Blog

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

Simple Strategies for Reducing Your Work-From-Home Energy Footprint

North Campus Solar Panels

As we dive into this fall semester, many things are different than usual. The Diag is less crowded, the libraries seem deserted, and classrooms are largely left empty as COVID-19 continues to push us towards a new normal. But what do all these changes have in common?They all have to do with students and faculty spending more time at home.  … Read More

PBA Spotlight: Ari Weil – Once a PBA, Always a PBA

Ari Weil

The Planet Blue Ambassador Program launched in 2011. Nine years later it has grown into a vibrant community of thousands of students, staff, faculty, and alumni members. Without all of you, we would not be able to work towards our mission of engaging the campus community in sustainability, advancing the University of Michigan’s sustainability commitments, and moving towards a campus-wide … Read More

What Is a Carbon Offset?

carbon offsets explained

Carbon neutrality is not always achievable by simply reducing energy consumption and converting to renewable energy. In some situations, the use of fossil fuels is unavoidable, like for commercial air travel and other scope 3 emissions. As universities, cities, and even entire countries attempt to achieve carbon neutrality, they will look to use carbon offsets to compensate for areas of … Read More

Sustainabilibuddies: Connect with Your Peers

Sustainability Buddies

Sustainabilibuddies is a new peer-mentorship program open to all Planet Blue Ambassadors. The aim is to foster a sense of community among our Ambassadors across campus. We hope to introduce Ambassadors to others in the campus community who are passionate about sustainability, with the idea that participants will make new connections, share success stories and challenges, and learn from each … Read More

A Day in the Life of a PBA – Jordan Graves

Hi! I’m Jordan, a UX Research Student in the School of Information and a Planet Blue Ambassador Program Assistant. I’m excited to take you along for a day in my life to show you some sustainable features of my day while working from home. These are three topics that I touch on in the video that I wanted to make … Read More

PBA Spotlight: Petra Kuppers – Disability Culture and Feminism within Sustainability

What is Queer/Ecofeminism? Queer/ecofeminism is an orientation to the world that looks at gendered and sexed power relations within a wider field of discriminations and exclusions. Some topics discussed within queer/ecofeminism include how ‘land’ became gendered in heteronormative frameworks, how National Park conservation reinforced discrimination against black and indigenous people, how plant taxonomies and plant collections come to us through … Read More

Sustainability Tips for Incoming Students

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 or preparing to complete the semester virtually, meeting new classmates – it’s a lot to mentally prepare for, even more so in the middle … Read More

10 Common Sustainability Misconceptions

PBAs sitting on the North Campus Grove

Planet Blue Ambassadors are the champions of sustainability around U-M’s campus. But, it’s important that, as an Ambassador, you keep expanding your knowledge! Test your know-how with this sustainability quiz. Then, bring it to your next staff meeting, house meeting, or family dinner to see how everyone does!

Reduce, Reuse, THEN Recycle

bales of recyclables at our material recovery facility

In elementary or middle school, you may have learned about the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. A lot of attention is given to recycling in order to reduce carbon emissions and conserve natural resources; however, there are still significant environmental costs associated with recycling. For example, recycling trucks that pick up curbside recycling use fossil fuels, and a lot … Read More