Senior Capstone Project

ENV 490C: Senior Seminar & Capstone

My senior capstone project at Northern Arizona University (NAU) required me to involve all disciplines from my Environmental Science, Policy, and Administration undergraduate degree. I began this project in a class called Implementing Sustainability. A group of us researched the prevalence, use, and policies of green cleaning chemicals on our campus. We compared our findings to other campus cleaning product usage and policies across the United States and Canada.

I took this project up on my own with supervision from the NAU Office of Sustainability for my Undergraduate Research Project to satisfy my ENV485 units. Ultimately, I developed and attempted to implement a business plan to sell green cleaning products to students on campus. This would effectively increase the level of understanding of the importance of health, green cleaning, and sustainability practices within the student population while also demonstrating the value of green cleaning products to stakeholders at all policy levels.

These goals were not achieved within one research semester, however a project portfolio was left in archive at the NAU Office of Sustainability for other students to base their project ideas on. This webpage documents the final details of this project and includes the presentation that I gave to the UGRADS Symposium to complete my capstone project.

Green Cleaning in Residence Halls at Northern Arizona University.

Project Abstract

Abstract

            My objective for this project was to develop, author and implement a business plan that promotes the use of green cleaning products, especially with students. This project not only researches a hypothesis regarding the importance of green chemicals but it also investigates their positive effect on human health. In addition to these objectives, I gained experience in project management, policy navigation and community organization. I worked with the Office of Sustainability at Northern Arizona University to plan and develop methods of scanning and research, networking within the campus community, pitching ideas and striking discussions with top level stakeholders at the institutional level. Fostering a culture of sustainability is an overlying principle to this project. The results include a research scan of institutional green cleaning use and importance, informational fliers regarding green chemicals and an authored business plan. The information attained from this project has led me to believe that green chemicals promote human health and reduce sick days. The future of this project requires additional funding through either grants or scholarships in order to be put into action, and the Office of Sustainability should consider giving this project to future interns for that advancement.

Key Words: green, cleaning, chemicals, business, positive, health

Concept Slide

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Office of Sustainability at NAU

I.            Learning Objectives

  1. Community Networking, Organizing and General Involvement
  2. Project Management and Implementation
  3. Policy and Guideline Navigation
  4. Social and Behavioral Study of Student Population
  5. Carbon Value Process and Research

II.            Project Goals

  1. Describe the current situation in detail
  2. Research other projects similar to this
  3. Research cleaning arsenal available to NAU students

i.      Products

ii.      Cost and Procurement

  1. Develop and organize stakeholders
  2. Create a plan for organization and distribution of green cleaning kits
  3. Conduct student survey and behavioral engagement toward project
  4. Carbon value cleaning products and student interaction
  5. Connect this sustainability initiative to Carbon Neutrality and a Culture of Sustainability.

Final Presentation: Undergraduate Symposium (UGRADS),

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

(Spring, 2013)

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