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Ford School Green Clean Day encourages reuse, recycling

Tandy computer, c. 1986

Tandy computer, c. 1986

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the last day of the U-M's spring break, while the building was still quiet, 31 Ford School staff and faculty members donned their comfy shoes and readied their cleaning supplies for the school's first Green Clean Day.

The purpose of the Green Clean Day was to give people a chance to clean and organize their offices with an eye toward reusing and recycling old or unused items. A "reuse" room was established so participants could turn over extra office supplies and "shop" for items such as staplers, binders, and file folders.

In one day of hard work—with some fun mixed in—the Ford School compiled 1,337 gallons of recyclables. It usually takes the school—during the academic school year, with all the students in the building—a week to accumulate that much material. This single day of work meant that 72 percent of materials leaving Weill Hall were recycled, which helped the Ford School secure 2nd place in the 10-week 2011 U-M Recycling Champions Competition.

In addition to cleaning offices, participants were encouraged to compete for prizes in one of three categories: the most unique item, the oldest item, and the most improved office (before vs. after). Interesting submissions included a bobble-head baseball player, a c. 1986 Tandy computer, and an original 1954 IPA (the Ford School's former name) newsletter.

Green Clean Day was organized by the school's Blue/Green Committee—a committee of students and staff dedicated to engaging the Ford School community in a conversation about sustainability and working toward environmental and energy leadership. Future Green Clean Days are being planned that will incorporate more faculty offices and student lockers, mailboxes, and offices.

Comments or suggestions can be emailed to: fspp-bluegreenteam@umich.edu.