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Earthfest, an annual event that promotes sustainability at U-M celebrated its 17th year in 2012. Every year, this “party for the planet” features live entertainment, information booths and games, and interactive activities.

Planet Blue Ambassadors

U-M launched the Planet Blue Ambassadors, an online tool for students, faculty and staff interested in becoming a sustainability leader on campus. The tool offers a series of training modules in the areas of energy, food, waste, water and community, which provide information on issues facing sustainability; campus progress towards its goals; and suggested actions to make a sustainable difference.

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Sustainability Cultural Indicators Project

More than 4,000 University of Michigan students and 1,500 faculty and staff members have been surveyed about sustainability issues and their behaviors as part of Sustainability Cultural Indicators Project, a partnership led by U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute and the Institute for Social Research. Reports of survey findings will be provided to related units on an annual basis, so they may continuously monitor trends and developments in sustainability awareness and behavior on campus.

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More than 10,000 guides providing campus sustainability tips and information were distributed to undergraduate and graduate students in 2012.

Planet Blue Water Bottle Initiative

More than 4,000 incoming freshman received a Planet Blue reusable water bottle upon arrival to campus this year as part of the awareness campaign, the Planet Blue Water Bottle Initiative. The three-year initiative was developed to engage students in creating a healthy and environmentally sustainable campus culture by educating them on the use of disposable, single-use bottles and promoting the use of reusable water bottles to reduce waste. Changes in students’ opinions and behaviors towards water bottle use are continuing to be tracked during their time at the university through the implementation of surveys.


Last year, President Mary Sue Coleman announced the creation of the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund, which offers grants up to $50,000 for student-initiated projects that promote environmental sustainability on campus.

Twenty-two ideas were submitted for consideration. The Campus Farm, Reusable Containers Program, the Bike Air Pumps and Fix-it Station, and the Sustainable Food Kiosk were the four projects selected and they have all begun operating around campus.