Blog

Sustainability Activism at U-M: Then and Now

Sustainability is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, and it is easy to understand why. If it wasn’t abundantly clear already, the recent release of the 6th report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that we are in a period of unprecedented climate change. Fortunately, we have some history with enacting large changes to … Read More

Imagining a new normal: exploring wellbeing initiatives in higher education

As the term has become more popular and as usage has become more widespread, most people now know that sustainability is about supporting the well-being of the planet and the wildlife that inhabits Earth. What immediately comes to mind are images of polar bears on melting icebergs, burning rainforests, or sea turtles caught in plastic trash. Although these devastating wildlife … Read More

Sustainability Tips for Incoming Students

New school year, new tips! We’ve refreshed the information below for the 2021-2022 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

Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund: Grant Winners Announced for 2021

The Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF), run by the Student Sustainability Coalition, provides grant funding for large-scale, student-led projects that increase sustainability on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. The grant came into existence in 2011 after emerita U-M President Mary Sue Coleman approved many of the recommendations from the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment — a process that looked much like … 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

Sustainable Move Out Tips for Students Living Off-Campus

Ann Arbor PTO thrift shop and the Salvation Army store accept clothes, household items, and furniture.

As Planet Blue Student Leader (PBSLs)s, we’ve compiled some tips to help you reduce your waste during Move Out as a student living in off-campus housing. Live in a Res Hall? Check out the Office of Campus Sustainability’s awesome plan for reusing, recycling, and safely disposing of unwanted items. Tip #1: Breathe new life into unwanted items. Here’s a guide … Read More

PBA Spotlight: The Intersection of Environmental Justice and Economics

Sam Stolper

I had the opportunity to sit down with Sam Stolper, an environmental and energy economist and assistant professor at University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). We discussed his thoughts on the intersection of environmental justice and economics. His work investigates how policies can shift behavior to contribute to environmental protection and social well-being. He points to his … Read More

Black History Month In Review

One of my favorite poems is called On the Pulse of Morning, by the poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. This beautiful poem calls attention to the history of slavery, colonialism, and environmental degradation in the US, while instilling a sense of hope, unity, and responsibility, for our planet as well as the people upon it. In this … Read More

Plogging Our Way to a Cleaner Campus

Brian plogging around campus.

Coming back to campus in the fall amid a pandemic was scary. I will be the first to admit I was uncertain how the school year would look or if it would be as fun or rewarding as my previous semesters. One thing I knew for sure was that to get through these difficult times, I would need to stay … Read More