Work         Fun
Work         Fun

Imprint Projects LA Zero Waste Initiative

Design strategy
Print design

A strategy-led sustainability project.

Fresh out of my undergrad environmental studies program in 2017, I worked with the design team at Imprint Projects to start a multifaceted zero waste initiative at the company’s LA office.

Approach to change

Multi-modal engagement strategies around a central theme (waste diversion) were used to establish awareness and interest, building capacity and commitment to make change.

Introducing the topic
The project began with an assessment of existing waste diversion methods in the office and awareness around the topic.

Waste stream diagram

A visualization of how office waste was being diverted and its final destination

New signage & organization
We re-organized the waste diversion receptacles after researching what is and isn’t accepted by compost and recycling collectors.

Visual, comprehensive signage educated users on how and when to use the system.

Supplementary signage above each container provided additional information on the final destination of the waste, emphasizing the idea that trash never goes “away,” it goes somewhere else.

Signage designs

Measuring Impact
To show how the extra effort can yield actual results, compost bags were weighed as they were taken out.

By doing this, the office was able to track kilograms of compost diverted from landfills, and estimate, by proxy, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions using methods from this study.

Developing a discourse

Several office discussions, lunches, and a field trip were organized in order to develop shared knowledge and values around zero waste.

Initial discussion

Introducing the new signage generated a lengthy discussion about recycling and office waste management, that revealed a greater group interest than we had previously assumed.

#trashtalk lunch talk
We held a dedicated lunch event to continue the conversation, with a short presentation and planned activity. 

︎︎︎ Sustainability positioning matrix activity

Office habits and consumption patterns (one per sticky note) were mapped by self-assessed measures of sustainability, and the effort required to change that habit.

The map was also used to generate ideas on improving office sustainability, some of which were able to be implemented and executed by the design team and office staff in the following weeks.

Lunch & Learn
Following the lunch talk, we coordinated a subsequent lunch hour discussion with local recycling specialist presenting and leading a conversation around recycling, food recovery, and zero waste events.

Field trip!
The lunch & learn event led to a field trip to the Burbank Recycle Center, with the goal of generating continued discussion on how to implement zero-waste strategies at the office and in the agency’s work.