The University of Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition has awarded three new grants through the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund to support large-scale, student-led projects that increase sustainability on the Ann Arbor campus.

Created in 2011, the PBSIF program is housed within the Graham Sustainability Institute and supported in a partnership with Student Life. The grants advance a more sustainable and just campus while inspiring students to pilot innovative ideas and utilize campus as a living-learning laboratory.

Past PBSIF funding has supported the U-M Campus Farm, the Maize & Blue Cupboard, the Strawbale Structure at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Food Recovery Network at U-M.

Projects receiving PBSIF funding this year are:

Carbon Capture by the Global CO2 Initiative Student Association ($9,500)

The Global CO2 Initiative Student Association aims to build a device to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The process of building the carbon-capture device will engage students across campus and give students the know-how to build their own carbon-capture machines. In addition, the device will directly lower U-M’s Ann Arbor campus carbon footprint.

Electricity-Generating Workout Machines by Engineering Student Government’s Sustainability Committee ($15,000)

This grant will be used to install two electricity-generating treadmills in a campus recreation building over the next year. The treadmills will capture energy from human exercise and transform it to electricity for use in the building.

Sustainable Period Products by Ember Bradbury ($18,500)

The grant will provide funding to continue an existing project that aims to make reusable menstrual products, such as June Cups and Thinx underwear, more accessible to students. The funding will help address inequities associated with menstruation, as well as negative environmental and health impacts associated with disposable menstrual products.

Ember Bradbury hopes to partner with Student Life and the Maize & Blue Cupboard to make these sustainable products available to students year-round.

“Through the project, I hope to facilitate a community where there is less shame around menstruation and more room for education and discussion about our bodies, less economic barriers set up for menstruating people and more accessibility, and healthier products available without the cost,” Bradbury said.

“I’m so grateful to PBSIF for funding the Sustainable Period Project, and I am excited to be creating a more supportive space for menstruating people on campus with my many incredible collaborators.”

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