In 2009, Urban Green Lab started when a group of friends decided to act on their passion for educating the community about sustainability. Since then, they’ve been working hard to make the ideas of sustainability more accessible for schools, businesses and individuals in the Nashville area and Middle Tennessee.

Through six distinct programs and initiatives, they’re making Nashville a better and more environmentally conscious city. 

The Sustainable Classrooms program provides training for educators of all kinds on topics such as energy and water conservation, food waste prevention, air quality and more. You can even visit the nonprofit’s website to sign up to receive their training for professional development credits. 

The Urban Green Lab certification program works to certify local businesses that want to demonstrate their efforts and commitment to being an environmentally sustainable workplace. And if you’d like your business to make improvements, they can provide the training to help you do that.

UGL’s Nashville Sustainability Roundtable offers a chance for professionals from all over the city to come together to discuss sustainability issues currently facing the city and learn from each what they can do to help.

In a partnership with Tennessee State University, the Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative works to protect and empower the city’s marginalized communities from environmental hazards, an increasingly important topic as Nashville continues to grow.

Working alongside other organizations, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative was created to educate businesses in “preventing wasted food, rescuing surplus food for those in need and composting and recycling food scraps to build healthy soil.”

Finally, Students in Sustainability connects high school juniors and seniors with “green teams,” which are businesses and organizations that are succeeding in their sustainability practices and wish to help young people learn early how to make responsible choices in their futures as business leaders.

How You Can Help

If you’re committed to sustainable living, then the best way to help Urban Green Lab is simply to get involved. With the number of community events they attend, they sometimes need help setting up and talking with people about the organization and their goals. They also rely on volunteers to help with the administrative side, such as graphic design work, writing grants, community education, technical support and more. If you’re interested in getting added to the list when help is needed, go ahead fill out the volunteer sign-up form.

For more information about Urban Green Lab or to sign up to volunteer, visit