We teach communities
how to live sustainably.

We teach communities
how to live sustainably.

About Urban Green Lab

Urban Green Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists to teach communities how to live sustainably in Nashville, TN and its surrounding counties. We organize teams, train them on making sustainable choices, and connect people with services and peers to walk with on their sustainable journey. We envision a Nashville where everyone has access to opportunities for learning about sustainable living.

Educating in places where culture begins

The Classrooms programs train educators and provide confidence, tools, and community to bring a sustainable lens into any classroom.

The Households division creates sustainable living education systems that inspire residents and families to be part of the solution.

The Workplaces branch educates and builds communities and cultures of sustainability in businesses throughout the Nashville area.

Special Initiatives

Our special initiatives are focus areas of sustainability education that Urban Green Lab has chosen to highlight and incorporate throughout the divisions.

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

The Nashville Food Waste Initiative develops tools and implements strategies for decreasing food waste and growing sustainable food consumption practices to serve as a model for other cities.


Graphic promoting Sustainable in the City webinar on Nov. 8 at noon

Sustainable in the City Webinar – Youth-Led Community Design

Join us for a conversation with Melody Gibson, Education Director and Cydney Thompson, Youth Programs Intern at Civic Design Center, to learn more about the youth efforts in creating a sustainable and safer Nashville.

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Flyer promoting the Nashville Sustainability Roundtable on November 16

Nashville Sustainability Roundtable: November 16

Join us on Thursday, November 16 for the next Nashville Sustainability Roundtable with Crema Coffee Roasters.

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Graphic promoting Sustainable in the City episode on Oct. 11 at noon

Sustainable in the City Webinar – Nashville’s Climate Resilience

Join us for an informative discussion with Kristin Stroup, Executive Fellow, Building Resilience in City Operations, and Kendra Abkowitz, Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer for the Office of Mayor Freddie O’Connell. We will discuss the City’s draft plan and how it helps to ensure that Nashville’s infrastructure, systems, economy, and community can anticipate, cope with, and bounce back from expected and unexpected events.

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Sustainable Gifting Guide

October 31, 2023

Less is more this holiday season. Read how to celebrate sustainably, and check out our sustainable gifting guide for gift recommendations.

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Group of women listen intently during a presentation

What is “Climate Optimism?”

October 5, 2023

In this blog, we explore the question of what is climate optimism and share helpful resources for finding positive news about the state of the climate.

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A watermelon salad

5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home

September 14, 2023

Food is beautiful. How can we waste less food at home? Read five tips to reduce food waste in your kitchen.

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In the News

The Green Issue: So You Want to Recycle Responsibly

April 22, 2021

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

February 25, 2021

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

January 12, 2021

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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