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One Zero Waste Ambassador wearing a protective cloth face mask, poses in front of three bins for recycling, composting, and landfill waste materials under a blue banner that reads, "Zero Waste Station" in the clear plastic tent outside O-Hill dining hall.
The Sustainability Advocates, Eco-leaders, and Zero Waste Advocates work directly with the UVA Office for Sustainability to foster leadership opportunities for students interested in the environment and sustainability on Grounds and beyond. Read more about their adaptability and creativity, and how they completed their spring projects, given the COVID-19 restrictions.
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The Lawn on a sunny fall day
It’s also important to highlight the young people who are at the forefront of this work, demanding action and inspiring others to get involved. This article highlights a group of four undergraduate students that are leading the charge at UVA, seeking to make our sustainability spaces more safe, equitable, and dynamic. Three students formed and lead the Environmental Justice Collective at UVA. Another is an Eco-Leader on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee. 
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the lawn at sunset
Seeks to Reduce Electricity Demand by 6.9 Megawatts
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Two female students on a clear day under a lamp post/street sign. The one on the left holds a plastic bag with a recycling symbol on it and the other holds a white poster sign, reading "Go Hoos" with the "o"s in "Hoos" replaced with green recycling symbols.
In previous years, the student-athlete run group focused on waste minimization efforts, but considering recent events, the Green Athletics group has prioritized tackling topics of intersectional sustainability, which advocate for both the protection of people and the planet. Read more for a detailed recap of the year!
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Painting of a stream with a forest landscape and a tire floating in the water. Plants growing out of the water sit in the foreground.
We all know art as a form of expression, or beauty, or even social commentary. Even in those categories, we see a wide range of artistic styles and techniques. Environmental art is no different - conservation can be portrayed in a variety of different art forms, media, and styles. To exemplify this, two UVA students, talk about their experience with the intersection of art and sustainability.
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Plant growing from cup of coins
Sometimes living sustainably can be associated with a higher cost. However, through resources at the University and in Charlottesville, sustainable choices are more accessible than first thought. Students should not have to choose between being environmentally conscious or being financially secure. This list of resources is meant to lead students to budget-friendly sustainable living options.
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Earth Day Every Day yard sign in front of a tree with flower landscaping.
In 2021, we look forward to celebrating the Earth all April long with an expanded “Earth Day Every Day” Community Celebration! We invite individuals and groups to participate. Let’s show our friends, families, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors how much our community cares about this beautiful Earth that we all share.
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On a wooden surface, a garden trowel lies in the sun next to some freshly harvsted, leafy radishes.
Read more to learn about how UVA promotes plant-based eating and local consumption, through the Plant Based Strategy Working Group and the UVA Community Garden.
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Game Day 2019 basketball court
Some classes change your perspective in unexpected ways. For former UVA basketball player Justice Bartley, an environmental science class sparked a long-term interest in the environment and sustainability.
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Student looking at a computer while sitting on The Lawn
This year has been tough for us all, for so many reasons. With this in mind, we sought to compile a list of hope-inspiring documentaries, podcasts, and books to keep us looking towards a better, more sustainable future even in the light of so many challenges. 
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panorama of a green workplace in facilities management
Sustainability is about finding “win-win-win” solutions that are good for the planet, people, and the bottom line. As the coronavirus pandemic has swept through and challenged the typical modes of operation for our University, extra emphasis has been placed on keeping people safe and reducing costs. Fortunately, many environmentally green solutions can also save some “green” and help us be good stewards of UVA’s resources during this tough time.
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UVA Lawn
Looking to fill up your enrollment shopping cart? UVA offers sustainability classes in a variety of schools and departments! Here's 10 classes to check out for the Spring 2021 semester:
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Group of people standing six feet apart, wearing masks, in a garden
Charlottesville is a leader in addressing food justice as various organizations in the city work towards building a healthy and just food system. The International Rescue Committee's (IRC) New Roots Program specifically supports food justice for our Charlottesville refugee community. Read more about OFS Student Employee, Yuki's experience cultivating just food systems in Charlottesville.
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Farmers market bins of yellow tomatoes
Dining at UVA has a larger impact on our daily life than we could have ever imagined. Read more to hear about how UVA is taking the lead on sustainable eating and how you can get involved and reduce your environmental impact through food.
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Large group of people posing in front of a water front
Across Grounds, faculty and staff have committed to making UVA more sustainable. Several offices and departments have sought to incorporate sustainability into the work setting through the Green Workplace Program, including the International Studies Office (ISO). Read more about ISO's commitment to UVA's sustainability efforts!
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Random items, such as a chandelier and chair, on display
Second-hand stores offer a sustainable, fun, and often more affordable way to shop while mitigating waste and promoting a circular economy. If you’re in the market for school supplies, clothes, furniture, home goods, vintage items, accessories and masks, outdoor gear, and more, check out Charlottesville’s many second-hand stores!
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UVA's Dutta Lab posing for their Green Lab Certification photo
The Green Labs program, started in 2016, helped focus and lead efforts to assess and improve lab sustainability at UVA. The subsequent success and expansion of the program has created new opportunities for students to contribute to Green Labs initiatives around Grounds, including positions for two Green Lab interns. Read more to hear about how Dakota and Pumoli have helped transform the Green Labs program.
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People (Cultivate team), wearing masks, posing socially distant in a cafe
In the face of adjusting to our new normal, the ability of some to adjust has been harder than others, and this has required many to step up and change normal operations. Read more about how Cultivate Charlottesville has helped our community's adjustment in the face of COVID-19.
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Group of student volunteers with Green Game signs
August 19, 2020
Are you interested in getting involved with sustainability at UVA? The Sustainability Advocates (SA) program provides opportunities for our advocates to develop into sustainability leaders. Read more about past projects and how to get involved this year!
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A drawing with plastic trash, plants, and birds
Getting crafty during quarantine? During the last two weeks of April, UVA Sustainability student employees hosted the Waste Reimagined art competition. The competition encouraged students to think differently about the waste around them; participants had to use recycled, repurposed or forgotten items as a main component of their piece. See some of our top submissions below: