Published: March 20, 2019

Many benefits come with donating your time and talents to causes that are important to you. From environmental conservation to community gardens to animal welfare, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to explore your passions in sustainability and beyond.

Whether you have a free afternoon, weekend or time during the summer, here are five reasons you should volunteer this year.

Clean up on The HillMake a difference

Volunteering is a way to be a part of a solution to larger community issues. Collaborating with others to confront the issues you care about is rewarding on many levels, and it can be especially satisfying to complete environmental volunteer projects outdoors.

Use your talents

Do you enjoy organizing events? Could you help a nonprofit with their social media presence? Are you able to do physical labor, like gardening or yard work? Consider how you could contribute to a cause using your unique talents and skills.

Learn about yourself

Stepping out of our comfort zones is key to personal growth. Volunteer experiences are a great way to learn not only about issues affecting our environment and communities, but to learn more about yourself as well.

Make new friends

Volunteering with other CU students and local community members is a great way to make new friends and get to know them on a deeper level. On campus or off, you’ll meet like-minded and caring people.

Gain experience for your résumé

Careers in sustainability and other fields often get started thanks to hands-on volunteer experience. You can gain valuable skills like problem solving, and area-specific skills like conservation, that can apply to future job opportunities.

Earn PIPs

The PIPs Rewards mobile app allows you to earn “positive impact points” for various actions that benefit the planet, our community and your personal health and wellness.

You can now earn PIPs when you volunteer with the Volunteer Resource Center. Get 50 PIPs for meeting with a VRC staff member for personalized volunteering suggestions and 500 PIPs for every two hours of volunteering after that (up to six hours total). Head to UMC 458 during normal business hours to get started.

You can also earn PIPs for participating in the Better Boulder Day of Service on April 13.

Learn More About PIPs

Get started

There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities and time commitments to fit your schedule, and spring break is a great time to do some research and find the best fit for you. Here are some volunteer opportunities at the Environmental Center to help you get started:

Another great way to get started is by visiting the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC). Meeting with a VRC staff member can help you find your perfect volunteer experience, and you can earn 50 PIPs!

Sustainable Buffs is a new series brought to you by the Environmental Center. Learn more sustainability tips and ways to get involved at