Blog

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

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

PCCN Interim Report and You

PCCN Town Hall Discussion

The President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality (PCCN) Spring 2020 Progress Report was recently released, and because this is a lengthy report at 38 pages, one of our Ambassadors asked us to summarize it and provide some possible actions they could take regarding the PCCN. So, while we encourage you to read the full report for yourself, we hope you will … Read More

Sustainable Meal Ideas for a Busy Student

Preparing Ingredients for a New Recipe

For busy students, the idea of creating a meal that is quick, sustainable, and fuels your body can sometimes be daunting. But, if you use some of the resources we’ve compiled here, you will find that it isn’t as mystifying as it seems! Still not sure? Try some of these ideas just one day or even one meal at a … Read More

Climate Crochet: A Climate Conversation Starter in a Scarf

Climate Crochet Scarf

Throughout history, art has served as a creative means of advocating for and communicating about social change. Back in the 1840s, the Hutchinson Family Singers, a popular group from New Hampshire, used music to promote the antislavery movement. During the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange’s photography drew attention to the plight of the poor in rural America. In the 1980s, Keith … Read More

Getting Involved in Sustainability Advocacy

Backpack with Fridays for the Future slogan

There are many ways to get involved in sustainability advocacy in your community whether you’ve been active for years or are just starting to get involved. This topic came to us directly from an Ambassador looking to start their journey as a community advocate, so we hope these first steps are a helpful jumping off point for everyone. Though most … Read More

Reducing Printing at Michigan Medicine

paper waste

Recently, Michigan Medicine switched to paperless After Visit Summaries (AVS). While this decision was made as a cost-saving effort, a positive side-effect is that this is going to save a lot of paper. Rough estimates indicate that this could reduce printing by up to 493,000 sheets of paper a year. What does reducing 493,000 sheets of paper really mean? The … Read More

Connecting Well-Being and Sustainability

As people who are passionate about living sustainably, we often consider how our actions impact the environment surrounding us. What we can forget, however, is how engaging in sustainable behaviors have a positive effect on us as individuals, too. The health and well-being of humans is inseparable from the health of our surrounding environments, and the interactions between the two … Read More

Jessa Lytle and Team Building for Sustainability

Team Building Activity

University of Michigan’s Adventure Leadership is an activity-based, team building and leadership development program that works with university groups, sports teams, departments, community groups, and corporate organizations. I spoke with Jessa Lytle, the Assistant Director of Adventure Leadership, to learn more about her work at the intersection of team building and environmental education.  In college, Jessa was passionate about finding ways for … Read More

Jessica Thompson and the Maize and Blue Cupboard

Jessica Thompson

Food insecurity is an increasing issue for students across college campuses. Around a third of students at the University of Michigan lack reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food. To combat this, students formed the Maize & Blue Cupboard in 2014 and held monthly food distributions at the Trotter Multicultural Center. This winter, after years of gaining support across campus and expanding the … Read More