Green Arcade: Program untuk mengurangi sampah

Setiap akhir semester, santri-santri di Peacesantren Welas Asih (PWA) wajib membuat project dengan model design of change FIDS (Feel, Imagine, Do, and Share). Selama tiga tahun ini nyantri di PWA, Sofie (anak pertema saya) pernah membuat kelas Bahasa Inggris (mengajar Bahasa Inggris dengan metore Read Aload), pernah juga buat buku makanan Sunda, juga membuat program Pen Pal beberapa saat yang lalu.

Semester ini, dia membuat proyek yang lebih besar dan ‘ambisius.’ Dia membuat ‘mesin’ game ‘dingdong’ yang seperti di mall-mall itu lho, yang kalau mau main mesti masukin koin. Tapi bedanya, koinnya pake sampah (botol platik dan sampah plastik lain). Karena prosesnya rumit dan butuh teknologi tingkat tinggi, dia baru membuat prototype atau contohnya saja. Jadi ‘kotak’ mainnya sudah ada, layar TV dan game seperti Play Station juga sudah tersdia, hanya saja prosesnya masih manual. Seharusnya kan masukin sampah, lalu peserta klik tombol untuk bisa main, nah, kalau sekarang semuanya masih manual.

Maklum, ya, teman-teman, karya anak kelas 3 SMP 🙂

Tapi yang saya syukuri benar, proses Sofie mengerjakan proyek ini. Dia baca sekitar 20 jurnal berbahasa Inggris tentang gamification atau penggunaan game untuk mendorong perilaku tertentu. Dia tidak sekadar membaca ya, tapi juga membuat ringkasan dari setiap jurnal yang dia baca. Saya sampai kaget saat pembinanya mengirimkan draft proyek yang sedang dikerjakan Sofie. Padahal tidak ada kewajiban sejauh itu dari pesantren/sekolahnya. Ini murni keinginan dia sendiri, untuk memenuhi rasa ingin tahu dan keinginan belajar sendiri.

Dalam presentasi dia di bawah ini, dia ambil contoh beberapa penelitian penggunaan game dalam mengubah perilaku sekelompok orang atau masyarakat. Dari berbagai reeferensi itu, dia mengerucutkan idenya sendiri yaitu mendorong anak-anak dan remaja mengambil sampah di jalan dengan reward bermain game di mesin ini. Memang masih awal risetnya, dan masih belum sempurna hasilnya tapi alhamdulillah prototype-nya sudah menunjukkan respon positif.

Dari mana dia mendapat respon positif itu? Di presentasinya dia menjelaskan, tanggal 1 Desember 2022 lalu, PWA mengadakan pameran karya-karya santri di portofolio semester ini yang tema uatamanya seputar energi dan lingkungan. Dan karyanya bagus-bagus. Ada yang membuat kosmetik dan sabun ramah lingkungan. Ada yang menciptakan lampu emergency energi sinar matahari. Masih banyak proyek menarik lain.

Nah, kembali ke Sofie. Semua proses pengerjaan proyek, dia lakuan sendiri dengan pendampingan Abah Ambu-nya di pesantren. Dia mengumpulkan referensi sendiri, mencoba memahami kenapa orang membuang sampah, faktor-faktor yang membuat sampah menumpuk, apa yang mendorong seseorang membuang sampah di tempat sampah, dll. Dia juga merancang sendiri ‘mesin mainan’ yang dia beri nama “Arcade Game.” Selain itu, dia juga mendanai sendiri proyek ini. Hampir Rp 2 juta dia keluarkan dari tabungan yang di kumpulkan dari ‘angpao’ lebaran dan sisa uang jajan bulanan. Saya juga kaget pas saya tanya butuh support dana nggak, kata dia mau pake tabungan sendiri.

Saya terharu, saat di bagian akhir presentasinya, dia bilang, “I found experience in using my own money to fund my project, have greater independence, and practiced reading scientific publications. Most of all, the process was enjoyable and the result was satisfactory.” Dia merasa lebih mandiri dengan menggunakan uang dia sendiri untuk mendanai proyek ini. Dia juga berlatih membaca publikasi ilmiah. Dan yang paling penting, dia MENIKMATI semua proses tersebut dan merasa puas dengan hasilnya. Dan masih ingin mengembangkan proyeknya jadi lebih mendekati gambaran ideal ‘arcade’ sebagaimana di awal dia mendesain proyek ini.

Terimakasih PWA yang sudah mengantarkan Sofie pada titik ini. Mencintai pengetahuan, belajar tanpa disuruh, menemukan inisiatif tanpa embel-embel hadiah, adalah simpul-simpul penting dalam proses menuntut ilmu. Jika seorang siswa berada pada titik ini, saya, rasa, dia berada di jalan yang benar. Tinggal mendampingi dan menjadi teman diskusi yang baik, hingga semangat belajar itu terus menyala.

——–

Assalamualaikum wr wb
Hello, and welcome to Sofie’s portfolio for 2022. What I made this year was an arcade game that uses disposable litter as payment. The problem that I intend to solve this year is “How to reduce littering using gamification.”

FEEL
At first, I didn’t particularly care for the environment. Whenever I see litter, I didn’t pick it up and dispose it properly because I thought that it wasn’t my problem. However, later on, I noticed how much litter is in Indonesia. There is hardly any streets where you can’t see litter; they’re everywhere. But I didn’t commit any actions to preventing this, until I went to PWA and got interested in the concept of FIDS. I learned that I could still have the chance to create a change in my community. I decided to make something more ambitious and personal this year to reflect on what I learned.

To start, I researched on topics related to littering, such as the predictors of littering, and the benefits and usage of gamification.

To start off,
What counts as littering?
Littering, in this context, refers to the act of disposing waste improperly and outside of a receptacle (ie a trash bin or a cigarette tray).

Litter causes great negative impact in their surroundings. They are a source of contaminations and attract pests, which, by extension, attracts disease. They bring down the aesthetic value of their environment. They can also even be predictive of crime. In excess, they are costly to remove. It’s obvious that littering has no positive advantages and many disadvantages, so…
Why does littering happen?
According to a study in 2013, where researchers observe several sites with varying levels of cleanliness and convenience in the US, 85% of littering resulted from individual variability. The rest is resulted from environmental cues.

Places that often get heavily littered enforces the norm that littering is acceptable for the place. Litterers also excuse their behavior by assuming their litter is inconsequential, not technically litter, or that they will get cleaned up later.
People also wish to dispose of their litter as fast and as easy as possible; convenience is a very prominent factor. From observation, littering rates decrease by 1% (from the original 17%) for every added receptacle. For every increase for the same amount of existing litter in an environment, littering rates increase by 2%.
Littering can also become an ingrained habit and so are done unconsciously.

Who litters?
There is no particular demographic who litters more than others, though research shows that there is still a slight difference in littering behavior. Men more often litter more than women, younger people litter more than older people, and smokers litter more than non-smokers. Those who don’t feel a sense of responsibility for their environment (ie for not being connected to the local community or as an incentive to rebel) also tend to litter.

However, there is a chance that the differences can be overestimated, because different demographics are more blunt about their littering behavior. This could be due to multiple reasons, like a sense of shame from littering or excusing their behavior.

IMAGINE
To solve this problem, I wanted to utilize the elements of gamification. Gamification is the application of game-based features (for example: leveling up, achievements, or a leaderboard) to a non-gaming activity, with the intended result of the recipient gaining more motivation and enjoyment from the activity. Gamification is most effective when the games are entertaining and rewarding towards the player.

Foldit, an online puzzle game developed by the University of Washington, is a good example of the sheer potential of gamification. The objective of the game was to fold protein structures as perfectly as possible. High scoring solutions are analyzed to see if they are applicable to the relevant proteins.
In 2011, a Foldit puzzle was created to help decipher the crystal structure of the retroviral protease from Mason-Pfizer monkey virus. The mystery of M-PMV, a virus that causes symptoms similar to HIV and AIDS, was unsolved for 15 years. Guess how long Foldit players solved it in the three weeks it was available? 10 days.
Foldit was included in many scientific publications due to its accomplishments. Players were found to be able to build structures more accurately than crystallographers and automated model-building algorithms.

I wanted to create a convenient, yet fun way to dispose of litter in hopes of reducing littering rates.

IF the arcade game is fun and enjoyable, THEN there would be significantly less litter in PWA and littering behavior decreases BECAUSE the entertainment from the arcade game is motivating and rewarding enough to decrease littering.

I made the machine brightly colored and gave it accompanying instructions for easy access. I will currently target students of PWA, but if I plan to cater to a wider audience in the future, I want to target mostly children and teens.

DO
First, I commissioned a local woodworking business to create the structure for the arcade machine. The structure is made out of MDF wood and features a cabinet in the bottom to store the litter, with a key and lock.
Here is the total price. All of the funding coming from my own savings. The game console itself was borrowed from Ambu Liesna.

Here is the timeline. This project is neither cheap nor easy, but the result was more than satisfactory.

I would like to thank Ambu Liesna for being my mentor and of great help towards my project, Ambu Faizah, Abah Sakti, and Abah Iqin for their assistance, and my parents for their great support.

SHARE
I shared this project on December 1st with an audience of 7th and 8th graders of PWA. The response was greatly positive.

Multiple people wanted to play it, though not all got the chance. I used a game console that compiles more than 600 games in it, meaning that people would spend time looking for a game they want to play, adding to the time they would be playing. There’s also the occasion where they had no idea how to play. In the future, I would like to limit how many games can be played to minimize this problem.

There was also no available container for the trash, and multiple participants were unsure on where to dispose of the plastic. I would probably need to use signs or a visual indicator to indicate where to dispose it.

However, I would say that my project was successful. Multiple people actually left the room to search for plastic so they can play, meaning that gaming gives an effective reason for people to clean litter. But, as I did not see where they get their litter from, there is a chance that they simply found a garbage can to take plastic from, and didn’t pick up any litter. However, I think that placing the arcade machine in an area with no surrounding receptacle can minimize this problem.
This is the resulting amount of plastic.

So, what’s next?

This is still a beta test.
There might significant changes to the appearance or its system in the future (ie utilizing AI for automation, having original games). My vision would include making the arcade machine automated, solve the problems I mentioned earlier, and introduce elements of competition and rewards to attract more players.

I currently have no plans to share this project with any organization or to make it public, but it may happen in the future. There is also no end date for development as of now, but I want to mitigate the more prominent problems I found during Share Day. Ideally, they will be solved by the time of my graduation.

Overall, I found this project to be greatly rewarding to me. I found experience in using my own money to fund my project, have greater independence, and practiced reading scientific publications. Most of all, the process was enjoyable and the result was satisfactory.
Thank you for listening to my presentation, Wassalamualaikum wr wb.

References
Schultz, P. W., Bator, R. J., Large, L. B., Bruni, C. M., & Tabanico, J. J. (2013). Littering in context: Personal and environmental predictors of littering behavior. Environment and Behavior, 45(1), 35-59.
Lyndhurst, B. (2012). Rapid evidence review of littering behaviour and anti-litter policies. Stirling: Zero Waste Scotland.
Zaikova, A., Deviatkin, I., Havukainen, J., Horttanainen, M., Astrup, T. F., Saunila, M., & Happonen, A. (2022). Factors Influencing Household Waste Separation Behavior: Cases of Russia and Finland. Recycling, 7(4), 52.
Cialdini, R. B., Reno, R. R., & Kallgren, C. A. (1990). A focus theory of normative conduct: Recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places. Journal of personality and social psychology, 58(6), 1015.
Douglas, B. D., & Brauer, M. (2021). Gamification to prevent climate change: A review of games and apps for sustainability. Current Opinion in Psychology, 42, 89-94.
Kolosova, I. (2022). Fun and game theory as motivation in waste sorting process at an individual level. ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT 2022, 34.

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