The VIH Program endorses sustainable travel abroad. All VIH Scholars should aim to engage in sustainable practices while studying abroad. Not only will this respect the Earth, but these practices also protect and respect your host country. One way to think about sustainable travel is the "Leave No Trace" principle; international travelers should aim to leave places as they found them. This protects the local environment and culture and ensures that we are not harming local citizens, their home, or their livelihood. Before traveling abroad, consider ways in which you can be a sustainable traveler and limit your carbon footprint.
In addition, be prepared for your host country to have different views on what constitutes sustainable behavior. Your host family may want you to engage in practices you are not used to such as shorter showers or living with no air conditioning. Be aware of these factors, but also approach them with an open mind and a desire to increase your knowledge of what it means to live sustainably.
Carbon Footprint Calculators
Ways to Minimize Your Carbon Footprint Abroad
- Prepare a green suitcase including multipurpose and reusable items.
- Familiarize yourself with local recycling systems and locations.
- Cut down on emissions by eating local foods.
- Learn about environmental conditions in your host country.
- Choose an airline with a carbon offsetting program and with the shortest route option.