This project is delivered based on my previous project, PaperCycle. In my previous project, I proposed an idea that we can encourage people to save more paper towels by simply teaching them how to use paper towels efficiently. The goal of this project is to run an experiment to prove that PayperCycle can change humans' behavior.
In many day to day activities there are certain behaviors that are hard wired habits: things that we do everyday without realizing that we are actually doing them. A great example of this is washing our hands after using the bathroom.
For many people, that means running your hands under water, grabbing a couple of paper towels to dry your hands off, throwing them in the trash and then going about your day. In our experiment, we sought to investigate if we can make people take just one paper towel to dry their hands, instead of a couple. Can we change this predetermined behavior by providing them with the right information at the right time?
People don't know how to properly use paper towels. We will significantly reduce the amount of towels used if we inform people about the techniques that make it possible to dry their hands with just one towel.
All participants were unaware that they were being monitored for any period of time. The only semblance of this experiment that they could pick up was the appearance/disappearance of the signages used in the bathroom.
Recording Arduino devices were installed in two of the paper towel dispensers closest to the door in the two largest gendered bathrooms, on the lower level of the school. Each Arduino setup consisted of an Arduino Uno, an Arduino Shield (for Micro SD card), a snap action micro switch, and a 2200 mAh power bank. Each unit would measure the single rotation required for the withdrawal of one paper towel within the paper towel dispenser and recorded the timestamp of the interaction. (see Fig. 1) Every towel pulled within a 3 second interval was counted towards a single user.