PitE Club

Building Environmental Awareness and Relationships


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2016 : UM- No Impact Challenge

The Problem:
Our society is so heavily based upon production and consumption. Americans’ linear way of living, as opposed to a circular, cradle-to-cradle based system, generates massive amounts of waste: in fact, in 2013, we produced 254 million tons of trash! Many goods are made to be disposable after a short period of time, whether that is three years, five months, or two hours. Our goal is to reduce the amount of immediately disposable goods – such as coffee cups, plastic utensils, tissues, etc. – that we use in our day-to-day lives, and become more mindful of our individual impact on the environment.

The Solution:
Developing awareness and being more cognizant of this issue will have a large influence on what we’re purchasing and throwing away. We hope that making an effort to replace disposable goods with reusable, extended-use items, such as travel mugs and handkerchiefs, will help us reduce our individual waste.

The NO IMPACT CHALLENGE is a two-week waste-reduction competition for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan. Participants record the number of disposable goods they use each day and work to improve their individual actions as the challenge progresses. Those who use the fewest disposable items at the end of the challenge are the winners! We hope that participants will gain a greater awareness of their consumption and feel motivated to make changes to their daily lifestyle.    

After all, creating a bit of competition is the best way to get humans motivated!


  • Challenge dates: Monday Feb. 1st – Sunday Feb. 14th  .
  • Those who are interested must sign-up using this form by Sunday Jan. 31st .
  • PitE Club will send out a Google form every evening for participants to individually record their points (1 disposable item = 1 point) using the items guide.
  • The challenge only works if participants are honest! Remember, it’s not only about winning, but also about reducing your environmental impact!

Items Guide (all items count as 1 point):

  • Plastic bags, paper bags
  • Disposable cutlery
  • Cups, bottles, cans
  • Food and drink accessories (i.e. coffee sleeve, stirrer, etc.)
  • Napkins, paper towels
  • Single use containers (i.e. yogurt cups, bag of chips, etc.)
  • Wrappers, packaging
  • Tissues
  • Printing paper (each page = 1 point)


Q: Should I count a point if I’m sharing a food item with a friend/family member/living companion?
A: Yes. You’re still consuming it!

Q: Do I count toilet paper, Q-tips, or dental floss as a point?
A: No, we consider those items to be necessities, and not easily replaceable by extended-use items.

Q: What if I am given a disposable item, but don’t use it, like napkins in my take-out?
A: That counts as a point! You can always ask for no napkins.

Q: What if I recycle the item after I use it, like a water bottle?
A: This counts as 1/2 point. The idea is to reduce consumption, so although recycling is a good way to dispose of waste, a better option is not buying the water bottle at all and using a reusable water bottle.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email pite.clubboard@umich.edu!
Remember, the idea is to become more conscious of your waste. We understand that there are certain limitations due to the structure of our society, so don’t worry about the areas in which you feel like you can’t eliminate waste!

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PitE Club Class Chat

Wednesday, April 1
1040 Dana
Are you unsure of what courses to take next semester?
Come to PitE Club’s Class Chat event on April 1st at 5:30 pm in 1040 Dana, open to ALL students interested in taking Environ courses! The event is a casual discussion about classes you are interested in, with upperclassmen to answer your questions about the course load, the profs, and the difficulty of the exams.
Get advice on any and all classes you’re considering from students who have taken the classes and have first-hand experience with the material!
Snacks will be provided!

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park GIS Internship (Start Date June 2014)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2014 Internship


GIS Intern (4-7 Positions)


12 weeks STIPEND $125 per week + dorm housing included


GIS interns needed beginning June 2014 and lasting for 12 weeks for assistance with GIS data creation data management, and technology transfer.

Duties will include using ArcGIS Desktop software and Trimble GPS Equipment to create and manage new GIS data layers;

Coordinating with park staff to organize existing spatial data and create and document procedures for updating geo- spatial datasets;

Use of GIS to support GIS and database development in the following areas: Wildlife Management, Cultural Resources, Fisheries and Water Quality, Inventory and Monitoring, Climate, Remote Sensing;

Developing base-mapping programs for the continued collection and analysis of monitoring data. 

Must be able to hike in mountainous terrain in hot humid or inclement weather conditions carrying a daypack or backpack and other field equipment. Good fitting hiking boots and rainwear are important personal items to have prior to arrival. Stinging insects, poison ivy, slippery footing, and venomous snakes are known field hazards. Work schedule is 4/ten hour days 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, M-T


Some education or experience in geographic information systems (GIS), computer cartography a must, specifically experience using ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap/ArcCatalog). Experience with geodatabase formats is a plus, as is understanding of geodatabase tables. Applicant should have the ability to write and follow detailed technical information documents and be self-motivated and flexible. Valid state vehicle operator’s license desired. Documentation Required: Access to government computers requires the following: ability to pass Federal Computer Security Background Investigation; must be able and willing to complete background check application and return via registered mail; must provide own transportation and expense for purpose of obtaining a DOI Employee Identification Card.


Send resume, 3 references, and copy of transcripts to: Thomas Colson, GIS Program Manager Great Smoky Mountains National Park 1316 Cherokee Orchard Road Gatlinburg, TN 37738 @ thomas_colson@nps.gov

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U of M Earth Week 2013 Events!!

Food Day on the Diag (with UMSFP) 
Monday April 1st
10 am to 3 pm
Drilling in the Diag 
Tuesday April 2nd
12 pm to 2 pm
A mock oil spill demonstration and speakers at 12:30, with Oceania and Beth Wallace
Divest on the Diag (with the Divest and Invest Campaign)
Wednesday April 3rd
10 am to 2 pm
Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change Panel 
Thursday April 4th
7 pm in 1040 Dana
Bike Repairs and Prizes! 
Friday April 5th
11 am to 2 pm
Come have your bike repaired by Bike Ambassadors at the Central Campus Transit Center
Sustainable Transportation Fair (with PitE)
Friday April 5th
2 pm to 4 pm in Dana Commons
Sign-up to work the PitE Club booth here!
Big Water Bike Presentation (with PitE)
Friday April 5th
5 pm in 1040 Dana
After their presentation PitE Club will be hosting a potluck with the Big Water Bike guys, feel free to bring a dish to pass. The sign-up is here
Skill Share Festival (with Planet Blue Student Leaders)
Friday April 5th
6 pm to 8 pm in Michigan Union Ponds Room
Big Water Bike Ride
Saturday April 6th
11 am on the Diag
Please RSVP here!
Dance Marathon Composting/Recycling Volunteers
Saturday April 6th – Sunday April 7th
Sign-up to help with recycling/composting at Dance Marathon at the Indoor Track and Field Building. Save some food waste, visit your dancer friends, and see what the marathon is all about!