Ann Arbor

Sustainability Throughout History: Learning from the Past

Recently, I went to the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology to complete their “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” self-guided tour. The Kelsey is a short walk down State Street, just past the Union, and is a great place to explore on a dreary winter day. Taking the tour was relatively easy, as admission to the museum is free and the tour pamphlets are … Read More

Another Step Toward Planetary Health: Single Use Bottled Water Plastics To Be Replaced

Key takeaways: U-M Health’s commitment to environmentally friendly operations and a series of agreements with vendors are leading to a major sustainability improvement: the replacement of single-use plastic water bottles. On Feb. 12, water sold at U-M Health will be in new containers. No longer will plastic bottles be used, but in their place will be aluminum bottles and boxed … Read More

What is carbon capture?

I find our planet to be entrancingly beautiful and inspiring. Steeped within the natural world as I was growing up, even while still young, I noticed changes each time that I passed a birthday. Why are there fewer dragonflies than I am used to seeing? Why is it 60 degrees on Christmas day? It really bothered me. A 96 year old grandmother, … Read More

An Interview with U-M Senior Vic Fong, Returnables Shelves Project Lead

I tend to think of myself as someone who’s in-the-know when it comes to sustainability efforts going on across U-M, but one project I had, up until recently, not known much about is the effort to pilot returnables shelves on landfill bins. I had seen the shelves popping up in a few different locations across Central Campus and wanted to … Read More

Why Composting Shouldn’t Be Your First Choice

Down-pointing triangle with the words Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot listed in descending order from top to bottom.

I spend a lot of my time talking to people about composting. It is a vital part of the University of Michigan’s strategy to reduce waste sent to landfill and ensure nutrients get cycled back to rebuild our soils. It supports healthy ecosystems and food growth. However, I think all this talk about composting can overshadow the actions we can … Read More

New to Planet Blue? Tips on finding the student org that’s right for you

Grace, Harrison, and Astrid smile for the camera.

Have you ever found yourself wanting to engage in the sustainability community on campus but struggling to navigate the different student organizations? Let’s face it, finding a sustainability organization is hard sometimes! It can be confusing and overwhelming, especially since we have more than 122 organizations tagged as “environmental” on Maize Pages. The three of us have reflected that when … Read More

Finding Your Next Sustainability Course at U-M

Having gone to a much smaller university for undergraduate and graduate school, I’m always amazed by the sheer number of courses offered at the University of Michigan each semester. Just in the area of sustainability, I’ve interacted with students enrolled in courses covering a wide variety of super interesting topics including ecofeminism, sustainable architecture, food justice, renewable energy policy, campus … Read More

Exploring Our New Sustainability Resource Toolkit

GIF of how to filter the toolkit

I’ve been working with the Planet Blue Ambassador program for about six months now, and one of the most commonly asked questions I receive is, “How can I impact sustainability on campus or at home as an individual?” Across the university, sustainability professionals provide outlets for individuals to get involved in campus sustainability  through co-curricular student engagement programs  and workplace … Read More

Breaking boundaries: How students are leading the charge for sustainable change

Reimagining architecture with the natural environment in mind. Translating the dense, complex federal funding process for local governments. Researching the social implications of carbon offsets. These are a few projects and passions of students who received a special set of cords during University of Michigan’s 2023 spring commencement for their dedication to sustainability. Since 2020, students engaged in sustainability activities … Read More

Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund: a Meaningful Outlet for Experiential Learning and Change Making

Image of the current farm stand set up with an arrow pointing towards the new design for the mobile farm stand

Since 2019, in addition to running the Planet Blue Ambassador program, I have had the opportunity, challenge, and joy of co-advising the Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC). For those of you less familiar with the multitude of sustainability programs at the University of Michigan, SSC is a group of undergraduate and graduate students who aim to amplify the student voice on … Read More