Waste Reduction

Sustainability Tips for Incoming Students

New school year, new tips! We’ve refreshed the information below for the 2022-2023 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

The Essential College Packing List: What You Actually Need to Bring

The time to start thinking about what to pack for college is here! Whether you are a new student or returning, knowing the absolute essentials of what to bring can be a godsend. It can be easy to buy items “just in case” for the school year, trying to imagine something you will presumably need in every situation. However, I’ve … Read More

Rethinking Our Shopping Habits: It’s Better for the Planet and Your Wallet!

Clothing on a table at a clothing swap

Summer is here, which means many of us are looking to revamp our wardrobes! However, the societal norm when it comes to buying clothes has significant negative environmental implications. Each year, the average American throws out 81 pounds of clothes. Also, the clothing industry itself accounts for 10% of annual global GHG emissions, making its overall environmental impact very high.  … Read More

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

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

At Home Waste Audit: A Simple Waste Reduction Opportunity

According to the most recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States disposes of 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) annually – that’s a lot of waste! That waste is made up of a variety of different types of materials, which you can see in the chart below. Paper and paperboard make up 25%, plastics 13.2%, … 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