We teach communities
how to live sustainably.

3 Tips for Building a Sustainable Garden

In addition to giving you a peaceful place to relax, your garden can clean the air or harmful pollutants and keep sediment out of waterways. Sustainable gardening is all about working with nature and making conscious decisions to mitigate our impact on natural ecosystems. Here are some tips to help your garden thrive this year.

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Systemic Change

We transform institutions like schools, businesses, and nonprofits into "labs" of learning that explore sustainable practice.

Our Strategies

Organize

We organize communities to exchange best practices.

Train

We train communities how to make sustainable choices.

Connect

We connect communities to resources that make a difference.

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Food Waste

Urban Green Lab is partnering with organizations to develop and implement strategies and tools as models for cities across the country.

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Environmental Justice

The Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative is growing a movement of environmental justice learning that protects Nashville's most marginalized communities.

Recent News

New Food Waste Mural Revealed in Green Hills

Urban Green Lab, in partnership with NRDC and Kroger, revealed a new mural on the Bandywood Drive side of the Kroger in Green Hills to celebrate the beauty of food and inspire shoppers to reduce food waste. Urban Green Lab is a local nonprofit that teaches communities to live sustainably.

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NPL Becoming an “Urban Green Lab”

Once the NPL Sustainability Committee formed in 2021, we were fortunate to connect with Urban Green Lab (UGL). Through a series of Zoom meetings with the Sustainability Committee, Jackie Goodwin, UGL’s Sustainable Workplaces Manager, oriented our team to the sustainability landscape in Nashville and led us through an assessment so we could see what areas we needed to focus on. In addition, NPL is in the process of joining UGL’s Nashville Sustainability Roundtable, which is “dedicated to guiding workplaces to be more sustainable.

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Environmental experts concerned over construction waste in Nashville

Nashville is known for its constant construction and with that comes a lot of waste. Experts said it’s becoming a problem that is impacting everyone.

In many cases developers and builders are on a deadline. Their goal is to get done and get done as quickly as possible.

But the extra wood, metal and cardboard materials end up in dumpsters, which is impacting the environment which in turns impacts everyone.

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The Green Issue: Environmental Justice Initiative Educates About Environmental Racism

“The environmental sector suffers from an alarming amount of whiteness,” says Patrick King, the sustainability education manager of local nonprofit Urban Green Lab. “There’s a perception that it’s a space only for affluent white folks, when in reality, when you look at the numbers, the overwhelming majority of people who believe in climate change and believe that things have to be done around climate change are Black and brown.”

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The Green Issue: So You Want to Recycle Responsibly

Voting with our dollar and buying into eco-friendly companies may become even more important in Nashville, as many of our landfills are set to fill up and close in the next few years. Todd Lawrence, executive director of nonprofit Urban Green Lab, says the organization educates residents about Metro’s priorities, like the current Solid Waste Master Plan, which “will serve as a roadmap to achieving Zero Waste over the next 30 years,” according to Metro’s website.

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Speak Up for Equity: Advocating for Environmental Justice with Patrick King

Patrick King believes that sustainability is directly tied to issues of inequity. He’s the sustainability education manager with Urban Green Lab, and he’s working to implement a new Environmental Justice Initiative which will focus on helping distressed communities improve their health and lives.

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Metro Public Works and Urban Green Lab Partner on New Educational Series to Help Nashvillians Live More Sustainably

Metro Public Works (MPW) and Urban Green Lab (UGL), a nonprofit that teaches communities how to live sustainably, are partnering on a new educational series titled “Sustainable in the City: Thinking Upstream” focused on how Nashvillians can better reduce, reuse, and recycle, and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

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Networking On Purpose: How B Corps Are Creating Connections And Building Their Community In The Southeast U.S.

The local community level is where many companies can make the biggest impact, as shown by Certified B Corporations that include community as one of their stakeholders and prioritize local ties and the strength they can provide, especially in times of challenge like they’ve seen in 2020.

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Urban Green Lab Works to Prevent Food Waste at Food Distribution Sites

Urban Green Lab’s Diana Andrew was interviewed by a local news station about food assistance for Metro Nashville Public Schools students and families.

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