Young students sitting on steps

Student Initiatives


The University of Alberta is home to some of the most brilliant and engaged students in the world. The work of our vibrant student organizations is indispensable on the road towards social, economic and environmental sustainability.


  1. Sustain SU is an official service of the Students’ Union providing resources and coordinating activities to enhance the SU’s environmental policies.
  2. APIRG is run and funded by students to transform social concern into effective research, education and collective action.
  3. At least 30 other diverse student groups are tackling environmental, social and development issues around the world.

Learn More

Bike Library

The Sustain SU Bike Library & Workshop enables students, staff and faculty to get around a little more easily and affordably while reducing their impact on the environment. The service rents out bicycles in the warmer months and provides a workshop for fixing bikes year-round.

The workshop is fully equipped with all the tools you would need to fix your own bike. New and used parts are provided for sale, and a professional mechanic is on staff to advise you. Aside from drop-in hours, the workshop also regularly hosts learning opportunities on bike safety, maintenance and cycling in Edmonton.

50 bikes are available to rent for up to four weeks at a time, between early April and late October. Rides range from mountain bikes to cruisers, road bikes and various hybrids. Bikes are equipped with a U-lock and front & tail lights. Rentals cost $5 per day or $10 per week, plus deposit.

The mandate of the Bike Library is to:

  • Encourage sustainable transportation
  • Provide the campus community with access to affordable alternative transportation
  • Provide volunteers with a place to learn how to build and maintain bicycles.
  • Promote physical activity, health & well-being.

Reusable Dish Program

Much of the waste produced on campus comes from disposable food and beverage containers. The Reusable Dish Program is one way Sustain SU is promoting waste reduction on campus while providing a money-saving service to the entire university community.

Reusable plates are available in the SUB food court for individual use. Dishes are also available for lending to campus groups to make catered events a little more sustainable. With only a small deposit, organizers can borrow dinner plates, dessert plates, plastic cups and water pitchers—all free of charge.

Farmers' Market

Hosted by Sustain SU, the Farmers’ Market bring together campus community members to explore the world of local, organic, sustainable and fresh food. The Market emphasizes making healthy food accessible to students with limited financial means. Markets run bi-weekly throughout the school year.

Pilot research into the Farmers’ Market was conducted by Sustain SU and a Community Service-Learning course in 2011-12. In its first year, 16 vendors came from Edmonton and surrounding region—as far away as Calgary and British Columbia. The market provided a diverse selection, including soups, hummous, beef jerky, kettle corn, honey mead, and more.

Check the Farmers’ Market schedule.

Water Refill Stations

The Students’ Union installed two new water fountains in the Students’ Union Building following the recommendations of their 2011 Sustainability Assessment. The Refill-It stations are designed to make it fast and easy to refill almost any water bottle. In addition to the usual fountain tap, the stations include an automated, spill-free bottle refill system.

On average, each refill station is being used almost 300 times every day. In their first two years of use, over 360,000 bottles have been filled.

Get Involved

The University of Alberta is home to dozens of student groups tackling social, environmental and economic issues. To get involved, check out our list of active groups.

You can also find some groups through Sustain SU and through the Bear's Den.


Get Involved

There are always programs available to help you engage with campus sustainability. Resources and ideas are only a click away.


Green Spaces Certification

The Green Spaces Certification Program helps you integrate sustainable practices into your work and living spaces at the University of Alberta. Earn Bronze, Silver or Gold certification for your campus office, lab, event or living space in residence.