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Student volunteers (with Green Game t shirts) posing with fun signs
UVA continues to rank highly amongst our competing ACC schools, in terms of both sports and waste diversion. Read more to find about our upcoming Green Game and how the Green Athletics group is going to play a role!
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Photo of a blue and black recycling container that reads " Plastic, Metal, Glass, Recycle"
February 3, 2020
If you’ve ever recycled a peanut butter jar, you probably have had the same thought as me: by the time I have scrubbed it clean, rid the jar of all the oil, and diligently sorted it into its paper grocery bag to recycle, is this jar even going to make a difference? Where will it even go?
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Sustainability students in classroom
December 16, 2019
After its first semester, the Eco-leaders program flourished, by promoting green living in UVA dorms. Read more about what founder, Bobby Pazhwak, and his students have to say about the success of the program.
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Holiday lights on the lawn at night
In the Spring of 2017, I took a course called Intro to Renewable Energy Systems taught by now-retired Professor John Bean. I’ve never really liked school, but I was obsessed with this class. It was the kind of class that I could get home from final call at Trinity and start doing the reading. Bean, extremely passionate about the subject matter, always challenged his students to think analytically and put real numbers behind the sustainability movement to uncover if real business cases for renewables and an energy transformation existed. I felt they did.
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panini next to dish of cranberry sauce
Check out the Office for Sustainability's promo student employees' takes on a sustainable thanksgiving.
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Graduate researcher, Mara Kuenen, shuts the sash on a lab chemical fume hood to improve occupant safety and reduce loss of conditioned lab air.
The goal of Green Labs is to promote safe and sustainable practices in research at UVA. One of the best things that lab personnel can do is shut their chemical fume hood sash when not in use to protect lab occupants and save building energy use. Every October, Green Labs runs a “Shut the Sash” competition where labs are able to win prizes for meeting goals in fume hood management.
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Counter at a juice store
Over the past decade, University Dining has taken strides towards providing more sustainable and healthier options for students and staff alike. The recent revamp of the “Castle” into a vegan-friendly hub, promotional events such as Meatless Mondays in dining halls, and University farmers markets all point towards progress in the arena of sustainable food. The recent opening of a second Charlottesville location of The Juice Laundry in the space that was once occupied by Freshens in the University Aquatic and Fitness Center (AFC, pictured above) poses new and exciting possibilities for not only sustainability but also community integration and collaboration. 
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3 solar panel rows in a field
On September 17th, 2019, VA Governor Northam signed Executive Order Forty-Three to both expand access to renewable energy and support clean energy jobs.
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OFS Student Employee, Yuki, manages a zero waste station at a UVA farmers market.
Special events are an important part of the UVA experience. From football games to Lighting of the Lawn to Puppies & Pumpkins, there are always special events happening across Grounds. To help reduce the waste sent to the landfill, UVA has encouraged special events to go zero waste or include compost collection when possible.

A Zero Waste Event (ZWE) is an event in which 90% of the produced waste can be diverted from the landfill. This means that the vast majority of waste is either composted or recycled. Out of 243 special events at UVA, an incredible 157 events either achieved zero waste or collected compost, demonstrating departments and student groups alike are making the switch to zero waste events. To make the switch easy, the Office for Sustainability (OFS) recently released an updated version of the Zero Waste Guide to walk event planners through the process.
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Sustainability Champion Cynthea Wagner posing for a photo in front of a sustainable lunch purchase
Cynthea Wagner: Minimizing Waste at Events
The FM Sustainability Council is excited to recognize Cynthea Wagner from Training & Development as our next Sustainability Champion. Cynthea has gone above and beyond in embedding sustainability practices into her day-to-day work of event planning.
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Photo collage of field, windmill, and student holding a berries
Recap some of our student employees' sustainable summer experiences!
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Sustainability Champion, Mark Roach stands for a photo in the FM yard
The Facilities Management Sustainability Council would like to recognize Mark Roach from the FM Utilities group for his attention to detail and willingness to address sustainability challenges even outside his typical area of responsibility.
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Students walking through the colonades near the Lawn
With the end of the school year and the departure of students, comes a large level of waste production. The Hoos ReUse program returned this year to take back gently used items to donate them to a number of charities.
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SustainaBanquet held in the Rotunda Dome Room
OFS Student Employee, Sam Hunt
UVA Office for Sustainability student employee, Sam Hunt, received the annual UVA Sustainability Award.
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Faculty member speaking at a Bicentennial Sustainability event.
Continuing on its path to assess and reduce the harmful impacts of reactive nitrogen, UVA became the first university in the world to release a Nitrogen Action Plan to meet this groundbreaking nitrogen reduction goal. By creating this first-ever Nitrogen Action Plan, UVA sets a transparent road map to meet its goal.
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Jim and John posing for a photo in the FM Shuttle Van
The Facilities Management Sustainability Council would like to recognize Jim McGuire & John Jordan from the FM Fleet team for their dedication to helping the FM fleet become more resource-efficient while also meeting our growing needs.
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Sunrise from balcony in India
The summertime is a great opportunity for students to get out of the classroom and apply their knowledge in various new settings. This type of experience is especially important for students interested in sustainability since the topic requires such a diverse background of understanding and can be applied in a myriad of fields. However, many students cannot afford to take unpaid internships, which could negatively impact their career options post-graduation. The UVA Parents Fund Internship Grant (PFIG) addresses these issues by providing valued funding for unpaid internships.
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Students in orange t-shirts holding sustainability themed signs on a basketball court
UVA won first place in the ACC and 4th in the nation for GameDay Basketball in both the waste diversion and per capita categories with an 86.6% diversion rate from one men’s basketball game.