Columbia offers opportunities for environmental volunteering

Here are five ways to help the environment while in Columbia.

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As climate change threatens life on earth, it can be difficult to find a way to make a change. While recycling, cutting down on plastic use or cutting down on water use can all create a small difference, there are ways to incite change in the community as well. Columbia offers a variety of resources for students to help the environment, without infringing on class schedules. Here are five different volunteering opportunities that help the environment:

Mizzou Sustainability Office

Located right on campus, the Sustainability Office offers lots of opportunities to help make campus more eco-friendly. The office runs several programs, including Tiger Tailgate Recycling, water bottle recycling and Recyclemania. Specific opportunities can be found through the office’s monthly newsletter.

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture’s goal is to help people connect to the land they live on. The center is always looking for student volunteers and offers regular volunteering shifts as well as one-time opportunities. There’s also an option for drop-in volunteering on Wednesday evenings at Kilgore’s Community Garden for those who don’t want to make a full-time commitment. The center’s full volunteer application can be found on its website.

TreeKeepers

Trees are an integral part of the environment, providing everyone with oxygen, so TreeKeepers offers people a chance to take care of them in return. Volunteers commit to doing a minimum of 36 hours of work on projects around Columbia, all of which take place on Saturday mornings. Classes in the past have taught participants about tree identification, planting and pruning. Those interested can call 573-874-4799 or email volunteer@como.gov.

Columbia Farmers Market

The Columbia Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and relies primarily on volunteers to help keep things running smoothly. In addition to general volunteers who help with set up and clean up while doing other assorted tasks, they are also looking to fill more specific positions, such as market volunteers, photography volunteers and “The Greenhouse” volunteer which is a position that assists in planning children’s activities at the market. Shopping locally sourced produce is a way to cut down on pollution from the transportation of goods while supporting local farmers and volunteering here can help students be a part of that. There is a volunteer application on the market’s website.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

In order to take action at the legislative level, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby advocates for people to contact officials in order to promote policy change. Currently, the organization is working on passing a climate change solution called “Carbon Free and Dividend.” With this, it hopes to “drastically reduce emissions, create jobs, and support small businesses and families – all without growing government,” according to its website. Visit the organization’s [website](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/chapters/MO_Columbia/ to find more information about joining the Columbia chapter.

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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