Don't you love a good carbon off set? Well, you should. And you should be learning about other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint in study abroad - on campus, in your office, for students, and onsite. I live in South Dakota. If you're curious, it's COLD in South Dakota, very cold, like -20 degrees below zero cold on a regular basis. But I made a pact with myself (or the planet, if we're getting technical), that I would walk to work every day during the winter. Granted I live about six blocks from campus. I've lived up to this pact through about 1,000 feet of snow this winder and sub-zero temps that I only thought occurred in NORTH Dakota.
After this rough winter traipsing through the snow looking like this:
This is why they call it Sno-Dak.
I was encouraged to read the Inside Higher Ed article related to sustainability in study abroad. It's good stuff, but it definitely got me thinking about what I can do in my little one woman study abroad show on campus to help the environment. Well, not driving to work every day helps a bit. I've told students about the Green Passport program, about carbon offsets, and about the glorious wonder of public transportation in their host countries, but is that enough?
At the end of the day, nothing we do will ever be enough (I'm such a Debbie-Downer, I know) to completely live carbon footprint free. I just need to hope that these South Dakota farm kids (like me!) will study abroad at all, and the lessons they learn along the way will encourage more sustainable behaviors upon return (or even before).
My favorite line from the IHE article: "Education abroad can best address the planet's woes through, well, education abroad."
What is your campus or study abroad company doing to offset your carbon footprint? What advice do you have for students setting out on their study abroad programs this summer?