Maintaining an environmentally sustainable community requires a community wide effort and there are a variety of ways you can donate your time and effort.
Over 15,000 members and growing! Join GreenSpot at home, at work, or at school by making a series of commitments to the environment. All are welcome to join this program which is extended to residents living in communities outside of Columbus.
With the support of the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, GreenSpot Kids was designed to integrate sustainability into everyday classroom life with free resources designed to supplement science curriculum for first grade students.
PUP stands for Pick Up Poop. All dog owners can "doo" the right thing and scoop poop when walking and in your own backyard. Our goal is clean water and PUPing is our law. Take the PUP pledge, and you can even get free goodies for your pup.
Buy a rain barrel, composter or native plants
Through a partnership with Franklin Soil and Water , the City of Columbus has made it possible for residents to receive a $50 rebate towards a rain barrel, composter, native trees or plants. The program requires residents to register as a
member and either attend a workshop or take an
quiz. The goal of the program is to educate residents about the importance backyards can play in benefiting water conservation, waste reduction and biodiversity.
For more information, call 614-486-9613 or visit
Experience the Outdoors
The easiest way to get involved in Get Green Columbus is to simply experience the outdoors. The city and surrounding areas offers many opportunities to get outside including picnicking, hiking, biking, boating, fishing and more. Get started by visiting the
Department of Recreation and Parks
Franklin County Metro Parks
websites to find an activity you'll enjoy.
Featured activity: Paddle the Olentangy River through the heart of Columbus on the city's first water trail launched fall 2013. Review the
Water Trail Map
before setting out on your adventure.
Shop at the Farmers' Market
Columbus Public Health hosts three farmers' markets each year in an effort to bring healthier food to Columbus neighborhoods. This year they will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 27th, August 3rd and August 10th. Simultaneously, the markets emphasize local foods which are good for the environment due to the shorter distance food travels from the farm to the dinner table. The market has a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available and accepts the Ohio Directions Card (food stamps).
Find a Greener way to Go
Whether you are going to the library or going to work, travel greener around the city. Visit the Transportation page for more information on transportation options available in Columbus.
Don't miss these signature green events taking place in the city throughout the year:
Kick Butt Columbus!
: Join this annual event as hundreds of city employees, local businesses and residents come together to clean cigarette butts and other litter from our highway ramps-
event typically occurs annually in April.
: Coordinated by nonprofit partner, Green Columbus, Earth Day in Columbus is one of the largest celebrations in the world. The event includes multi-day volunteer opportunities and a celebratory festival-
event typically occurs annually in April.
Have a question? Just ask us!
Join the conversation on Facebook with like-minded neighbors and city staff. It is the place where you can ask questions and get the most up-to-date events, news, photos and tips. Find us at
Report Littering and Illegal Dumping
Litter as small as a cigarette butt can be reported online or over the phone through the Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio. Simply enter the incident online at
noting details such as the time, location, license plate number, and vehicle model.
The Environmental Crimes Task Force also deters crimes with cameras, investigation, prosecution and utilizes convicted polluters for community service, removing trash from roadways, waterways and recreational properties.
The City of Columbus is a partner in the Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio led by
Residential Recycling and Yard Waste
Residents are encouraged to recycle at home using their blue carts. Other recycling options remain in place for those not currently covered by city recycling:
• Public recycling
at any of SWACO's over 50 locations
For more information on recycling in the City of Columbus visit
Yard waste disposal options are offered to residents in order to compost the discarded material into a rich soil for reuse. There are two main ways to dispose of yard waste material with the city:
1. Collection service for eligible households: Yard waste is collected every other week alternating with recycling collection. Find out more about how to use yard waste collection services
2. Additionally, the city's
Compost Facility will accept yard waste free of charge, year round.
Schedule a field trip or in-school presentation from the City of Columbus and partners:
: Integrate sustainability into everyday classroom life with free resources designed to supplement science curriculum for first grade students including children's books, worksheets and activities.
• Department of Recreation and Parks,
Outdoor Education Center
: With a mission to instill a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors and the environment, staff at the city's Indian Village facility provide field trip and onsite programming. Located on the west bank of the Scioto River at Griggs Reservoir, Indian Village features trails, caves, creeks and mature trees to form the backdrop for students to explore and discover nature.
• Department of Public Service,
Keep Columbus Beautiful
: Offers a variety of lesson plans for in-school presentations from our trained outreach staff.
• Department of Public Utilities, Central Ohio Children's Water Festival: Each year hundreds of children are welcomed to the city's Dublin Road facility to learn about drinking water, waste water, and natural resource protection. Contact
for information on how to participate.
Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
(SWACO): Guided field trips of Franklin County's landfill.
Storm Drain Marker Program
with the Department of Public Utilities to apply vinyl markers on curbs near storm drain inlets. The project is part of the "We All Live Downstream" pollution prevention public education program. By participating, you can help raise awareness that dumping into storm drains contributes to water pollution and endangers wildlife.
Support an Environmental Nonprofit
Columbus is thankful for the wide variety of nonprofit organizations doing significant work to benefit the greening of the city. Many are in need of your help as a volunteer, a donor or maybe even a board member. These local organizations are listed here for your convenience. Please visit each site to find out more and to get involved.
The Ohio Sierra Club Water Sentinel Program seeks to educate, engage, and empower volunteers to protect, improve, and restore Ohio's waterways by training citizen scientists. Become empowered by understanding water quality in your watershed by attending workshops. After receiving training, borrow water meters and other testing materials to monitor and detect pollution. Data collected by volunteers is compiled and mapped a statewide database, and is publicly accessible. Sign up for the next "Water Sentinel" Training here.
The City of Columbus and partners offer opportunities to volunteer doing litter clean ups, invasive plant removals, community gardening, tree plantings and more. If you can't find an event to fit your schedule below, borrow the tools you need to plan your own event from
Keep Columbus Beautiful.
Department of Recreation and Parks
Department of Public Utilities
Find opportunities with our partner organizations listed in the 'Partner Links' section of this website located in the left hand column.