While you are abroad, there are a number of steps you can take to respect the local people, the cultural heritage, environment and local economy. Many suggestions are simple and can easily be adopted. You'll likely also want to continue many of the sustainable practices you already implement at home or in Boulder, or bring practices you learn abroad back with you after your program.
Environmental ConsiderationsResearch the environmental issues in the location you are traveling, and consider the impacts that you as a traveler and other travelers may have on the local environment.
- Use water and electricity sparingly.
- Bring a reusable water bottle, and drink tap water where it is potable.
- Learn about local recycling rules and schedules.
- Use accommodations and transportation that are sustainable.
- Use local and public transport, bike, or walk when possible.
- Do not collect, buy, or export endangered natural products.
- Choose low-impact recreational activities.
- Do not disturb wildlife.
- Try to buy locally produced goods and food.
Socio-Cultural ConsiderationsLearn about your host country and culture and how it/they might be involved in sustainable practices, such as their human rights record, environmental conservation record, commitment to peace, etc.
- Volunteer or intern with a local school or organization to get a better understanding of your host culture and country.
- Use the local language as much as you can. Start with a few basic phrases and use them frequently!
- Dress appropriately.
- Try to contribute to the local community by using local services as much as possible.
- Always ask people before photographing them, as some religions and cultures forbid photography
Economic ConsiderationsSupporting local businesses increases the likelihood that local people benefit economically from your visit.
- Eat and stay at local establishments.
- Spend money at a variety of restaurants and shops.
- Use local services.
- Carbon Footprint Calculator
- Carbon Offsets Programs:
- CU Environment Center
- Ethical Traveler
- National Geographic’s Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Travel
- Responsible Travel Pledge
- Daily email tips: Friends of the Earth (UK)
- 350 Project: an international campaign for worldwide solutions to the climate crisis – find out what the number 350 refers to on their website.