With a transient class of students constantly entering and existing the university’s walls, students, faculty, and staff members must be innovative and creative in devising solutions for sustainability projects on campus.
Although environmental sustainability is a fairly new topic of conversation and action at the University of Michigan, the long term sustainability of student, faculty, and staff initiated projects on campus has always been the forefront of any design and implementation phase of an idea. The University of Michigan has been morphing and changing to fit the needs of its students and stakeholders since its beginning. With change in time comes change in student behavior and culture, therefore bringing change in both physical and institutional structure. The push for sustainable food on U of M’s campus has been one of the largest student initiated movements that has ever existed. In order to be successful, the program had to demonstrate its demand and purpose to university administration. The result being the creation of the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program, a campus farm and permaculture satellite gardens, new teacher hires with specialties in food systems, and talk of a new sustainable food minor within the Program for The Environment.
The bee represents the essence of adaptation and sustainability. Bees have adapted and mitigated to changes in climates all across the globe; and without them our species wouldn’t and will not exist. As opposed to adapting to the changes in our climate, humans are the first species to both knowingly and intentionally change the climate and continue pursuing our own personal, and at times collective, needs and wants.
“We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.
The butterfly is a positive symbol of transformative change in nature, from its previous life as a caterpillar. The proverb “vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be” reminds us that understanding change is much more than a linear projection.” -Holmgren’s Permaculture Principles