Welcome to Green Grounds, Hoos!

Happy soon-to-be fall semester, Hoos! UVA has a variety of sustainable initiatives and projects going on around grounds, from sustainable engineering to composting. UVA Sustainability is so excited to have students back on Grounds and get another semester full of programming and events started!

If you’re interested in sustainability, here are just a few ways you can get involved at UVA: 

Join a Student Leadership Program or a Green CIO

  1. UVA Sustainability Student Leadership Programs

    • Sustainability Advocates

      • Sustainability Advocates work directly with the Office for Sustainability to develop sustainability student leaders across Grounds. They work on semester-long projects aimed at increasing sustainable practices and awareness on Grounds. Apply and learn more here

    • Zero Waste Ambassadors 

      • This program allows student-leaders to directly contribute to UVA's ambitious waste minimization goals. ZWAs help expand and implement composting around Grounds. Apply and learn more here.

    • Eco-Leaders

      • The Eco-Leaders program is centered around professional development, volunteer experiences, and educational opportunities for first year and transfer students living on Grounds. Working with the OFS, students have the opportunity to advance their sustainability knowledge and connect with faculty.


10 students energetically holding compost and recycling signs.
10 students energetically holding compost and recycling signs.
  1. Green CIOs

    • Growing for Change: GFC works to develop stronger social ties between the University of Virginia and Westhaven community through collaborative efforts in creating individual gardens. 

    • Swap @ UVA: Swap @ UVA plans & hosts clothing swaps on Grounds! 

    • Environmental Justice Collective: Through direct action, community buildings and mutual education, EJC strives to provide a safe space for students of color and the UVA community to discuss environmental injustices in the U.S. and abroad.

    • There are several other sustainability-related community groups at UVA, ranging from engineering to advocacy. Here is a non-exhaustive list of organizations.


Practice Stewardship

  1. Volunteer with the Office for Sustainability 

    • Green Games: UVA Football Composting

      • UVA is implementing composting at every home football game this year, and there are volunteer opportunities available for each! Green Games are fun, high-energy events and volunteering is a great way to get behind the scenes of sustainability at UVA. Sign up here.

    • Corner Cleanups 

      • Every month, UVA Sustainability hosts a Corner Cleanup where groups of students collect trash and recycling alongside streets by the Corner. Volunteers get bagels before the cleanup and commit about an hour to trash picking. Sign up for the first Corner Cleanup of Fall 2023 here

    • Student Garden

      • The UVA Student Garden hosts 1-2 work days a week where volunteers water, weed, plant and harvest in the garden. Stay updated by following @StudentGarden_UVA on Instagram.


About 40 students gather in front of the Rotunda in preparation for a Corner Clean-up.
About 40 students gather in front of the Rotunda in preparation for a Corner Clean-up.
  1. Volunteer in the Charlottesville community

    • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry: Help bag food products or pack grocery carts to deliver to clients’ cars. 

    • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville: Help out in the office, Habitat store, or with construction on building teams.

    • Emergency Food Network: Help out as an office volunteer, bagger, driver, distributor, shelver, Spanish-speaking translator, and more. 

    • There are so many opportunities to get involved in Charlottesville! Here is a list of volunteer opportunities at UVA and around C-ville.


  1. Join a CIO dedicated to service

    • Alpha Phi Omega: APO is a gender-inclusive, student-run service fraternity following the three cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service. Many of their service projects are focused on environmental efforts. 

    • FeelGood at UVA: FeelGood makes and sells fresh grilled cheese sandwiches outside of Clemons Library every Sunday night to raise proceeds for The Hunger Project.

    • Food Assist: Members combat hunger and excessive waste by recovering unused food from events and donating it to local soup kitchens. 

    • Hoos Littering: Participate in weekly trash cleanups at the Corner, Mad Bowl, JPA, and other locations on and off Grounds, followed by a trip to Bodo’s. 


Incorporate Sustainability into Your Education

There are sustainability-related courses in many different disciplines at UVA. See this page for sustainability related courses.

  • If your major is undecided, take a class related to sustainability to gauge your interest in pursuing the subject academically. 

    • Related majors/minors: Global Studies: Global Environments and Sustainability (GSVS), Environmental Sciences (EVSC), Environmental Thought and Practice (ETP), Civil Engineering (CE), Urban and Environmental Planning (PLAN) and more.

  • If your major is decided, pursue sustainability in class projects and elective courses.


Connect with UVA Sustainability to stay updated on events and opportunities