Christine’s Tea Room

A “Greening” Project
by Christine Chen -- March 18th, 2013

Program Management is one of the core courses of the MEM program, which equips the Nicholas School students with everything needed for successful manager-leadership, communication and negotiation skills, time and work force management. The students are also grouped to work on a project with an assigned client during the semester to gain practical experience and negotiation skills for work force management.

Biscuit Love Food Truck, TN

Photo By Biscuit Love Food Truck, TN

Recently we’ve been working on a sustainable renovation project with our client, a family-owned food truck business (the brand name will be kept in secret until the project is finished). Their business has been growing since the 2009 launch (People love their foods!) so they are expanding with a newly purchased trailer now. The trailer is not new and needs renovation from the interior setting to exterior decoration and our client hopes to make the process as “green” as possible, of course, with a certain budget.

We have five people in our group: Ashley Hartman, John Culver, Maria Ramirez Millan, Alix Blair, and me. Our group style is extremely efficient that each meeting never lasts more than 30 minutes. It is an exciting project because we’re working with them to renovate the trailer from the interior/exterior decoration to facilities and appliances. I’m interested in biodegradable materials so I took the utensil and cleaning products part and I found a surprisingly useful website for people who would like to use eco-friendly products. (Here is the link: BuyGreen provides a green diagnosis for each product, and the diagnosis is divided into four parts: source, manufacture, usage and disposal.

1. Source ( (

2. Manufacture ( (

3. Usage ( (

4. Disposal ( (

At last a comprehensive score is accredited, which is important because most products promote their strength but it’s hard to tell if its strength comes from compromising another process/ingredient or not. Also, it is a quantitative result that tells you when a product claims to “reduce energy consumption” or  to be “recyclable,” how much energy is actually reduced or what percentage of the product is recyclable (a bottle marked “recyclable” doesn’t mean it’s 100% biodegradeable, ha!).

A report that dissects the consumption and reduction in each process not only provides evidence to customers but also educates the public about production. We will have more of a sense of what it takes to put a bottle of cleaner up on the shelf of Walmart, seeing the dozens of processing steps including water use, energy, petroleum, and chemicals. In turn, maybe the next time we wash dishes, we’ll think twice how much cleanser to use on a dish.

Anyway, I encourage everyone to try this website out, it’s fun!!


  1. Austin
    Mar 21, 2013

    WOW full of cool stuff!

  2. Austin
    Apr 1, 2013

    Green business is awesome

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