University YMCA
University YMCAthe Y | service, reflection and action since 1873
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Image of SECs Beyond Coal

With the founding of Students for Environmental Concerns at the Y in 1970, the Y had begun it's work towards sustainability efforts and building tomorrow's environmentally conscious leaders. From becoming LEED certified in 2011 to building one of the largest community recycling events in the area with the Y's Dump & Run program, the Y is continually working towards building clean, healthy communities.

Take a look at some of the many ways we're working together to protect our environment:

Building Green

Y Bike Library

Dump & Run, A Community Recycling Program

Environmental Student Programs at the Y


Building Green

One of the most significant changes to our renovation plans in 2011 included a commitment to seek LEED certification as a green building and the adoption of plans that would lead to a more sustainable, energy efficient facility. Although achieving these goals has significant challenges and costs in an old building, our Board is determined. As a result, the renovation incorporated a number of green features including:

  • Using energy saving technologies (i.e., motion and CO2 sensors)
  • New water efficient bathroom fixtures and high efficiency lighting
  • Purchasing low VOC materials for items such as paint, carpeting and adhesives
  • Improved indoor air quality upgrading HVAC, circulation and ventilation

Y Bike Share

Y Bike Library

What's a bike library you ask? Like you would with books, check out a Y Bike, enjoy it for a couple of days and bring it back for someone else to enjoy! It's that simple. The Y Bike Library provides YMCA members a free, year-round sustainable transportation option for getting around the twin-cities, Y Bike Library is fun, efficient, and affordable. Want to know more about becoming a member of the Y? Contact Emily at or by calling 217-337-1500.

The Y Bike Library system consists of specially designed, durable bikes that you can pick up from the University YMCA and ride wherever you choose. It’s a way to stay active, save money, and ride at your own convenience (all while reducing emissions and leaving the roads less congested).

For more information about how the Y Bike Library system, visit: (PAGE COMING SOON)


Lincoln's Challenge Volunteers at Dump & Run

Dump & Run, A Community Recycling Program

The Y's Dump and Run Community Recycling Program keeps multiple semi-trailers or an average of 32 tons of used, but quality goods out of Champaign-Urbana’s dumpsters and landfills each year. This project reduces litter and consumer waste, saves space in landfills, lowers dumping costs for certified housing and apartments and provides inexpensive items for folks to purchase in the fall.

For more information about the Y's Dump & Run program, please visit:

SECS at Allerton

Environmental Student Programs at the Y

The Y is about creating dynamic, healthy communities through the development of lifetime cause-driven leaders. We're home to environmental student programs such as BikeFace, a bike advocacy group, Green Observer Magazine, U of I's hub for all environmental news, Red Bison, a group dedicated to local prairie restoration, and Students For Environmental Concerns, a group dedicated to environmental advocacy and activism since 1970. Alternative Seasonal Breaks continually provides local and nation-wide service trip and leadership opportunities to serve in environmental stewardship contexts.

For more information about these student programs and more, please visit:

Sign up for our Email Newsletter