Planet Blue: Sustainability at the University of Michigan

March 2018

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Planet Blue Student Leaders

Apply Today to be a Planet Blue Student Leader

Planet Blue Student Leaders (PBSLs) assist with sustainability projects and are empowered to carry out their own sustainability initiatives and campaigns with resource and staff support. Students from all majors and schools/colleges are encouraged to apply. Preference is for applicants who will live in University Housing, but off-campus students are welcome to apply. Statement of interest forms can be found at

Apply Today


Autonomous Vehicle

Environmental Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles

According to a new U-M study, driving efficiencies of self-driving cars has reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent. Study co-author Gregory Keoleian, director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability, states: “this study explored the tradeoffs between increased environmental impacts from adding autonomous vehicle equipment with expected gains in driving efficiency.”

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Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones, Planet Blue Ambassador Program Coordinator

Kelly Jones is the new coordinator of the Planet Blue Ambassadors Program. As the new coordinator, Jones will be holding open office hours on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 1-2PM. Learn about how communications intersects with sustainability, her favorite things in Ann Arbor, and more!

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Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP)

SCIP is a partnership between U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute and the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). SCIP surveys monitor U-M's progress towards a culture reflecting “attitudes, behaviors, levels of understanding, and commitment” about sustainability. This year, surveys sent to participants are aligned with four sustainability goals: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments, and community awareness.

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Paula Luu

The Future of Sustainable Fashion

Paula Luu, an MBA/MS candidate at the ERB institute, discusses the future potential of sustainability within the fashion industry. In her blog post, Luu discusses the rise of environmentally friendly products within the market but addresses the elephant in the room. Can consumers shop themselves into a healthier planet, and is the level of consumption in shopping sustainable?

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Dave Devarti and Lisa Powers

U-M Bottle Deposit Pioneers

In this StoryCorps interview from the University of Michigan Library, Lisa Powers talks with her longtime friend Dave DeVarti about how the cosmopolitan effect of Ann Arbor and U-M formed his life as a community activist. The interview also focuses on his contributions in the 1976 campaign to enact the Michigan Beverage Container Act, a recycling bill to reduce roadside litter and clean up the environment.

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Stephanie Dooper

Student Sustainability Profile Series

“For me, sustainability is a lifestyle,” said Stephanie Dooper, a graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Higher Education and a Dow Fellow. “Especially as I pursue my degree in education, I am very aware of the way our campus structures are designed to reflect our priorities.”
Stephanie is a graduate student pursuing a degree in Higher Education and a Dow Sustainability Fellow.

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E-Waste Cycle

Save the Date for Changing the Global E-Waste Cycle

On April 24, School of Public Health and Graham will be hosting an all-day public event discussing the informal electronic waste recycling communities in Ghana, Thailand, and Chile. Join discussions about the complex issues and impacts surrounding global production and transportation of electronic waste led by experts in sustainability, population health, and design processes.

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Planet Blue: Sustainability at the University of Michigan
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