Sustainable Study Away
Here at PLU we cherish both global education and sustainable living. A recent question of many students asks "If we truly desire a sustainable world, can we justify travel for study abroad?"
Tips for staying sustainable while abroad:
- Research your host country. It is important to understand cultural differences about the environment and learn the sustainable practices that your host country uses (or doesn't!). Also, look at the effects of tourism where you will be.
- Use water sparingly. This doesn't mean to dehydrate yourself; but take shorter showers and turn the water off when brushing your teeth, etc. Many countries have a limited water supply and leaving the water running even for a short time can make a big difference.
- Walk! (Or bike or use public transportation!) Chances are you will not be taking a car with you if you are studying abroad, but remember that walking around a new city will help you get to know it better and see much more!
- Take a water bottle with you to avoid buying lots of plastic bottles. Consider buying a water sterilizer or simply boil water from your tap. This not only saves lots of plastic from being used, but in the long run will save you some money too!
- Become a local! Why eat at Starbucks or McDonalds when you have an array of new, exciting food to explore at your fingertips? Try to buy local food. Chances are the food will taste better, be healthier and will offer opportunity to meet new people and try new things.
- Be aware of the souvenirs you purchase. It is important to support the local economy, but also ask yourself where the souvenirs are coming from. Try not to buy gifts that come from endangered species or authentic historical artifacts. You don't want to be stuck in the airport trying to illegally import something like this!