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This article about the Crow House project highlights the effort to address both the need for energy efficient housing and access to healthy food. A University of Michigan (U-M) team of graduate students interested in urban socioecology developed the Crow House project. Inspired in part by the settlement house tradition popular at the turn of the 20th century, students began implementing a plan that focused on creating common ground for community and college collaboration among local activists, agencies, and scholars living in neighborhoods. Also, see the project summary.

 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellowship Program, University of Michigan, Detroit

Black soldier flies are an innocuous insect with the ability to consume twice their weight in a day during the larval stage, thus transforming large quantities of most organic material like food waste, into fat and protein. This fact has caught the attention of scientists, farmers, and composters all looking for a better way to both feed an increasing population and recycle the growing amount of organic waste produced by that population. With a $5,000 seed grant from the Dow Distinguished Awards competition, a U-M student team conducted a study to determine the demand for a black soldier fly feed production facility, and how this might contribute to an emerging agriculture and waste management industry. Keywords: Black soldier flies, Kulisha, food waste, waste management, agriculture, animal feed

Southwest Detroit is a community with many needs, including access to affordable housing and healthy food. For Detroiters living in an older home, this means paying high utility bills, unless you can find a house renovated to be energy efficient. To address both the need for energy efficient housing and access to healthy food, a University of Michigan team of graduate students interested in urban socioecology developed the Crow House project. Inspired in part by the settlement house tradition popular at the turn of the 20th century, students began implementing a plan that focused on creating common ground for community and college collaboration among local activists, agencies, and scholars living in neighborhoods. Keywords: Affordable Housing, Detroit, Community Gardening, Energy Efficiency

As you enter the city, Detroit’s reputation as the Motor City is readily apparent. With wide streets and long blocks, Detroit is a city made for cars. In many places, it is difficult to access amenities – fresh food, jobs, healthcare – without a vehicle. Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit focused on addressing racism, poverty, and injustice launched the HOPE Village initiative to improve the lives of Detroit residents and break the cycle of poverty. To address transportation challenges in the community. Focus: HOPE partnered with a team of graduate students from the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M).

Keywords: Urban Transportation, Focus: Hope, Community-based Participatory Research, CBPR

In the Fifth Annual Report, Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability, key impacts include supporting sustainability projects that have impacted people in 19 countries, 8 states, and 6 Michigan communities. Made possible by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M) engaged 17 of U-M's 19 schools and colleges this past year.

A Dow Sustainability Master's Fellows team investigated the feasibility of installing a biodigester on campus to reduce food waste and capture gas to use for energy. This summary is part of the Dow Global Impact Series highlighting innovative field work projects.

Keywords: Biodigester, food waste, compost, energy conservation, engineering, sustainability, University of Michigan Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Factsheet on Sustainable Dentistry from the University of Michigan

Sustainability is a concept that can be applied across all professions, even those that may not immediately come to mind, like dentistry. But how dentists conduct their practices have both environmental and economic sustainability implications. A Dow Sustainability Fellows team addressed the dearth of data and resources on sustainable dentistry through a three-part study of 1) a review of current sustainable practices in medical and dental facilities, 2) a case study at the U-M School of Dentistry, and 3) a sustainability toolkit for dental clinics that draws on the results of the review and the dentistry case study.

Keywords: University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Green Dentistry Practices, GreenHealth, Greening the Dental Clinic Toolkit

Access to grocery stores, a critical component food security, has consistently been linked to better health outcomes. Full-service grocery stores stock fresh fruits and vegetables daily and have competitive prices. However, in West Tallahatchie and other food insecure areas, the primary source of food is from convenience stores that sell a lot of processed, unhealthy foods. Research data supports the link between a community’s location in a food desert and negative health impacts. These same areas – usually low-income, communities of color, and rural areas – often have the most trouble attracting full-service grocery stores. This fact sheet outlines the activities of a Dow Fellows team, from the University of Michigan, and how they engaged people in the community to document the needs and the barriers that hindered previous local food security initiatives.

 

Keywords: Poverty, food access, food insecurity, empowerment, Dow Fellows Program

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Located in Mississippi, one of the least food-secure states in America, the west side of Tallahatchie County is a rural county located in the fertile Delta region and is about a 45-minute drive away from the closest full-service grocery store. Building on the stories and insights shared by community members during interviews and workshops, the Dow Master’s project team designed a regional plan that provides potential strategies for a more food-secure future.

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, food insecurity, poverty

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The Condon Crow House, located in the heart of Detroit, leverages sustainability programming and implementation for both community and personal development. It is a uniquely tangible effort, supported by the Dow Distinguished Award Program. Through this effort, U-M students are leveraging a house and side lots to demonstrate how community-driven development can reclaim place and steer the effects of social policy. Crow House embodies a wide breadth of sustainability categories, including energy, water, food sovereignty, public health, sanitation, site ecology, the built environment and community engagement.

Crow House is a non-profit organization, with a mission founded in the urban settlement house tradition. Located in Chadsey-Condon neighborhood on the west side of Detroit, the focus is on place-based community education in sustainability.  Including a permaculture demonstration/teaching site, Condon Crow House also provides a community space for a range of programming, as well as for an urban scholar in residence.

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability

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