Events: Every Day is Earth Day

Sustainability at University of Richmond is exhibited in the everyday lives of faculty, staff, and students, as well as in events that bring our community together.

Each year, the University participates in the RVA Environmental Film Festival, showing films that are free and open to the public in this city-wide event. During International Education Week in the fall, members of the campus community can adopt individual actions while learning about global sustainability through an online Ecochallenge. In the spring, the Office for Sustainability hosts a dinner honoring members of the campus community for their efforts supporting sustainability at University of Richmond. At the end of each spring semester, the University puts on the Big Yard Sale to benefit the Falls of the James Sierra Club. These are just a few annual events that support the University’s priority of environmental stewardship

In addition to exploring annual events through these pages, you can also look over some green event tips that we've put together for you. No matter what kind of event you're hosting, we want it to be more sustainable.

Spring 2024 Events

Below are a few sustainability-related events happening this semester. Is your department or club hosting an event related to sustainability, the environment, or social justice? Please let us know if you would like to add it to this list.

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  • January 23: A Slice of Science

    5:00-6:30 PM | Register

    This career event is open to all science students exploring career options and gives students a chance to engage with alums working in fields such as life science, data science, sustainability, and physical sciences.

    Panelists include:

    • Research Associate at MIT
    • PhD student in Physics and President of Science Overdrive
    • Software Engineer at Ippon
    • Senior Data Scientist at 2nd Order Solutions
    • Policy Analyst for the National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology
    • CEO at STRM.BIO
    • Assistant Scientist at PPD
    • Interdisciplinary Biologist at EPA
    • Student Engagement Fellow with the Population Connection

  • January 26 - March 26: Science Based Lectures

    Generating Chiral Light from Molecules Spanning Almost the Whole Periodic Table

    January, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

    Gael Ung, associate professor at the University of Connecticut, presents “Generating Chiral Light from Molecules Spanning Almost the Whole Periodic Table” as part of the UR Department of Chemistry Powell Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    From Genomes to Genes: Studying Evolutionary Change in Humans and Fruit Flies

    January 29, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    Melinda Yang, assistant professor of biology at University of Richmond, presents "From Genomes to Genes: Studying Evolutionary Change in Humans and Fruit Flies" as part of the Biology Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    Rhodium - catalyzed C–H activation for the synthesis, elaboration, and application of N-heterocyclic compounds

    February 2, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

    Danielle Confair, Senior Scientist at Astra Zeneca, presents “Rhodium - catalyzed C–H activation for the synthesis, elaboration, and application of N-heterocyclic compounds” as part of the Department of Chemistry Powell Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    Identification of therapeutic vulnerabilities in stem cells in myeloid neoplasms

    February 12, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    Christopher Park, professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, presents “Identification of Therapeutic Vulnerabilities in Stem Cells in Myeloid Neoplasms” as part of the Biology Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    Impacts of disturbance on marine mammals: Physiological and behavioral responses to stressors

    February 19, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

    Gitte McDonald, associate professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories at San Jose State University, presents “Impacts of disturbance on marine mammals: Physiological and behavioral responses to stressors” as part of the Biology Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    City rats in 3 acts: global zoonotic disease risks to local population genetics

    March 4, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    Jonathan Richardson, assistant professor of biology at University of Richmond, presents “City Rats in 3 Acts: Global Zoonotic Disease Risks to Local Population Genetics” as part of the Biology Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences


    Evolutionary adaptation in commensal house mice

    March 26, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    Megan Phifer-Rixey, assistant professor of biology at Drexel University, presents “Evolutionary Adaptation in Commensal House Mice” as part of the Biology Seminar Series.

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences

  • January 27: Movie Under the Stars

    9:00 PM

    Join SpiderBoard for their kickoff SpiderNights event of the year — a movie night under a galaxy-lit Alice Haynes Room. Popcorn, movie theater candy, and drinks will be provided!

    University of Richmond, Tyler Haynes Commons

  • January 28: Welcome Back Plant Party

    4:00 PM | Register

    Register for the SBNR@UR (Spiritual but Not Religious at the University of Richmond) Welcome Back Plant Party on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 4:00 p.m. in the Multifaith Room of the Wilton Center.

  • January 28 - March 23: Campus Race to Zero Waste

    Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) is a two month, nationwide recycling competition. During CR2ZW, you’re invited to reduce waste, recycle more, attend events, and volunteer at the Rethink Waste Basketball Game. Read the 2022 report for University of Richmond.

  • February 1: Lecture: Religion and Environment: Shamanic Cosmo-political Projects Amid Climatic and Geopolitical Crisis in Siberia
    4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    Brown-Alley Room, Weinstein Hall

    Mally Stelmaszyk, post-doctorate research associate in social anthropology at the University of Manchester, presents “Religion and Environment: Shamanic Cosmo-political Projects Amid Climatic and Geopolitical Crisis in Siberia.”

    Stelmaszyk’s work includes ethnographic research on cursing and shamanic practice in post-Soviet Tuva, focused on transformative qualities of sound and music in shamanic rituals and animistic relationships. Her research interests include shamanic practice, sound studies, visual anthropology, post-colonialism, animism, and addiction studies.

    Her current focus involves the questions of animism and climate change in Far Eastern Siberia, exploring how the processes associated with environmental change and climate uncertainty influence the beliefs and practices of indigenous communities in Amur and Khabarovsk regions, particularly the Nanai and the Eveny. She seeks to discover if these distinct knowledges and practices can be merged with scientific approaches to better understand climate change. 

  • February 14: Love Letters to Earth

    A Valentine’s celebration with the Geography Department!

    Donuts, coffee, valentines

    Feb 14 | 2:30-3:30 | Spatial Analysis Lab

  • February 15: Pinecone Bird Feeder Craft

    Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder!

     📅 Thursday, February 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
    📍 The Eco-Corridor

    Help us spread love to our campus bird community! Join us on February 15 to create pinecone bird feeders in the Eco-Corridor. We will be using natural materials to create these feeders to be hung at your home or in the Eco-Corridor. Bring a friend and give back to the birds! Human snacks will also be provided. 

    Note: Rain location will be in the Office for Sustainability. Swing by or register to get updates about any possible location changes.

  • February 16: The Global Energy Challenge: Food and Fuel from Air, Water and Sunlight

    1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

    Auditorium - A001, Gottwald Center for the Sciences

    Daniel G. Nocera, Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, presents “The Global Energy Challenge: Food and Fuel from Air, Water and Sunlight” as part of the Chemistry Powell Seminar Series.

    Nocera is recognized for his discoveries in renewable energy, originating new paradigms that have defined the field of solar energy conversion and storage. He invented the Bionic Leaf, which uses only air, water, and sunshine as inputs to create biomass, liquid fuels and fertilizer at energy efficiencies that are 10 to 100 times greater than natural photosynthesis. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Indian Academy of Sciences. He was named as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and was 11th on the New Statesman’s list on the same topic. He founded Sun Catalytix, which was acquired by Lockheed Martin, leading to the largest flow battery in the world for grid scale storage and founded Kula Bio for the commercialization of a living biofertilizer for renewable and distributed farming.

  • February 16-17: A&S NEXT

    Equitable Climate Action in RVA:

    How can we work towards climate action and sustainable development without increasing inequity in the City of Richmond? RVAgreen 2050 is the City of Richmond’s equity-centered climate action plan focused on creating a healthy and resilient city. The plan outlines a number of goals and emphasizes the need to involve the entire community in developing sustainable solutions that address the challenges of climate change. Through this case study, you will further examine the impacts of climate change on the local community and explore interventions to address critical challenges and concerns. The case will also explore opportunities related to potential connections that the University could make in support of the goals of RVA Green 2050.


    Daniel Hart, Associate Director, Sustainability and Environmental Justice 
    Dr. Kyle Redican, Spatial Analysis Laboratory Director

  • February 20: C-Suite Conversations: John Hewa of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

    7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

    University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

    The Robins School of Business will host our next installment of C-Suite Conversations, a series of engaging, educational events for our campus and the greater Richmond business community.

    Please join us in welcoming John Hewa, president and chief executive officer of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, to the stage with Professor Richard Coughlan for a candid and unscripted conversation on leadership, decision-making, and emerging issues in the energy sector.

    Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) is a national utility leader regarding service levels and member satisfaction. It has approximately 500 employees providing service to residential, commercial, and industrial members in 22 counties stretching from the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley through the Piedmont region and into the Coastal Plain. Mr. Hewa also chairs the Infrastructure Executive Committee of the Virginia Chamber, which focuses on implementing Blueprint Virginia 2030.

    We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to visit our beautiful campus and network with leaders from across the region.

    • 7:30 A.M. | Networking Breakfast
    • 8:00 A.M. | Program

    Click Here to register by Tuesday, February 13

  • March 1: Babylon Micro-Farm Demo

    Did you know that Babylon Micro-Farms use zero pesticides and significantly less water than traditional farming methods? 

    Join the Office for Sustainability interns at the Business School on March 1, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. to learn more about the Babylon Micro-Farm installation. This farm is one of the installations from the larger Babylon Micro-Farms business located in downtown Richmond, started by graduates of the University of Virginia. The produce at UR now goes to meals served at Lou’s!

    Check out stats about our Babylon Micro-Farm below, listen to this TEDx Talk from one of the founders, and join our event to learn more!

  • March 6: Rethink Waste Green Basketball Game

    Rethink Waste is looking for volunteers to support our waste diversion efforts on March 6, as the Spiders take on the St. Joseph’s Hawks. We are competing against other schools in a variety of categories and we need your help! Throughout the game, we will help fans sort concessions waste and any other waste generated there properly into compost and recycling. After the game, we will go through the stands and collect and sort any waste left behind. What we’re able to do depends on how many volunteers sign up, so sign up today and invite your friends! Click here for more information on the competition. 

    Register here. 

  • March 21: Planting Workshop

    Join the Office for Sustainability interns for a succulent planting event here on campus! Participants will learn how to pot and take care of their new succulents. Registration is limited and required.

    Sign up while spots remain!

  • March 22: Managing a Just Transition

    Friday, March 22

    Room 128

    Refreshments are available at 9:30 a.m.
    Presentation from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

    The Robert R. Merhige Jr. Center for Environmental Studies at the University of Richmond School of Law invites you to attend an in-person forum entitled Managing a Just Transition. With the resources allocated in recent federal laws, the United States has signaled that it is ready to fully invest in the energy transition. Join us for presentations and discussion between energy experts, legal practitioners, and grassroots activists as they share insights about how and where resources should be invested.


  • April 3: Lecture - Evolving Energy Efficiency

    Lecture: Evolving Energy Efficiency
    April 3 | 4:30 p.m.

    Georgios Pardalis, Associate Senior Lecturer from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University, will be presenting at the Gottwald Auditorium on transforming heritage and historical buildings through renovation innovation. This event is co-sponsored with the Department of Art and Art History.

  • April 6: Movie Under the Stars: Double-Feature

    8:00 - 11:00 PM

    Join SpiderBoard for a double-feature movie night under the stars of the Intramural Fields!

    University of Richmond, Intramural Fields

  • April 11: Sustainability Banquet

    6:30-8:00 PM

    Each year the Office for Sustainability and leaders of campus sustainability groups host a Sustainability Banquet to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and to recognize University of Richmond community members for their outstanding contributions to sustainability.

    Sustainability leaders are nominated by their peers and at the dinner, Sustainability Leadership Awards are presented. Learn more here!

  • April 19: Trash Clean-up

    April 19, 9:00-11:30 a.m.

    Register Now!

    Join us for a trash clean-up in honor of Earth Month! We will be meeting at the Office for Sustainability. From there, we will take university vans to the James River Park and walk along the nature trails collecting trash and recyclables.

    We’ll have plenty of trash grabbers and bags for storing materials. Join us for this meaningful way to give back to our local parks! 

  • April 19: A&S Symposium

    April 19 | 12:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    Learn more

    Each April, UR celebrates our diverse community of learners at the A&S Student Symposium, a showcase of student-led research projects from nearly 30 disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Student researchers share their scholarly work with the campus community and the public in the form of oral presentations, poster sessions, performances, and art exhibits.

  • April 22: Thrift Store Pop-up
    Thrift Store Pop-up
    April 22 | TBD

    The Spider Exchange will have a thrift store popup, collaborating with VCU’s fashion club to provide information on the fast fashion industry and the importance of sustainable clothing practices. A mending workshop will be available to help with clothing fix-ups.

  • April 22: Earth Day Celebration!
    Earth Day Celebration!
    April 22 | TBD

    Join Rethink Waste for an evening of meditation, climate talks, art, and open mic at the Spider Exchange! All are welcome in this space of collaboration and fun. More details coming soon. 

  • April 26: Rethink Waste E-Shredding & Waste Collection

    On April 26, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in parking lot C66, join Rethink Waste for all your recycling, document shredding, and compost needs!

    Electronics Accepted:

    • Computers, Desktops, Laptops, CPSUs
    • Hard Drives, Solid State Drives, Memory Cards
    • Printers, Typewriters, Fax Machines, Scanners, Copiers
    • New and Used Toner and Ink Cartridges
    • Cell Phones, Smartphones, Mobile Devices
    • Servers, Server Racks
    • UPS Sytems
    • Network Equipment, Routers, Network Switches, Modems
    • Telephone Equipment, Office Phones, PBX Systems
    • Computer Peripherals: Mice, Keyboards
    • Power Supplies, AC Adapters, Cables
    • Audio Equipment: Speakers, Stereos, Amplifiers, Receivers
    • Video Equipment: Cameras, Lenses, Drones
    • Tablets, Portable Media Players, e-Readers, GPS Devices
    • VCRs, DVD Players, Blue-Ray Players, Cable Boxes, DVRs
    • Test Equipment, Oscilloscopes, Spectrum Analyzers, RF, Radio, Ham Radio Parts
    • Satellite Equipment, Dishes, BUCs, LNBs, Waveguides
    • Circuit Boards
    • Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Iron
    • Microwaves
    • Batteries: THESE TYPES ONLY: Laptop, Cell Phone, Lead Acid, and UPS Battery Backup Batteries
    • Flat Monitors
    • CRT Monitors (Cathode Ray Tube)
    • All Televisions 
    • Magnetic Data Tape Cartridges 
    • Mixed Media (Recorded CDs, DVDs, Floppy Disks, VHS tapes, etc.) 

    Not accepted (email: for more info)

    • Alkaline Batteries
    • Household Batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9 volt)
    • Button Batteries
    • Other Batteries (Rechargeable Batteries, Lithium Primary, NiCad, NiMH)
    • Light Bulb of any kind
    • Vacuum Cleaners
    • Kitchen Appliances
    • Refrigerators
    • Bathroom Appliances
    • Dehumidifiers
  • May 7-8: River City Project

    The River City Project: Sustainability Across the Curriculum Workshop is focused on creating space for faculty to ideate how to incorporate the practice and principles of sustainability into their curriculum through exploring various sustainability frameworks, networking with others, placed based education, and through interdisciplinary collaboration.
    Participating faculty will attend two full day workshops held May 7th and 8th, 2024, hosted by UR’s Office for Sustainability, and will primarily meet on campus in addition to experiential trips off campus. Through design exercises and discussion centered on local-to-global sustainability issues and challenges, participants will develop a shared understanding of sustainability, explore sustainability competencies and pedagogy, cultivate a justice lens, and develop or enhance their sustainability worldview. Participants will receive a stipend for attending the two-day workshop. 

    Following the two-day workshop in May, participants will continue to meet as a cohort or the following year. The River City Project cohort will convene for quarterly meetings the following September, November, January, and March for continued dialogue.  Following completion of the year-long cohort, participants will receive an additional stipend.
    To apply, please visit this link.
    The University of Richmond is a nationally recognized Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum through partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
    For more information, please contact Daniel Hart, Associate Director of Sustainability and Environmental Justice, at

  • May 17-18: Big Yard Sale

    UR Only Presale: Friday, May 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

    General Public: Saturday, May 18, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


    The Big Yard Sale is a two-day sale of gently used student items (e.g., furniture, clothing, household items, etc.) collected by volunteers during move-out week. Proceeds from the sale go to the Falls of the James Sierra Club chapter and support initiatives undertaken by University of Richmond’s student sustainability organizations.

    The Big Yard Sale aims to educate students about responsible waste reduction, divert reusable items from the landfill and provide them to the community at affordable prices, and raise money for environmental organizations both on and off campus.