Campus Sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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