Kelly Jones

Sustainability Tips for Incoming Students

New school year, new tips! We’ve refreshed the information below for the 2022-2023 school year. Welcome Wolverines! This month, thousands of new students, both undergraduate and graduate, will be preparing to start their first semester at the University of Michigan. Picking classes, completing required orientation materials, figuring out financial aid and housing, moving, meeting new classmates – it’s a lot … Read More

What Is a Geo-Exchange System?

As a part of U-M’s commitment to carbon neutrality, you may have heard that several new geo-exchange systems are in the process of being planned and implemented on campus. In February, the U-M Regents approved the Leinweber Building geo-exchange project as well as a North Campus housing expansion also with plans to be heated and cooled using geo-exchange. But what … Read More

Investing My Retirement Funds In Line With My Values

To-Do list including the task "figure out what my retirement funds are invested in."

Before you launch into reading this blog, you should know a couple things:  I’m definitely not a financial advisor. I’m just a sustainability staff member here at U-M who heard that there were new more environmentally-focused funds I could invest my retirement money in, so I wanted to learn more. And, if I’m being completely honest, I’d categorize myself as … Read More

Let’s Talk about Sustainable Period Products!

A student-led project that recently received grant funding from the Planet Blue Student Initiative Fund aims to decrease the financial and environmental burden of menstruation by making reusable menstrual products free at the Maize and Blue Cupboard and University Health Services. The project leads were inspired to apply for this funding because the average person who menstruates will throw away … Read More

Pitching In Together: A Showcase of Student Sustainability Projects

Image of the Energy Team During their Pitch

Two sustainability-focused student programs at the University of Michigan, the Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) and the Planet Blue Student Leaders (PBSL), participated in a virtual “Shark Tank” style event called Pitching In Together in April of 2021. Over the academic year, the PBSLs piloted creative environmental behavior-change campaigns with students across campus, and at this event, SSC heard pitches from … Read More

“Scopes” of Carbon Emissions Explained

Graphic with examples of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

When you enter into any conversation about carbon neutrality, you’re likely going to hear people categorize the different types of greenhouse gas emissions into what are called “scopes.” This article will describe what greenhouse gases are, the differences between the scopes they are grouped into, and give you examples of what types of emissions fit into each scope from a … Read More

At Home Waste Audit: A Simple Waste Reduction Opportunity

According to the most recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States disposes of 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) annually – that’s a lot of waste! That waste is made up of a variety of different types of materials, which you can see in the chart below. Paper and paperboard make up 25%, plastics 13.2%, … Read More

Reducing Waste from To-Go Meals

use a reusable bag

Due to COVID-19, MDining has had to adapt their operations for public safety and serve meals to-go. This has been a huge change given that they serve approximately 95,000 meals in a single week. They have done a great job ensuring that as much of the packaging as possible is compostable. But understandably, even with compostable packaging, this method of … Read More

How To Clean Recyclables

I often get asked during PBA trainings, “How clean do my recyclables really need to be?” So, I put together this instructional post based on cleaning a peanut butter jar. There are a few different ways you can do this, but this is the one I use. It balances getting the peanut butter jar clean without using too much water, … Read More