Waste Reduction

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Campus Waste Audit: Part 1 The Set Up

On a crisp Tuesday morning in February, I was able to join Anya Dale and Alison Richardson up on north campus to witness part of the large-scale waste audit they have been organizing. A waste audit is a way to determine how much waste is being produced, what types of waste are being generated, and which bins—landfill, recycling, or compost—people … Read More

Dorm Move-Out Tips from the Planet Blue Student Leaders

This time of year, U-M students across campus are busy with final papers, exams, and team projects that are due before the end of the school year. They are wrapping up their academic endeavors for the semester, and are focused on representing what they have learned through their courses to the best of their abilities. One thing that tends to … Read More

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

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

Sustainability Tips for Incoming Students

New school year, new tips! We’ve refreshed the information below for the 2023-2024 school year. Welcome Wolverines! Over the next month or two, 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 … Read More

Visiting the Ann Arbor WeCare Compost Site

I recently had the opportunity to tag along with Nicole Berg, a program manager with the Office of Campus Sustainability (OCS), on one of her routine compost site contamination checks. During this check, we were able to visit the WeCare compost site where all of the compost from the university (and the city of Ann Arbor!) is disposed. To be … Read More

The Buyerarchy of Needs: What It Is and How to Use It

What is the Buyerarchy of Needs? Coined by Sarah Lazarovic, the Buyerarchy of Needs is a fun way to represent sustainable consumption. This helpful graphic presents consumers with several different alternatives to buying new clothes, providing a guide for those who don’t know where to start. To be the most sustainable, users should start at the base of the pyramid … Read More