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UVA Public Service

Learning in Action at the University of Virginia

A One-Stop Shop for Eco-Volunteer Opportunities

Lela Garner

Interested in sustainability-focused volunteering on Grounds? You have come to the right place.

UVA’s Office for Sustainability is dedicated to engaging our communities, stewarding our built and natural resources, and discovering ways to move toward sustainability and environmental justice at the University and beyond for generations to come. Over the past few years, students have expressed a growing interest in seeing more service opportunities that align with UVA’s 2020-2030 Sustainability Plan goals. Taking that feedback into account, the Office for Sustainability now provides three reoccurring volunteer initiatives that allow students, staff, and faculty to contribute directly to our waste minimization, civic engagement, and food access goals:

Green Games

UVA students posing in front of compost totes at home football gameIn alignment with UVA’s ambitious waste minimization goal, the Office for Sustainability is adding concourse composting to all home football games. That means you’ll see a Black Bear Composting tote next to recycling and landfill bins along the concourse. Most of the materials coming out of concessions stands are compostable, so we’re looking for student volunteers to help monitor bins and engage with fans. Shifts last three hours, and all participants go home with an awesome UVA Sustainability T-shirt. Learn more and sign up here.

Corner Cleanups

UVA students gathered in front of Rotunda for first Corner Cleanup of fall semesterEach month, the Office for Sustainability team partners with other CIOs and student groups around Grounds to organize community clean-ups. Participants collect trash and recyclables around the Corner area, and we discuss the importance of keeping our streets and waterways litter free. Our next Corner Cleanups are scheduled for October 23 and November 12, 2022, and any folks can volunteer at these events. Learn more and sign up here.

Student Garden Workdays

UVA students holding up harvested butternut squash from UVA’s Student GardenSitting at the corner of McCormick and Alderman, UVA’s Student Garden provides a convenient meeting point for conversations around food justice, sustainable gardening, and community engagement. Office for Sustainability Student Employees lead three workdays per week – participants can expect to weed, water, plant, and harvest. Volunteers get first dibs at produce, but any remaining harvested items are taken directly to UVA’s Community Food Pantry in Newcomb Hall. You can learn more about workday schedules and general garden happenings by following our Instagram @plantbased_UVA.

More Info

Want to learn more about upcoming events or general involvement opportunities? Send us an email to sustainability@virginia.edu and we’ll find a time to chat. You can also sign up for our bi-weekly SustainaNewsletter that keeps all folks up to date with current events, news, and all things sustainability.

Lela Garner
About the Author: 

Lela Garner (she/her) is a Sustainability Specialist in UVA’s Office for Sustainability. She focuses on mobilizing students around sustainability-focused topics such as waste minimization, food equity, and energy conservation.