cleanup volunteers

Volunteer Opportunities

For Students

Move-In Green Program

  • Move-In Green is Penn’s sustainability engagement program focusing on new and returning students as they arrive on campus. Volunteer student ambassadors provide educational outreach and hands-on recycling assistance prior to New Student Orientation.
  • Level of commitment: Several days during Fall Move-In, prior to NSO
  • Application cycle: Opens each spring

Student Advisory Group for the Environment (SAGE)

  • The Student Advisory Group for the Environment (SAGE) serves as a body by which students can participate in the implementation of the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 (CSAP 3.0). In addition to SAGE’s advisory role, the group also communicates and promotes environmentally-focused resources and serves to increase transparency between the student body and administration regarding environmental sustainability initiatives.
  • Level of commitment: 4 hours/month; bi-weekly hour-long meetings + side work
  • Application cycle: Rolling basis

Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP)

  • As the official umbrella group of undergraduate environmental sustainability student groups on campus, the Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP) was founded in 2010 to foster cohesion among environmentally-focused student groups, develop strategies for impacting campus sustainability, and create a unified student voice on green issues at Penn.
  • Level of commitment: Varies

Climate Leaders @ Penn

  • Climate Leaders @ Penn is an interdisciplinary graduate student organization, which brings together students, faculty, centers, and alumni in the climate space to discuss key climate issues. Their vision is to institutionalize a student-led, faculty-advised, and university-supported fellowship program designed to accelerate, incubate and spur climate entrepreneurship, leadership and policy.
  • Level of commitment: Varies

Netter Center Opportunities

  • The Netter Center provides student involvement opportunities that cover a wide variety of interests. Environmentally-specific programs include Moelis Access Science, Students for Environmental Equity, and the Agatson Urban Nutrition Initiative.
  • Level of commitment: Varies
  • Application cycle: Rolling basis

Civic House Opportunities

  • Civic House is Penn’s hub for civic engagement, centering community organizations and social justice education, promoting mutually beneficial collaborations between Penn and Philadelphia community nonprofit organizations. Opportunities include Community Engagement Internships working with organizations like Urban Tree Connection and Penn Alternative Breaks environmental service trips.
  • Level of commitment: Varies
  • Application cycle: Varies

For Staff/Faculty

Staff and Faculty Eco-Reps Program

  • The Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps Program is a peer education program that provides the tools to improve the environmental sustainability of Penn offices and labs. Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps work with campus stakeholders and within their departments and offices to develop educational events, activities, and campaigns aimed at supporting the University’s environmental goals and Climate and Sustainability Action Plan. Initiatives include energy conservation, waste and recycling practices, alternative transportation, consumer choices, and more.
  • Level of commitment: 2-5 hours/month; monthly hour-long meetings + side work
  • Application cycle: Rolling basis

Netter Center Opportunities

  • The Netter Center for Community Partnership’s Penn Volunteers in Public Service (VIPS), is responsible for providing volunteer activities for faculty, staff and Alumni. The program manages a variety of activities that include creating volunteer activities, informing the University community and the community at-large about available volunteer programs, and managing several University-wide volunteer activities.
  • Level of commitment: Varies
  • Application cycle: Varies

For Everyone!

Penn Park Farm Workdays

  • The main location for the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative is the Penn Park Farm, located in Penn Park, one of Penn’s largest green spaces. Nestled between open recreational fields and the existing Penn Park Orchard, the farm is visible from the South Street bridge and accessible via pedestrian paths from Shoemaker Green and the Penn Ice Rink. Sign up for a volunteer shift at the farm to get outside and get your hands dirty!
  • Level of commitment: No long-term commitment required; workday shifts are typically 1 hour in length

Penn Park Orchard Workdays

  • Founded in 2014 through a partnership with Philadelphia Orchard Project, Penn Park Orchard is located on the southernmost edge of Penn Park. This community orchard aims to educate and create access to local food for both the Penn community and the wider Philadelphia community. Volunteer opportunities include tree plantings, gleaning opportunities, and workshops. Volunteers of all ages and skill levels are welcome at planting and orchard care events.
  • Level of commitment: No long-term commitment required; event lengths vary from 1 hour to 4 hours

Cigarette Butt Cleanup Walks - on hold due to COVID-19

  • During these walks, participants split up into small groups to cover an assigned section of campus. Each group needs one person with an iPhone to download the Rubbish app, which will be used to log the locations of cigarette butts on campus. Gloves and trash bags are provided! Data collected will help identify areas, not in compliance with Penn's tobacco-free campus policy.
  • Level of commitment: No long-term commitment required; walks are typically 1 hour or less in length