From Kevin’s Desk: Keeping Planet Blue Healthy (04/13/18)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 22, will mark the 48th birthday of the modern global environmental movement. I am so proud of how B&F works to protect our planet. The work many of you do is reflected in the university’s recently released 2017 Sustainability Progress Report, which gives a snapshot of the progress we’ve made toward our 2025 campus sustainability goals.

Among many notable achievements, we’ve already surpassed our goal to reduce the use of chemicals on campus, to protect and preserve the Huron River Watershed – this achievement is largely due to our Grounds Services team’s switch to organic fertilizers. Additionally, as of this month, 73 percent of university buildings (275 buildings!) have new standardized waste and recycling bins and signs. Our colleagues in the Office of Campus Sustainability, Grounds Services, Custodial Services, and Moving & Trucking are working with the entire campus to educate us and help us sustain our planet. And you may have noticed that thanks to a commitment by our administrative support team and folks like my executive assistant Jane Jakeway, all B&F events and many offices are waste free – nearly everything is compostable!

All of these efforts support the university’s waste reduction goal, healthy environment goal and culture goals by diverting waste from the landfill, keeping our water supply clean and increasing awareness of our community commitment to sustainability. Please join me in thanking everyone whose work makes U-M more environmentally sustainable – Mother Earth thanks you and you guys ROCK!!!

No matter our jobs, each of us can take steps to take care of our planet. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Keep a reusable mug, water bottle, and bag handy to reduce waste.
  • Bus, bike, vanpool, or walk to and around campus. Discover alternative transportation options from Logistics, Transportation & Parking.
  • Contact the Office of Campus Sustainability to become a certified Sustainable Workplace or make your next event a zero-waste event.
  • Become a Planet Blue Ambassador to champion sustainability on campus.
  • Participate in an Earth Day event in your community!

I encourage you to watch the Planet Blue Begins with You video to learn more. You can also visit the Planet Blue website to find out about upcoming Earth Day events happening around campus.

Summer will soon be upon us…that means it’s time to plan your vacation! Whether traveling near or far, vacation is a time to relax, reflect, rejuvenate and reconnect with your loved ones. I plan to again take time with my family in August and totally signoff of email! Schedule time away for yourself now – your life will be better for having done it.

Thanks for all you do to Make Blue Go and to keep Planet Blue healthy and beautiful for generations to come.

With much appreciation and gratitude,