Sustainability Volunteer Jobs for Teens

Sustainability Volunteer Jobs For Teens

12 Types of Volunteer Opportunities for Teens That Focus on Sustainability

By Beth Rush


Teenagers are at a pivotal point in their lives where every action they take can shape the world around them. Volunteering helps sustainability by creating positive change aimed at caring for the environment. If you’re passionate about sustainability and want to make a positive difference in your community and beyond, there are numerous opportunities to get you started. 

How Does Volunteering Help Sustainability?


Volunteering is a fantastic way to make a difference in your community. Volunteers play a crucial role in protecting the environment and promoting eco-friendly practices by dedicating time and effort to various initiatives. Volunteering can advance sustainability as:

  • It creates environmental responsibility, skills and knowledge among young volunteers, connecting them to nature.
  • It directly contributes to improving the environment and biodiversity through hands-on projects.
  • It raises awareness about environmental issues and promotes eco-friendly behaviors within communities.
  • It encourages teamwork and collective action to address environmental challenges.
  • It empowers individuals to become active members of change, building resilient, environmentally conscious communities.

Additionally, volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about can boost your self-worth and help you find a sense of purpose. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people who are also committed to making a difference in the world.

12 Volunteer Opportunities for Teens


Regardless of your interests or skills, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for teens looking to get involved in combating climate change. 

  • Attend Community Clean-Up Projects

Get your hands dirty and contribute to the cleanliness of your neighborhood by attending community clean-up projects. Volunteer at your local beach, park, nature reserve, highway or river. 

Programs like Great American Cleanup transform communities through clean-up events in locations across the country. These initiatives focus on removing litter from streets, parks and waterways, preserving local ecosystems and preventing pollution. 

  • Attend Urban Gardening and Farming Projects

Join organizations or community gardens that promote urban agriculture and sustainable food production. You can learn about organic farming practices, participate in planting and harvesting crops, and contribute to providing fresh, locally-grown produce to your community. 

  • Join Tree Planting Initiatives

Something as simple as planting a tree can go a long way. The planet loses approximately 15 billion trees to deforestation each year. You can find tree-planting initiatives in your community to help restore biodiversity and give back to the earth. 

  • Raise Awareness Through Environmental Education Programs

Raise awareness about sustainability issues among your peers and younger children. You can volunteer at schools, community centers, church groups and environmental organizations to lead workshops, presentations and outdoor activities that teach about topics like recycling, saving energy and protecting wildlife.

  • Join Wildlife Conservation Projects

There are currently more than 150,000 species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources red list, meaning they’re endangered. If you’re passionate about protecting wildlife and natural habitats, consider volunteering for wildlife conservation projects. This could involve activities such as habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring and participating in conservation research initiatives led by local environmental organizations or natural parks. 

  • Volunteer at Animal Shelters

Dedicate your time to caring for and advocating for animals in need. You can contribute to their well-being and promote compassion and responsible pet ownership within your community. 

You can also volunteer through organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) through advocacy or visiting rehabilitation centers. Other tasks may include feeding and walking animals, cleaning kennels, socializing with pets and assisting with adoption events. If you love animals, it’s a fantastic way to reduce pet overpopulation and homelessness, but also contribute to a more humane society. 

  • Advocate for Climate Campaigns

Take part in advocacy campaigns focused on contributing to combating climate change and promoting renewable energy solutions like wind or solar power. You can join youth-led organizations or participate in marches, rallies and letter-writing campaigns to urge policymakers and businesses to take meaningful action against the climate crisis. 

  • Promote Zero Waste Initiatives

Help promote zero waste principles by volunteering for initiatives that aim to reduce, reuse and recycle materials in your community. You can participate in events such as clothing swaps, repair workshops or zero-waste grocery shopping initiatives to encourage sustainable consumption habits.

  • Get Involved in Green Building Projects

Get involved in projects that promote green building practices and sustainable infrastructure development. This could include volunteering with organizations that build eco-friendly homes, install renewable energy systems or implement green infrastructure projects like rain gardens and permeable pavements.

  • Volunteer for Water Conservation Programs

There’s a global water crisis, and major cities like Cape Town, Mexico City and Colorado River have come dangerously close to their taps running dry. Contribute to efforts aimed at saving water resources and protecting water quality in your community. You can volunteer for activities such as stream clean-ups, water monitoring programs or educational campaigns focused on water conservation and pollution prevention. 

  • Volunteer for Ecotourism Organizations

Tourism is a fantastic volunteer option for teens who love spending time outdoors. Consider volunteering for ecotourism programs or outdoor recreation initiatives that promote responsible travel. You can volunteer as a trail guide or campground host, educating visitors about the importance of caring for natural landscapes and wildlife habitats. 

  • Explore Green Entrepreneurship Ventures

Explore opportunities to volunteer with green startups or social enterprises developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges. You can gain hands-on experience in areas such as sustainable fashion or renewable energy technology while supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability.

Make a Difference While You’re Young


No matter which type of volunteer opportunity you choose, remember that your actions have the power to create change and inspire others to join the movement toward a more sustainable future. By volunteering your time and energy to projects that align with your values and interests, you can make a meaningful impact on the world while gaining valuable skills and experiences that will benefit you for a lifetime. 

About the author: Beth Rush is the green wellness editor at Body+Mind, where she covers topics like the power of climate consciousness at all stages of education. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag. Subscribe to Body+Mind for more posts by Beth!