Campus Sustainability

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

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

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

2018 SCIP Results: The Culture of Sustainability at U-M

SCIP Infographic

After many months of data collection and analysis, the results of the 2018 SCIP survey are live! The Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) is a collaboration between the Graham Sustainability Institute and Institute for Social Research to assess sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes across U-M students, faculty, and staff over time. First implemented in 2012, the 2018 survey is the 5th iteration … Read More

PBA Community Gathering Recap

On November 13, 2018, 75 Planet Blue Ambassadors gathered at the Michigan League to network and discuss campus sustainability issues. The tables were arranged by campus location in an attempt to help PBAs network and find others from their regions of campus. Also in attendance were staff members from the Office of Campus Sustainability and Student Life who spread themselves out among … Read More