Volunteer Opportunities

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Passionate about the Environment?

There are many ways to get involved and help promote sustainability on your campus!  In addition to these activities, the UMD Sustainability Office  is willing to help with YOUR ideas, so Contact Us and we can help!

Campus Clean-up

Description: A campus clean-up will reduce unsightly litter that impacts our grounds and impacts wildlife our forests, streams and ponds.  Conducting a clean-up is a great way to engage a group in sustainability conversations and to contribute to the environmental efforts of our campus.

How to participate:  There are three steps to a successful clean-up event:

1. If your group would like to lead a clean-up event, contact the Sustainability Office to get organized! Emailsustain@d.umn.edu or 726-8198.  Give the Office an estimate of the number of participants, to reserve gloves and bags (through Sustainability Office.) There may be specific areas of campus to target, and there may be dates or certain areas to avoid.

2.  During the clean-up:

  • Separate recycling (empty bottles & cans,cardboard/paper) and trash.
  • Keep safety in mind: share these tips with your volunteer crew!
  • Don’t lift anything too heavy.  Report it to Facilities Management (726-8262) or Sustainability Office.
  • Watch carefully for broken glass or other sharp items.
  • Don’t pour out sealed soda bottles or other containers (unless you can tell it is for sure just soda).  Full containers are TRASH.  Empty containers are RECYCLING.
  • Stay off the street and watch for traffic.
  • If you see anything suspicious, don’t touch it, report it.

3.  When you are done: leave bags of recycling and trash (separated) near the signposts only on campus roads (University Drive, Kirby Drive, or St. Marie St. on the UMD side) for Facilities Management to collect. You can also leave extra boxes of gloves and rolls of bags on top of the trash bags for UMD Facilities Management to collect.

When to participate:  Clean-ups are needed year-round, although targeted areas may change as groups volunteer. Early in Fall semester and anytime after the snow melts are excellent times.  Summer clean-ups along the local creeks are much appreciated.  In addition, community Beach Sweeps occur each September (administered through the Great Lakes Aquarium: contact Emma Wiermaa at ewiermaa@greatlakes.org or 218-481-0616)

Bulldogs Recycle: Tailgating

Volunteers are needed for tailgating at home UMD Football games. Volunteers would show up 3 hours before a game,  and help Bulldog fans sort trash/recycling while they tailgate!  (Volunteers also will receive a UMD Sustainability T-shirt!) 

Email sustain@d.umn.edu for more details or to sign-up today!

Trash Talking

Description: Outgoing, friendly people are needed to talk a little trash!   The purpose of trash talking at UMD is to reduce waste going to landfills from campus events.  Students who participate will wear official Trash Talker lanyards and stand near trash/composting stations to assist people in sorting their trash correctly.  In addition, Trash Talkers can take shifts at any of the seven compost/recycling stations around campus during high-traffic volumes to further educate students on the benefits of composting.

Why compost at UMD?  Composting organic materials turns them into a resource versus a waste.  Returning compostable materials to the soil is the ultimate in recycling endeavors, and shows leadership by the many partners who support it, including DiningStudent Life and Facilities Management.  The Top Three reasons to participate in composting at UMD are:

  1. Compost is a resource that can be added to soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers
  2. UMD organic waste becomes a marketable commodity, instead of a landfill filler!
  3. Recycling compostable materials reduces waste heading to landfills, and the associated methane emissions

How to participate:  Contact the UMD Sustainability Office to have a short training sessions (10 minutes), receive a lanyard, and schedule times to Talk Trash.  The Sustainability Office will provide all materials you need for education and outreach.

When to participate: Compostable events happen all year, contact the UMD Office of Sustainability if you are interested in getting trained in.  Once you are trained in, the Sustainability office will email you when events are approaching where they NEED student help to reduce our trash!  

Bike repair 

Description:  As part of the UMD Bike-to-Campus program, you can volunteer to assist in inventorying, repairing, and pricing recovered bikes.   Repaired bikes will be sold as affordable options to UMD students in need of a bike to get them cruising!  Also, any funds raised will help sustain UMD Bike-to-Campus programs.

How to participate:  Your skills in bike repair are appreciated and needed!  Tools and supplies will be provided.  Email bike@d.umn.edu or tbates@d.umn.edu to get involved.

When to participate: Early fall, late-spring, and in the summer are all great times to participate.

Additional resources

The Lake Superior Regional Stormwater Protection Team has prepared a list of Service and Fundraising Projects that are eco-friendly.  (Tip: Don’t hold a car wash without reading this first!)