As we prepare to collaborate on our latest OpenIDEO Challenge, we've compiled Guiding Principles to help point our efforts in the right direction. These principles seek to provide guidance, inspiration and focus during our collective efforts.
In this challenge we’re looking for ways to nudge people to incorporate better recycling habits into their daily routines at home.
Why is our focus ‘at home’ ?
In many countries, less than a third of people recycle at home. Whilst a lot of work can be done to improve recycling schemes and infrastructure in any context or any location, we’re focusing on recycling within homes as it’s one of the places where each of us can make change happen.
When we think of recycling, it can be easy to immediately think of existing systems like bottle or aluminum can deposit programs as the solution. In reality, these programs are just one approach to recycling and often require large infrastructural changes that we may actually find difficult to influence in this challenge. Instead, let's focus our attention on elements or factors in our daily routines or habits at home that we can influence to inspire fresh thinking and innovative solutions.
What do we mean by recycling?
In this challenge we’re interested in what motivates people to establish new habits and how we might create communities of dedicated home-recyclers. Our main focus is on sorting and recycling household waste: packaging, paper, metal, bottles, food, glass, batteries – but we also welcome solutions around other things we might sometimes get rid of at home. In keeping with the Research phase we’re interested in diverse inputs and solutions from a variety of environments and we’d love to know what helps you reduce your waste at home.
It can be easy, especially when thinking about reducing our collective impact, to dwell on the negative. But in keeping with our OpenIDEO community spirit, let's focus on the positive. Staying optimistic, hopeful and open will not only help us collaborate better – but also to design better, together.
Emphasis on Solutions
As we explore our topic then design concepts to inspire and enable communities, we each might feel a tendency to find fault, debate the issues or focus on what's not working. Let's turn that on its head and instead steer our efforts toward positive solutions. Rather than talking about how a particular government or company is not so great at recycling and pointing blame, try to think of how we might change the status quo, and enable people to make a difference
Our community already has a knack for conversations that are friendly, constructive and collaborative – and we know this challenge will be no different. As we embark on this newest challenge together, let's remember that everyone's experiences and opinions are welcome, as long as the content we share is thoughtful and respectful. In particular, for some people waste and the environment can be a frustrating and sometimes emotional issue. Let’s be mindful and respectful when talking to each other about our experience with recycling and the impact of our waste.