Everything we do emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: driving, flying, heating and cooling our homes, watching TV, and studying abroad. The carbon dioxide emissions caused by our actions are causing the Earth’s climate to change and warm, which may have catastrophic results if we do not act to reduce them. So, it’s time to take positive action and make a change.
Being mindful of our impact on the Earth's natural resources, CISabroad is committed to leading by example in integrating environmental awareness and responsibility into our daily operations and overseas programs. Below is information on our broad mission statement as well as specific actions we take every day to reduce our carbon footprint. But first:
Here’s what you can do:
Learn about your host country. Under each CISabroad Country, in “Quick Facts” you will find information on “Green Your Study Abroad” (COMING SOON!), which lets you know the environmental problems that country is facing. When you study abroad there, you’ll know what you can do to reduce your global carbon footprint, from taking shorter showers to taking the bus to knowing what you can recycle!
Take a course in environmental science while overseas. Snorkel with and study the fish on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; learn about the national parks in Ghana and what we can do to help protect them; take a course in clean technology in Ireland. Many environmental science courses count towards general elective as well as social science credit due to their cross-curricular themes.
Check the “I want to volunteer” box on your application. When you check this box, you let us know that you are interested in volunteer opportunities while you are overseas. You’ll get a list of the places where you can volunteer as a US student, from one weekend day to weekly commitment of 4-8 hours. Chances are we have something to fit what you are looking for.
Apply for our CIS Green Scholarship. Do you know you want to volunteer for the environment during your study abroad experience? Then apply for our CISabroad Green Scholarship. There is no GPA requirement. All you must do is participate in at least two green opportunities while overseas, blog about them while overseas, and hold a presentation on your experience upon returning home. Read more and download an application on our scholarship page.
Here’s what we at CIS do:
Offset the CO2 emissions generated from your flight abroad. We partner with Carbonfund.org to offset the CO2 generated by your round-trip flight overseas. The CO2 generated is neutralized by positive action taken to reduce emissions, such as tree-planting and alternative energy use. Last year, this was the equivalent of 2,000 tons of carbon; that’s like taking 200 Hummers off the road!
Reuse existing materials rather than using new ones and when we can’t reuse, recycle! From paper that we re-use in our printer to cans, bottles, and batteries that we diligently recycle, we try to operate sustainably. We also talk as a staff about how to travel with less impact ( for example: buying small travel containers to refill with lotions and shampoos, using water bottles rather than purchasing water, renting hybrid cars when we must drive or renting cars that have high gas mileage).
Purchase office materials from green, local sources using biodegradable and high post-consumer-waste recycled content. Many of our print materials are produced by local, green printers; others are printed using web-based printing techniques which pollute far less than traditional techniques.
Educate you, our participants, about the environment of your host country, and give you volunteer options that help you be a part of making it a greener place. We let you know how to walk lightly in your host country by making suggestions for energy use and conversation. We also let you know what volunteer options exist for you as a student, and even have a CISabroad Green Scholarship for those of you who want to bring the environmental message back home.
Questions? Ask the Green Team at green (at) cisabroad.com.