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Environmental Sustainability Volunteer Program in New Orleans

Environmental support initiatives are increasingly popular the world over and can make a genuine difference in helping green spaces to thrive. These causes help not only the local ecosystem where they operate, but they serve to beautify communities and enrich the lives of those who live there by providing pleasant natural areas.

The Environmental Sustainability project takes a multi-faceted approach to doing this by focusing on sustainability, recycling and environmental education initiatives.

Environmental Sustainability volunteering in the USA with IVHQ

Environmental volunteers can expect to work in community gardens, public parks, recycling warehouses or urban farms to assist sustainability initiatives. Your duties will vary depending on the organization you are placed with and their specific focus at the time, but you could be involved in a range of tasks including planting trees, removing invasive species, sorting and recycling housing materials, building urban trails and maintaining drainage areas.

If you like getting your hands dirty, working in nature and are passionate about environmental sustainability efforts, this is the project for you!

It’s important to note this project predominantly involves working outside and you should keep this in mind for the time of year you are choosing to volunteer. You should come prepared for the seasonal weather and be particularly aware that summer in New Orleans can be very hot.

Why volunteer in New Orleans?

New Orleans is a place like no other. It’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world and famed for its live music, festivals, food, nightlife, friendly locals, blend of cultural influences and buzzing atmosphere. However, the city is surrounded by wetlands – one of the most threatened biomes in the USA – and facing rising sea levels, intensified heat waves and plastic pollution. By volunteering on our Environmental Sustainability program, you’ll be protecting precious ecosystems tied to the Mississippi Delta and helping tackle the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

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Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $500 for 1 week
  • Help on a range of environmental initiatives in a hands-on way

  • Assist with recycling, improving green spaces and community education programs

  • Suited to nature-loving volunteers with a flexible approach to helping where it’s most needed

  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
United States at a glance
  • Based in New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, three meals each weekday and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a dormitory

  • Up to 10 volunteers start in the USA each month

The IVHQ USA volunteer program has volunteer placements located in the neighborhoods around New Orleans, the largest city in the state of Louisiana.

Volunteer programs begin every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.

Whether you are looking for short term volunteer opportunities, or longer volunteer vacations in the USA, the IVHQ New Orleans volunteer program can support you to make a positive difference while experience everything that this iconic city has to offer.

The program orientation begins every Monday. Volunteers need to arrive in New Orleans on the Sunday before orientation day.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) in New Orleans. You’ll be greeted at the airport by a representative of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee if you arrive on the Sunday before your program start date. Pickups are made between 8 am to 8 pm on Sunday, and volunteers must arrive during this period. If you are due to arrive after 8 pm, you will need to arrange your own accommodation for the night, and make your own way to join orientation on Monday morning.

If you are traveling in New Orleans prior to your volunteer program, our local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel within New Orleans between 8 am and 5 pm. Alternatively, you can choose to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation prior to 6 pm.

Orientation is hosted by our New Orleans team at the volunteer accommodation. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs all day. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in New Orleans. It includes an introduction to New Orleans, reflection on the importance of volunteering, code of conduct and expectations, transportation and safety instructions, and an overview of the week. Volunteers travel to the volunteer project sites and take a tour of the historic French Quarter. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Your first day of volunteering in the USA is taken up by a program orientation, which includes a visit to your project placement to meet the staff you’ll be working with.

From there, you’ll start your volunteer work. Volunteer schedules are varied based on the organization you’re placed with and the time of year. A typical volunteer day ranges from 3-5 hours. A typical volunteer may look like:

6:30 - 7:30 AM: Breakfast served at the volunteer accommodation.

8:00 - 9:00 AM: Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project. Please note, start times and daily workload depend on your specific project.

12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch break. In New Orleans, a lunch break typically lasts for about an hour, but the timing and length will ultimately depend on the organization that you’re volunteering with.

1:00 - 5:00 PM: Work at the project typically ends between these times, but this will depend on your project. Use your free time to either travel back home, sightsee or do some shopping.

6:00 - 7:00 PM: Dinner will be served at the volunteer accommodation.

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house. This location is a short drive to the colorful Bywater neighborhood and downtown New Orleans with easy access to nearby shopping and food stores.

The volunteer house is situated on an old school ground and has the feel of a school camp. You should expect a basic dormitory-style accommodation which can accommodate over 100 volunteers at a time. Rooms are separated by gender and you could be sharing a room with up to 30 other volunteers during busy months. In quieter months, you can expect plenty of space in your dorm.

Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds. Bedding is provided but you will need to bring your own towel. All rooms are also equipped with a fan.

The accommodation has shared bathroom facilities equipped with western toilets and showers. Showers are located in a shower trailer just outside the main building.

Cleaning staff clean the accommodation throughout the week. However, volunteers are given some basic cleaning and housekeeping tasks to ensure the accommodation space is kept clean at all times, and you’ll be asked to keep your room tidy.

The accommodation has a basketball court, a volleyball net, a large outdoor field for games, indoor games available and a TV. The accommodation is equipped with WiFi for you to use. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to access the internet.

As one of the culinary capitals of the United States, you’ll quickly fall in love with the unique cuisine of New Orleans that reflects the city’s French, African and American roots. Volunteers are provided three meals per day, Monday to Friday. A light breakfast service and self-prepared packed lunches are provided on Saturday. No meals are provided on Sunday.

Breakfast during the week is usually hot and you’ll typically be served a variation of eggs, bread, spreads, cereals and fruit. Please note that breakfast is usually served early, at around 6:30am. If you have a later volunteer shift and wish to sleep in then you may miss the hot breakfast, but you will be able to prepare a breakfast of cereal or toast and spreads for yourself later.

Volunteers pack their own lunches at breakfast. You can make sandwiches and pack a selection of snacks and fresh fruit.

Dinner is provided from Monday to Friday and will feature a wide range of American, Southern and New Orleans foods. While it will vary from week to week, you can expect to see a variety of different dishes including traditional New Orleans meals such as jambalaya or gumbo.

Volunteers are expected to assist with cleaning up the dining hall after each meal so please be prepared and willing to help with this.

USA - New Orleans

Length of Program Program Fee $USD
1 week $500
2 weeks $880
3 weeks $1,215
4 weeks $1,565
5 weeks $1,905
6 weeks $2,165
8 weeks $2,805
10 weeks $3,365
12 weeks $3,955
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • To see prices in your local currency, use this currency converter.
  • The Construction and Renovation project has a surcharge of US$50 per week for additional supervision and materials.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program and spending money - volunteers in New Orleans generally find US$100 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

You’ll have the chance to truly explore New Orleans in your free-time. This Louisianian city is the home of all that’s good in life - mouthwatering food, soulful music and fun loving, welcoming people. The fusion of Cajun, Creole, French, and African roots have made this resilient American city a unique place to visit today.

The biggest problem you’ll have here is figuring out what to do first! Start by exploring the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, famous for its grand architecture and lively street-life. Discover Treme, the city’s cultural pulse and brass band powerhouse. Make the most of Crescent Park, the 1.4-mile-long riverfront park and enjoy the bike lanes that run from the Bywater to the Marigny. Watch the transformation of Bourbon Street at twilight as the home of jazz comes alive and the live music starts up! Or, head further afield and take in the wild backwaters, Mississippi River, and vast sugarcane fields on a swamp tour.

You’ll have worked up quite an appetite by then, so sit back and recharge with a feast of shrimp gumbo, or maybe just a bite of a po’boy sandwich or a spoonful of jambalaya!

And, don’t think Mardi Gras or the Jazz Fest are the only times the city’s in the festival swing, be ready to make the most of the impromptu, authentic festivals and parades that pop up across the city most weekends! It’s an expression of the strong community spirit and thriving arts community.

But most importantly come to New Orleans with an open mind and ready to embrace the city’s motto, “laissez les bon temps rouler”, which translates to “let the good times roll”.

City New Orleans
Population 1.26 Million
Languages English
Currency United States Dollar (USD)
Time zone UTC-06:00 (Summer UTC-05:00)

Weather and climate: New Orleans’ southern location means that the climate is humid subtropical, with short, mild winters and hot, humid summers. July is the hottest month in New Orleans with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in June. The wettest month is July with an average of 168mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 30°C (86°F).

Volunteers need to be 16 years or over to participate independently on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are 16 or 17 and wish to volunteer independently on this program, you will be required to submit written parental consent from your parents to confirm your participation.

All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check to IVHQ after registering on the program.

Can a foreigner volunteer in the USA? Yes, IVHQ’s volunteer program in New Orleans is the perfect opportunity for both travelers from outside the USA and Americans looking for a meaningful opportunity to volunteer outside their hometown. All you need is the willingness to positively support communities in New Orleans, to work with like minded people and a desire to provide help where it’s needed.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

If you’re looking for group volunteer opportunities in the United States, this program is perfect for large groups of college students, high school students, corporate teams and families. Whether you’re looking to organize an alternative break trip, team building exercise, or meaningful volunteer vacation, our local team in New Orleans are highly experienced in proving impactful volunteer opportunities for large groups.

We’ll work closely with you to understand the goals of your group, so you can leave the planning to us. We can create a customized itinerary to provide your team members with a well-organized schedule so you can make the most of your time in New Orleans, while making a positive contribution to the local community.

If you’re volunteering with 8 or more people, you can connect directly with our Volunteer Groups team to share your ideas with us.

If your group has less than 8 members, you can go ahead and apply for the program and you’ll be prompted to add your team members in the application process – this will ensure we can accommodate you together.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!