Information about:

Design of instruments for saving natural resources: effects of color, shape and labelling

Funded by: 
Engineers & Public Constructors Pension Fund (TSMEDE)
Scientific supervisor: 
Sunday, 1 February, 2009

Design of instruments for recycling

Many types of recycling containers of different color, size and shape have been used since today. Time consuming for making the choice of appropriate recycling bin does not promote recycling behavior. The type and particularly the color of bin should provide information for the recycling of a particular material, more so when there are different colored bins for a material even in the same city. This can cause confusion and sorting mistakes not facilitating people to put their recyclables into the right collection bin. The identification of a material with a color internationally readable could be perceived as a stimulus which activates the recycling attitudes and promotes them to happen unintentionally and spontaneously.  

The hypothesis of research considers that the design of appropriate bins will influence in a positive way the factors space, time and personal effort for recycling.


Design of symbols for renewable energy resources

According to Article 3 of Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 23 April 2009 for the promotion of renewable energy resources, the use of energy labeling (eco-labels) is recommended. The integration of broader social and environmental values in​​to energy certification functioning visually is essential to promote the policy and strategy related to the use of renewable energy resources.

Another aim of the present research is to capture the feelings, thoughts, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs and attitudes of public relating to renewable energy resources for the design of symbols which represent them.



Two questionnaires were designed to meet the research aims. One to investigate first, the information level of people, their attitudes and perceptions about the recycling value as well as their behaviors concerning the management of household waste; second, if some standard symbols are easily readable and third, the bins design which would encourage recycling participation maximizing the system performance by shortening the time required and reducing personal effort and mistakes. The targets of the second one were: first, to investigate the degree of citizens’ information, attitudes and perceptions about the climate change and renewable energy resources and second, to design symbols for renewable energy resources.

The first phase of research included the collection of about 600 recycling and 800 renewable energy resources questionnaires, 200 of which were filled in by experts in the issue, mainly engineers, by 200 citizens who obtained face to face information and by 200 students of secondary and 200 of primary education who were informed officially within the school community.

The second phase of research was completed by: 1) the design of a sheet to evaluate and decode the public design by two judges. In the case of disagreement between them, the view of a third person was requested. 2) Data analysis by the statistical package SPSS.