Environmental Sustainability Volunteer Project in the USA - New Orleans
Curious about being an Environmental Sustainability volunteer in USA - New Orleans? International Volunteer HQ’s Environmental Sustainability project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to help protect precious ecosystems tied to the Mississippi Delta and tackle the potentially devastating effects of climate change. Volunteers gain hands-on experience with a focus on sustainability, recycling and community education that all helps give New Orleans a better, greener and healthier future.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from £520 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Assist with recycling, improving green spaces and community education programs
Discover the fascinating culture and history of New Orleans
Stay with other volunteers near the historic French Quarter
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
New Orleans is surrounded by wetlands – one of the most threatened biomes in the USA – and facing rising sea levels, intensified heat waves and plastic pollution. Volunteers can make a meaningful difference by helping with environmental initiatives that ultimately help protect valuable ecosystems tied to the Mississippi Delta.
The Environmental Sustainability project takes a multi-pronged approach to this by focusing on sustainability, recycling and educational initiatives that help green spaces to thrive. These efforts help not only the local ecosystem but serve to beautify communities and enrich the lives of those who live there by providing pleasant natural areas.
As an Environmental Sustainability volunteer you will work in community gardens, public parks, recycling warehouses or urban farms to assist sustainability initiatives. Your duties will vary depending on your placement 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 and second hand housing materials
- Building urban trails
- Maintaining drainage areas
- Workshops to encourage sustainable living
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 do Environmental Sustainability volunteering in New Orleans with IVHQ?
As an Environmental Sustainability volunteer in New Orleans you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Helping protect the environment and precious natural resources
- Educating local communities about sustainable living
- Learning about the effects of climate change
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining sustainability experience
- Exploring New Orleans and Louisiana
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- This program requires all volunteers to be over the age of 14, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian
- All volunteers aged 14+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 14-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
United States photo gallery
”This experience was definitely the most humbling experience that I have had so far in my life. New Orleans has amazing people, rich culture, succulent foods. I was blessed to have an awesome placement. The host family and staff were helpful, always attentive, helping and nice.”
Read reviews from Environmental Sustainability volunteers in New OrleansSee more reviews
The IVHQ USA volunteer program has volunteer placements located in the neighborhoods around New Orleans, the largest city in the state of Louisiana.
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.
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 experiencing everything that this iconic city has to offer.
Arrival and orientation
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 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Sunday, and volunteers must arrive during this period. If you are due to arrive after 8:00 PM, you will need to find your own way to the accommodation.
If you are travelling 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 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Alternatively, you can choose to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.
Orientation is hosted by our New Orleans team at a venue near the 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 socialising.
Volunteer schedule example
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.
Volunteer schedules vary based on the organisation you’re placed with and the time of year. A typical volunteer day may look like:
|8:00 - 9:00 AM||Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your 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 organisation that you’re volunteering with.|
|1:00 - 5:00 PM||Work at the project typically ends between these times. Use your free time to either travel back home, sightsee or do some shopping.|
|Evenings:||Free to use as you wish. Most volunteers head out together to get dinner and enjoy the city.|
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 influences have made this resilient American city a unique place to visit today. 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 brass band powerhouse and cultural pulse. Make the most of Crescent Park which stretches 1.4 miles along the riverfront and enjoy the bike lanes which 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’.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a public hostel in a recently renovated historic building. The hostel is located close to the historic French Quarter, with easy access to live music, restaurants, shopping and food stores.
You should expect dormitory-style rooms. The dorms are mixed gender and you could share a room with up to 7 other volunteers. Gender segregated dorms may be available on request. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with privacy curtains, personal charging outlets and lockers. Sheets and towels are provided and air conditioning is available.
The accommodation has a guest kitchen, laundry, game room and an on-site bar and cafe.
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.
The accommodation has shared bathroom facilities equipped with western toilets and showers. Cleaning staff clean the accommodation throughout the week. However, volunteers are required to do their own dishes and to keep their rooms tidy.
Private rooms, if desired, can be booked after you have registered for the program, subject to availability and an additional cost.
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.
While meals are not provided as part of the program, you’ll be able to treat yourself to many local delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Volunteers are responsible for their own meals, but with no shortage of delightful food options in New Orleans, you’re sure to find a wide range of food to suit your personal taste. You may also prepare your own meals using the kitchenette at the hostel.
Volunteers are expected to do their own dishes after each meal so please be prepared and willing to do this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||£516 Equivalent to £74/day|
|2 weeks||£822 Equivalent to £59/day|
|3 weeks||£1131 Equivalent to £54/day|
|4 weeks||£1436 Equivalent to £52/day|
|5 weeks||£1745 Equivalent to £50/day|
|6 weeks||£2050 Equivalent to £49/day|
|8 weeks||£2622 Equivalent to £47/day|
|10 weeks||£3152 Equivalent to £46/day|
|12 weeks||£3724 Equivalent to £45/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of £254 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, meals, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in New Orleans generally find US$200 - US$300 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as meals, and local tours and activities.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential city information
|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).