ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) is NUI Galway's Student Volunteer Programme. ALIVE was established by the CKI (Community Knowledge Initiative) to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering.

ALIVE is closely related to sustainability and offers students a chance to participate in many sustainability-related volunteering programmes (see example below). ALIVE aligns volunteering initiatives to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and allows students to engage with the community.

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two people sorting donations in Goldcrest village




Glassary ("green glossary") is a University of Galway sustainability initiative which reduces household waste generated across campus accommodation residences, whilst simultaneously providing support to local community and voluntary organisations. Donation points are set-up at student residences at the end of each semester, where students can then donate their leftover household items. These items are then collected and re-distributed to future students or local organisations.

Glassary recycling initiative information flyer for students


Having been awarded funding through the Explore Programme, Glassary was founded in 2020 by Dara Kerins, a graduate of University of Galway (BSc in Applied Social Sciences; Higher Diploma in Economic Science), and Lorraine Tansey of ALIVE and CKI at University of Galway.

Glassary is Irish Language for” Glas” meaning green and a play on the English term glossary meaning list of terms. Glassary is the big green list!

Circular economy

Glassary offers departing students an avenue to avoid landfill and instead give a second life to a wide range of materials. Consequently, incoming students have access to a sustainable repository from which to access a range of household items, collected and reused after they are left behind.

Student Volunteering

Glassary is an example of an ALIVE student volunteer project, giving students the opportunity to participate in a vounteer initiative related to sustainability. Student volunteers can help with donation days, to sort and categorise donated goods.

Community Impact

Surplus items are donated to local charities to support their community work, reducing environmental waste in the process.

Award Winning

Glassary was selected as winner of the Global Citizenship Award: ENLIGHT 2023