Values and Sustainability

Our Core Values


  • Promoting self-propelled and cooperative adventure
  • Sharing of skills and resources to foster confidence in the outdoors
  • Encouraging local, accessible trips as well as far flung expeditions

Active Lives

  • Encouraging mind and body wellness
  • Promoting active human-powered transportation and recreation
  • Fun activities to reduce stress and increase overall health


  • Fostering a community of outdoor enthusiasts
  • Creating a welcoming and compassionate environment
  • Emphasizing social responsibility
  • Embracing cultural diversity


  • Employing consensus-based decision making
  • Promoting collaborative sharing of skills, work, and costs
  • Making adventure accessible and affordable

Environmental Stewardship

  • Promoting leave no trace ethics
  • Instilling a sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural world
  • Fostering ecological advocacy and action

Student Empowerment

  • Providing leadership opportunities
  • Promoting out-of-classroom learning opportunities
  • Instilling a sense of autonomy in program direction












Our Sustainable Practices

Solar Energy Harvesting (Photovoltaic)

The Solar Project is a collaboration between the Outdoor Program, Lane Community College's Energy Management program, and Advance Energy System to reduce the OP Barn's energy consumption. Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. The $26,000 system is funded by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) and the Student Sustainability Center. The design estimates a power generation of 6,268 kWh annually, at 5.88 kWatts, however the system is currently performing at 8.4 kWatts. See real-time data of the system’s performance.

Rainwater Catchment

A rainwater catchment system is installed at the OP Barn to collect water for washing the vans and equipment, and for plumbing the toilet. This helps to reduce dependence on the city water supply. The rainwater catchment system was funded in part by a grant from the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB).

Water Heating

The water heater at the OP Barn is a hot water on-demand system to save energy. The system conserves energy by only heating water when the facility needs hot water, rather than maintaining the water in the tank at temperature, the tank heats water as it passes through the unit.

Leave No Trace Ethics

The OP promotes leaving a small ecological footprint outdoors with the leave no trace philosophy of outdoor recreation. Learn more about leave no trace ethics.

Environmental Action Projects

Each year, the OP organizes or participates in local projects such as trail building and clean-ups including the Willamette River, Rogue River, and Smith Rock. The OP has a long history of advocating for preserving the integrity of local, wild places.

Interpretive Trips and Clinics

The OP offers a variety of trips and clinics on nature education and preservation of the outdoors, such as hikes at Mount Pisgah Arboretum and clinics on identifying mushrooms, flowers, and trees.

Recycling and Composting

The OP promotes recycling in the office and OP Barn, as well as on OP trips. There are composting containers for food scraps at the OP Barn to take on trips.

Energy Efficient Lighting at the OP Barn

The OP Barn has switched from T12 light fixtures to more energy-efficient T8 fixtures that are activated by motion and occupancy sensors, and timers. 

Biodiesel in OP Vans

The OP 12-person van “Eddy Azul” runs on a mixture of 20% biodiesel to regular diesel.

CRT-free Office Computers

The OP office uses flat screen LCD monitors that are more energy efficient.

Learn More About Sustainability at the UO