get involved

Our goal is to develop not only a sustainable infrastructure for the University, but an environmentally-minded community that supports sustainable habits and practices. Staff and students can each do their part to achieve better standards of resource efficiency and waste prevention on campus with simple actions and a more environmentally-minded approach to your daily routine.

Easy ways to be a sustainable student

  1. Bring bottles for bubblers - bring a water bottle to uni and fill it up at the water stations around campus. It’s cheaper than buying bottled water, and reduces waste.
  2. Get on your bike! Riding to uni saves you money on petrol and parking and saves the environment the trouble of dealing with more exhaust fumes. We have plenty of bike racks on campus, with more to come.
  3. Printing is so passé - before you print, think: do you really need to print that? Printing your assignments is one thing, printing 100 pages of lecture notes is another. At the very least, print double-sided.
  4. The big turn off - surveys have shown that the majority of monitors in computer labs and library spaces are left on after use. With one poke of a button, you can help keep energy use as efficient as possible.
  5. A cup to keep - the daily coffee is a life or death necessity for many of us on campus. Most takeaway coffee cups are non-recyclable (thanks to a special plastic lining inside the cup), reusable cups are not only far more beneficial to the environment, they’re also great for travel. You can buy University of Sydney cups from various outlets on campus (or at the Sustainable Campus tent at O-Week for a discounted price).

Reuseable bottles


Water fountains


Ride to campus


Reuseable cups

Ground Up University of Sydney Community Garden

Ground Up Community Garden Photo

The community garden is a collaborative initiative started by group of passionate and committed people from CIS Sustainability, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Sustainable Workplace Group and the Student’s Representative Council.

Our objectives for the community garden are humble (but profound); together we aim to create a health garden for growing produce, sharing knowledge and inspiration based on organic methods and permaculture principles.

With a campus population of over 50,000 staff and students we aim to:

  • Set an example of sustainable food production in urban environments;
  • Promote health and wellbeing and healthier food options on campus;
  • Encourage collaboration across staff, student communities and local environmental groups;
  • Educate in ways to minimise our environmental impact through local food production.

Planning began in January 2014 and then CIS Grounds and garden volunteers converted the site into the community garden in March 2014. One of the first jobs conducted was thorough testing of soil and leaf samples to ensure suitability of the site for growing fruit and vegetables. The all-clear came in June and the garden was off and running.

Site details

The garden is located on Maze Crescent, opposite Wilkinson Building. This is a temporary site because the land is earmarked for re-development as part of the Campus Improvement Program in 2016-17. However we have a thriving garden until such time.

The garden is made up of 12 in ground plots, 6 raised beds (kindly donated from CIS Grounds) and numerous planter bags, (garden plot map link). Our objective is community spirit, we do not provide individually managed plots, instead work collectively to grow, harvest and share the produce.

How it works

Members have access to the garden during daylight hours 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Casual volunteers (non-members) are welcome to join in during working bees.

Working Bee (summer-time)

Weekly working bee – every Thursday, 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Monthly working bee – starting in January 2015, second Saturday of the month, 10.30am – 14.30pm

Join in working bee sessions to harvest (when available) and help / learn about:

  • Composting and worm farms
  • Weeding and mulching
  • Companion planting, growing from seed, seed saving
  • Water efficient irrigation systems

Join Ground Up

Join our Ground Up Facebook group to keep up to date on day to day garden news and upcoming event.

Past events

Wasted@Sydney event

Wasted@Sydney event

30 July, 1pm – 2pm
Eastern Avenue and The Quadrangle

In partnership with Sydney Environmental Institute staff and students from across the University converged on the usually pristine lawns of the Quad to pull up their sleeves and sort bags of garbage – all in the name of raising awareness about improving recycling on campus and to launch the rollout of new office waste and recycling stations in key buildings across campus.

Of the 200kg of general waste sorted, 57% was separated out for recycling; 16% paper and 41% mixed recycling (plastic containers, glass, tins, paper etc.)

Join our Student Network

We are recruiting passionate, keen students to help us create a sustainable campus. By volunteering in our student network, you can contribute to the cause in various ways. You can assist at major events, provide ideas and feedback for our sustainability initiatives, and be a super ambassador for all things sustainable!

If you’re interested in joining up, or would like to know more, email: