Ways to Volunteer

Participate in the Eco-Cycle campaigns that interest you!

In 2023, Eco-Cycle needs your help with our primary campaigns aimed at climate change and resource depletion. There are key ways you can be a part of each of them.

Cool Boulder is a new community-led, nature-based climate action pilot program geared toward building our community’s resilience to climate change. Sign up to join the Cool Boulder campaign today!

Learn how you can be a Community Carbon Farmer, using compost in your own backyard (no matter where you live!) to sequester carbon as a climate change solution!

Eco-Cycle is working to pass state legislation to reduce plastic pollution and waste and improve recycling for all Coloradans. We need your voice and support! Sign up for legislative alerts here.

Our state capital is currently far behind other major cities’ Zero Waste efforts, but you can help Denver step up and play a key role in leading the state forward.

Do you live or work at a multifamily complex in Boulder? We need your support right where you live to help residents recycle and compost correctly! Please let us know who you are and where you live and we will be in touch about the ways you can help!

Spread the Zero Waste Solution

Our goal is to move the Zero Waste Solution as fast and as far as possible, and our best way of doing that is through YOU. Here are ways you can help if you’re just getting started or are short on time:

The Eco-Cycle Guide, printed annually, is your tool to stay in-the-know about Zero Waste. It contains at least seven Zero Waste Guidelines posters, including our “Is it compostable?” handout for deciphering which products are truly safe for composting curbside, and the most recent recycling guidelines for Boulder County. This is one of the simplest tasks Eco-Leaders can take on, but certainly one of the most important! Sign up to distribute Eco-Cycle’s annual guide to recycling, composting, and all things Zero Waste.

At its very core, the Eco-Leader Network is meant to train members of the community on Zero Waste and outreach best practices, and then those Eco-Leaders share their expertise with those around them. Each Eco-Leader should be confident in their knowledge of “what goes where,” as well as how the recycling and composting facilities work. If you have questions or would like to brush up on your guidelines, fill out this form to get a 1-on-1 training with a staffer so that you’ll walk away confident on your Zero Waste knowledge and ready to spread the word!

If you enjoy being outside and talking to your community about actionable steps they can take to preserve our beautiful planet and its resources, join us at the Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM)! CHaRM lane volunteers are essential to the process of keeping recyclable materials out of the landfill by educating visitors about what is accepted for recycling and what isn’t. No experience is necessary; training is provided during orientation. As a thank-you for the time you share with us, you will earn one facility-fee waiver pass (valued at $3) for each day you volunteer on-site. Sign up for an orientation shift here!

There are so many events in the Boulder County area (and beyond) where Eco-Cycle is invited to “table” and provide educational info, and we just don’t have enough staffers to represent Eco-Cycle at all of them! Tabling for Eco-Cycle at an event is a blast—it usually involves playing a sorting game, answering questions, and giving out goodies like the Eco-Cycle Guide, reusable bags, etc. Sign up for tabling opportunities if you are interested, and we will train you to table at any event like a farmer’s market, fair, festival, or concert.

Go a Little Further

For those with a little more time available, or who are ready to level up.

The City of Boulder has a Universal Zero Waste ordinance that requires all businesses and multi-family complexes (like apartment buildings and condos) to provide recycling and composting bins that have appropriate signage located directly above or on the bins. There are thousands of businesses and complexes in Boulder, and many of them need support in complying with the ordinance, either in getting the signage or bins they need, or in awareness that these services are now legally required. Eco-Leaders provide much-needed help in keeping an eye out for businesses who could use some assistance. We can assign businesses as part of Eco-Leaders’ neighborhood maps OR assign businesses to Eco-Leaders who frequent particular businesses in Boulder. When businesses need more support, all we ask of Eco-Leaders is to use a link we provide that takes you to a form to fill out that goes directly to the City of Boulder. From there, a city staffer will be prompted to visit the business or complex and see what is needed. (Don’t worry, businesses get lots of support before they get in any trouble. They only get in trouble if they refuse to comply.) If you find an enthusiastic business, you can ask if they would be open to having a stack of Eco-Cycle Guides for their customers. Your neighborhood complex might appreciate some guides for their residents. Fill out this form to let our staff on the Eco-Leader team know you’d like to “adopt” a business, and we’ll reach out to discuss details.

Eco-Leaders spread the word about Zero Waste where they live, work, and play. If you’re part of a network or community that would benefit from a presentation about Zero Waste, we can help you with that! Lots of Eco-Leaders give presentations in their places of worship, offices, and clubs. This is a great way to do outreach in your network and act as a resource for sustainability with the folks with whom you interact regularly. Fill out this form if you’re interested in giving a presentation, and we will work with you to create content, prepare you to present, and provide any other support you may need.

Did you know there are almost a thousand Eco-Leaders in the Boulder County area? There are many opportunities to connect with your fellow Eco-Leaders, including monthly social hours and bimonthly 2.0 Trainings. However, many Eco-Leaders are interested in connecting with other Eco-Leaders even more locally and hosting gatherings in their immediate area. For example, if you live in Broomfield and would like to organize with other Broomfield Eco-Leaders to get curbside composting, we would love to support you in that. If you live on the Hill in Boulder and want to have neighborhood Eco-Leader tea parties to work collectively on neighborhood goals, we’d love to see that happen! Fill out this form to let us know that you’d like to connect with local Eco-Leaders, and we will reach out to introduce you to some new friends.

Creating sustainable communities happens when we work together! It can be frustrating to be one individual trying to change the culture of a neighborhood, workplace, or organization. That’s the beauty of the Green Team! You can form a Green Team in your neighborhood and be supported in creating tool sharing systems, vegetable/gardening co-ops, carpooling, bee-safe areas, composting piles . . . the possibilities are endless. Form a Green Team in your workplace and advocate for sustainability in an organized, collaborative way. Green Teams are helpful everywhere—they can be effective in places of worship, schools, clubs, soccer teams, and beyond! Fill out this form to let us know that you’re interested in forming a Green Team, and we will provide resources, best practices, and support.

Network Leadership Opportunities

Have experience? The network depends on your leadership to thrive.

Eco-Cycle divides Boulder County up by “regions” so we can group Eco-Leaders who live near each other and better coordinate the distribution of Eco-Cycle Guides. When we have a go-between coordinating Eco-Cycle and all the Eco-Leaders in that region, actions are much easier to organize and accomplish! A Region Leader communicates with Eco-Cycle when necessary (usually about once or twice a year) and passes information on to the Eco-Leaders in that region (sometimes there are two Eco-Leaders, sometimes there are twenty!). Region Leaders can certainly go further and host region meetings, coordinate a neighborhood Green Team, and recruit new Eco-Leaders, but this role doesn’t have to be a large commitment at all. Fill out this form to let us know you’d be willing to act as a Region Leader, and a staff member from our Eco-Leader team will reach out to confirm and provide a few more details.

This is your chance to be creative! Help existing events be more sustainable, or you can also throw your OWN event. Eco-Leaders have thrown block parties to paint dumpsters and hang signs, put on “recycling” parties in their places of worship, and organized clothing swaps in their friend groups or clubs! If you would like to organize one of these events (or a totally new idea), fill out this form, and a staff member will reach out to support you in planning and executing your exciting event!

The Eco-Leader Portal lists lots of ways to get involved. But, we know that many of you may have specific skills and ideas that we haven’t thought of yet! Great with maps? Want to create a movie about Zero Waste? Trilingual? We want to know! Fill out this form to let us know if you have a skill to share or an idea we haven’t thought of!