Being Sustainable and Eco-friendly Around the World

Being abroad will make you realize how “green” your host country may (or may not) be compared to the US. Here are some ways you can remain eco-friendly while abroad:

  • Carry a reusable bag
    • Make sure it’s one that folds up and fits in your purse or backpack.
    • Most European countries require you to pay for plastic bags at the grocery stores. Save money by bringing your own bag!
    • In other countries like China, South Africa, and France, plastic bags are banned!
  • Bring your reusable water bottle
    • Take it on weekend excursions and use around your room.
    • Avoid spending money on beverages abroad when tap water is free.
  • Recycle locally
    • Many countries have their own local recycling companies. Check your housing accommodations and local area for recycling bins and centers.
  • Take public transportation
    • Instead of a taxi, hop on a bus or Metro.
    • Walking or biking are health and cheap options too!
  • Repurpose those used maps and brochures (or recycle them)
    • Don’t throw away those maps or brochures you received from last weekend’s excursion! Repurpose them instead by bringing them home and making a collage, put them in a scrapbook, or cut parts out to make a craft.
  • Donate your unwanted items
    • At the end of your program you may find that you have an enormous amount of souvenirs to take home, and you don’t have room for old clothes, books, etc.
    • Find a local donation center and give your belongings a new home.
  • Don’t waste food
    • Order or cook as much food as you know you will be able to eat.
    • Share with friends (or make a new one) when you cannot finish a meal.
  • Be mindful of your water usage
    • Take shorter showers or turn off the water as you soap up
    • Water is a valuable resource and may be available differently in your host country than in the U.S.

These are only a few ways to decrease your carbon footprint while abroad. Check out this post by blogger, Alex in Wanderland, about how you can become even more eco-friendly when you are abroad!

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