even though the influence is weak, the explicit salience would help to create accountability for the user. Visualizing the impact of their bad habits is key for the user to commit to changing their behavior. Unwrap the Earth Facebook module that displays straws unwinding from the 2.5 times that they wrap around the earth. Gamifying the number of times that people refuse straws, makes people feel as if they’re part of something bigger. Family Heirloom The amount of straws people pass down from one generation to the next, since straws do not biodegrade in nature and there is no ‘straw heaven’. Coercive The only coercive solution was the Turtle Face Straw Dispenser, which forces people to interact with an artifact that challenges them on whether or not they really want to use a straw after all.

Seductive Strawless happy hour was located in the seductive quadrant. A seductive solution is one that would appeal to the user’s need for a reward, and utilizing this reward to reinforce new, better habits. Strawless Happy Hour Time during the week when restaurants have a lull, so a restaurant created a promotion to draw customers in, which would be a discount on cocktails or a ‘happy hour’ price point. The promotion with a cheap cocktail will be offered by the staff when customers say “no straw” with their drink order. Ultimately, the team discussed the final 4 solutions in detail, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each, before deciding on a final solution to execute during the remainder of the project.

Turtle Face Straw Dispenser A screaming and/or crying straw dispenser that looks like a sea turtle’s face. To receive a straw, the user must pull the straw out of the turtle’s nostril as the animal screams in agony.



HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM? FINAL SOLUTION The final design solution is a hybrid of the Family Heirloom concept. With the idea of passing straws down from one generation to the next as an overarching strategy, a creative campaign was developed to strengthen the message “there is no ‘straw heaven.” This idea of everlasting, immortal damage done by using straws was something that the team leveraged in the final solution. For the final solution, the team partnered with Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers. Tybee Clean Beach, as discussed earlier in this book, is a local organization making waves in reducing the amount of trash on the coast of Tybee Island. The team wanted the final deliverable to be something that Tybee Clean Beach could implement into their future projects as a way to aid in building awareness around their work, and as a way to gain more volunteers.


THE CAMPAIGN CONCEPT The idea that the first straw a person has ever used is still out there (no ‘straw heaven’) was used as the major driving force behind the final solution. The team created a campaign to make people aware of the consequences of their straw use. In order to accomplish this, the team broke the campaign down into three components: • A campaign mascot who represented the immortality of a straw • An installation piece that visualized the amount of straw waste that people create • A tool that gets users to commit to ending their use of straws once and for all STORY The team ultimately decided on a vampire to be the campaign’s mascot because a vampire, similar to a plastic straw, is immortal. The team began with the core tagline of “the only thing to live longer than a straw is a vampire” as a point to build the campaign around. To bring the campaign to life, and to solidify the message behind the campaign’s vampire mascot, the team created the following story: Once upon a time, there was a good ol’ boy from Portage County, Ohio who invented the modern straw. His father was an inventor of many things and young Marvin soon followed in his footsteps. Through a series of unfortunate events, young Marvin was bitten by a vampire on a trip to Tybee Island, Georgia. Due to the Law of Vampire Bites, he 37

is forced to live out his days on Tybee’s beautiful beaches. (Tough luck). But it’s not all fun and games. For one thing, Vampire Marvin can only enjoy the beaches at night, or else he’ll burn to a crisp in the southern sun. And another, more sinister intruder on his immortal beach-going, is that every night he walks the shores of the beach, he finds straw after straw after straw…. Imagine, the inventor of the modern straw turned vampire, only to find his inventions littering the shores of his immortal roaming place. And not only that, but impacting even more beaches and marine life all across the world! What’s a vampire to do with that much guilt? Now, Young Marvin is taking to the streets (at night of course) and getting the message out about single use straws and empowering people to stop straw use in its tracks. Marvin wants you to calculate your straw use and take responsibility for the amount of straws you’re leaving behind. Hopefully, you won’t have to roam the straw seas for your whole immortal life…

LAUNCH The execution of the campaign happens in the form of a live event and is centered around the vampire, Marvin, who is educating the general public about the straw waste that is littering his eternal resting place on Tybee Island. Marvin is shown in several ways throughout the campaign, both on print materials and in-person, as one of the team members, Scott, dressed up as Marvin. Scott AKA Marvin spoke to participants about straw litter and the effects of the single-use “catastrawphe” that he will have to deal with for eternity because of his immortality. The components of the live event are:

2. Marvin’s Coffin Marvin’s coffin, the installation piece, that is filled to the brim with straws that have been picked up from the beach. Inside the lid of his coffin is a poster that states the number of straws a person will leave behind to the next generation if they live until 80 years old.

1. Marvin The vampire mascot, Marvin, talking to participants and directing them to different touch points throughout the event. Marvin is dressed in beachy clothing because he lives on Tybee Island.


THE CAMPAIGN 3. Eye-Catcher Posters Large posters with the campaignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taglines to draw participants into the event.


4. Commitment Cards/Table Tents A table where participants can calculate the number of straws they have used in their lifetimes, as well as sign a commitment card to end their straw use from that point forward. The commitment card is wallet-sized and double sided, with the commitment on one side and a table tent

that says â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Straw Pleaseâ&#x20AC;? on the other. Participants can keep this card in their wallets and use the table tent at restaurants as a way to kindly tell their servers that they will not be needing a straw for their beverage.


THE CAMPAIGN 5. Takeaway Flyers Participants are handed a small flyer along with their commitment card with campaign messages on one side and instructions for how to volunteer with Tybee Clean Beach on the other side. The campaign messages on the

flyers are illustrations of the most common rationalizations people use to justify their straw use, as found in the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research.

Together, these different components showcase the alarming amount of straws people have used throughout their lifetimes. By quantifying this number, participants are held accountable for their actions and are then encouraged to join in the straw-free movement. Participants will join the call to actionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to ensure the Earth is filled with less straws for future generations, and for Marvin the vampire.


THE GOALS & IMPACT ALIGNING THE FINAL SOLUTION To ensure the final design solution held up to the strategic goals the team had set forth at the beginning of the quarter, they checked it against the following four scoping tools. Doing so helped the team to back their claims that the final solution was going to bring about the intended behavior change.



For successful change to occur, all three horizons must be managed concurrently. The three horizons framework helped the team to realize the capacity for systemic transformation that the final solution had. The three horizons, plotted on an x-axis of Time and a y-axis of Growth (in this case, Straw Use), are as follows:

The team defined each horizon as follows: Horizon 1: Disposability/single use mentality Horizon 3: What society will ideally be in the future Horizon 2: Where the final design solution falls H3 Ideal Future H1 Present H2 Solution


As companies mature, they often face declining growth as innovation gives way to inertia. In order to achieve consistent levels of growth throughout their corporate lifetimes, companies must attend to existing businesses while still considering areas they can grow in the future. The three horizons framework—featured in The Alchemy of Growth,—provides a structure for companies to assess potential opportunities for growth without neglecting performance in the present. - McKinsey and Company

Horizon 1 How the dominant systems are losing fitness for purpose Horizon 3 A future state where the planetary capacity for personal and group transformation is sufficient and growing Horizon 2 The transformative capacity building journey towards Horizon 3 43


• • • • • • • • • •

In a hurry Fun Social pressure Convenience Unquestioned habit Rationalizing the use of straws Laziness Policies (restaurants & government) Ignorance & apathy Hygiene (perceived)

• • • • • • •

Make straw use socially unacceptable Knowledge & education Accountability Create a new meaning of fun Accountability Increase awareness of habits Attitude/behavior gap

• • • • • • • • •

Slowing down Reducing to-go cups Mindful consumers Less bioaccumulation Refusing straws before being served Policies banning straws Reduced harm to animals Reduced waste disposal into oceans Make it profitable

THE EARTH CHARTER Referencing The Earth Charter, one of the readings from the Course Material section of this process book, the team selected the main points that they believed the final solution aligned with. These points serve as overarching, long-term goals that the team would like the final solution to accomplish. 1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity. a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings. b. Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity. 4. Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations. a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations. b. Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth’s human and ecological communities.

5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life. b. Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect Earth’s life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage. f. Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage. 6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach. b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm. c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and global consequences of human activities. d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances. 44

THE GOALS & IMPACT 7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being. a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems. b. Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. d. Internalize the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards. f. Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite world. 8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired. b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.

13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice. a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest. f. Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively. 14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life. c. Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges. 15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration. b. Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering. c. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.


UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS The problem and solution have a direct impact on the United Nationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Sustainable Development Goals #12 and #14. In order to focus the impact even further, the following targets under these two goals were specifically identified and highlighted. Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. 12.3. By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses. 12.4. By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Goal 14: Life Below Water Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 14.1. By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution. 14.2. By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans

12.5. By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. 12.8. By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.


THE GOALS & IMPACT MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES In aligning the final solution, the team also referenced the 15 Meaningful Experiences outlined in Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, and Darrel Rhea. The team identified 6 out of 15 Meaningful Experiences as experiences that the final solution fulfills. These experiences elicit meaning for the user, making the adoption of the final solution one that is both compelling and emotional, and therefore more likely to create lasting effects. 5. Duty Commiting to not using straws is a duty that the user found at the end of the experience. Duty with their own responsibility to leave a better planet than the one they are leaving now. 6. Enlightenment With the numbers that the experience delivered and the connection of that number to the individuality of the user, produces a sense of measuring and accountability that the user probably wouldn’t have had if they never approached the campaign installation. 8. Harmony The vampire is pointing how it’s eternal resting place is now being invaded by plastics and particularly with straws. The fact that the beach looks ugly and the empathy that the character generates creates a feeling of harmony.


10. Oneness Since committing to reduce the use of straws is a minority decision in the US, oneness is also stand for a cause that represents that user. That’s why the donor card is also a table tent that can show the users commitment in restaurants and other settings. 11. Redemption The user noted that his past is “contaminated” with straws left behind. It’s way to redeem this damage is to be aware and stopping the habit that caused the damage in the first place. 13. Truth The commitment step was recorded and registered for Tybee’s purposes and academic material. The user is facing the possibility of being truthful and coherent because the mere fact of signing and being recorded reminds them to act in a coherent way to themselves.

THE EVENT JOURNEY MAP A journey map is an effective method for understanding the steps involved in a design intervention made to create an experience for the user. In this case, the design intervention—the campaign—happened in a high traffic pedestrian zone frequented by the target audience. The journey map has 6 stages that map the user’s actions and interactions with the campaign, from being completely unaware to leaving with a commitment card. These stages are: 1. Inviting the users to interact with the installation. 2. Engaging the user enough to gain their attention, then have a short explanatory talk and invite them to the next stage. 3. Make the user experience the amount of straws that they are producing, utilizing posters and objects visualizing the alarming number of straws used per day, per user. 4. Wait for the user to process the information they’ve received. 5. Prompt the user to change their habits and invite them to commit through the commitment card. 6. Give the user a tool and reward for uniting to the campaign, in this case, the commitment card/table tent and the takeaway campaign flyers.



Catch people’s attention with our vampire character.

Explain what the activity is about and guide them towards the installation (coffin).



They see the installation and experience the amount of straws.

They process the information and are prompted to act.



They are ready to take the next step.

They calculate straw use according to their age and sign the commitment card.

In addition to that, a member of the team is assigned to keep records of the process in order to detect possible flaws and give immediate feedback to the logistics team and client. 48

THE EVENT PROTOTYPING On March 5th, 2018, the team went to Tybee Island to prototype the final solution with Tim Arnold, Founder and President of Tybee Clean Beach and a volunteer group he was working with from Piedmont College. The team set up all of the live event components at Tybee Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Memorial Park to mimic the final event, which was to take place on March 9th in downtown Savannah. The goal was to test out the live event with people who were completely unfamiliar with the campaign, just as participants at the final event would be, to gauge their reactions and gain their feedback. The team quickly realized that prototyping the exact journey map, as the team would in Savannah for the final event, wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work with Tim and the Piedmont Students because it would quickly result in confusion and a short experience for all parties. This is because the team prototyped the event in a park with an already-captive audience, whereas at the final live event, the audience would be much different; they would be walking through the square quickly, unsuspecting of the event, and would have to be lured into the event in order to experience it. Due to these different circumstances, the team decided that a formal walkthrough with introductions, explanation of the different components of the live event, and commitment cards tutorial would be the best method to gain insightful feedback from our participants with the limited time we had.



THE EVENT Marvin the vampire (AKA Scott) welcomed the Piedmont Students and Tim with introductions and then explained the coffin and its significance. From there Kaley and Luisa explained how to calculate the number of straws a person has used as well as how to fill out the commitment cards. The team also walked the participants through the other components of the campaign, such as the large eye-catcher posters and takeaway flyers. After the walkthrough of the event the team opened it to an informal Q&A to gain insight of what the participants thought about the experience. The prototype received mostly positive responses from the participants. Tim Arnold was enthusiastic about the outcome of the project and was pleased to discover that we were advertising Tybee Clean Beach through the event. Some of the feedback that the team hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t considered was that the coffin interior poster number was misleading and perhaps should reflect the actual total the coffin would hold. One of the participants suggested making the text larger on certain parts of the coffin lid to help emphasize the large amounts of straws left if you lived to the age of eighty. Another thing that the team had overlooked was the high possibility of participants in favor of straws and those that are skeptical of the benefits of reduce, reuse, & recycle that would visit the event and how the team was going to address that. A suggestion was made to make visible more of the effects of straw use if they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change their habit immediately. With this feedback in mind, the team made some minor adjustments to the live event components before holding the final event on March 9th.



THE EVENT FINAL EVENT On March 9th, 2018, the team set up the final event in Chippewa Square, located in downtown Savannah. Between 5:00pm and 7:00pm, over 100 people interacted with the campaign and 81 people committed to quit using plastic straws. The team was able to draw people in to the event by telling people “the only thing to live longer than a straw is a vampire!” Once people were drawn into the event, a team member would lead them over to the coffin to show them the installation piece. Most people were shocked to learn that the number of straws inside of the coffin were only one-quarter the amount of straws they would leave behind on Earth by age 80. From there, a team member would direct them to the commitment card table, asking them to commit to reducing the number of straws they’ll leave behind for the next generation. Once at the table, a team member would walk people through the instructions of how to fill out a commitment card. Once the card was filled out, people were told how to also use the commitment card as a table tent at restaurants as a way to refuse straws, and were also handed a takeaway flyer. With the flyer, people were told about the team’s partnership with Tybee Clean Beach and instructed to look at the volunteer sign up instructions on the back of the flyer if they wanted to volunteer.



THE EVENT Overall, the final event was a success. A majority of people who interacted with the campaign were pleasantly surprised by the message, and offered their encouragement or support for what the campaign was accomplishing. The team was thanked on several occasions for putting on the event and reassuring the team that what they were doing was important and timely. In particular, the team noticed that younger people, much like the people in our original target audience, and elders were very supportive of the campaign. Middle-aged people seemed the most likely to avoid interaction with the campaign, however, the team did get a fair share of this group of people to sign commitment cards. It seemed that the fun, catchy tagline of “the only thing to outlive a straw is a vampire” was the most effective way of getting people to engage with the event. This validated the findings collected during the team’s research process. The final event provided encouraging evidence that people are ready to make the commitment to reducing or stopping their straw usage, and that they just need an easy, fun way to remind themselves of this commitment. Some suggestions for future improvement include holding the event at public events such as farmer’s markets or festivals, where people can organically interact with the campaign as they pass by. Providing a container for people who were currently using straws to dispose of them at the event also could be a powerful way for people to end their straw usage right then and there. Additionally, incorporating the campaign into social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook, would be beneficial in spreading the word even further. Finally, providing stickers and takeaway “swag” for people to take with them from the event is yet another way to reinforce people’s commitment. 55


REFERENCES Arnold, T. (n.d.). Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers. Retrieved from Earth Charter Initiative. (n.d.). Earth Charter. Retrieved from Enduring Ideas: The three horizons of growth. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ocean Friendly Restaurants. (n.d.). Retrieved from Strawless In Seattle. (n.d.). Retrieved from Strawless Ocean, from Lonely Whale Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from Straw Wars. (n.d.). Retrieved March, from The Last Plastic Straw. (n.d.). Retrieved from Tracy Bhamra, Debra Lilley & Tang Tang (2011) Design for Sustainable Behaviour: Using Products to Change Consumer Behaviour, The Design Journal, 14:4, 427-445, DOI: 10.2752/175630611X13091688930453 Wendel, S. (2015). Designing for behavior change: applying psychology and behavioral economics. Sebastopol, CA: OReilly.




Catastrawphe Process Book Final  
Catastrawphe Process Book Final