The Yale Daily News has an article on how study-abroad programs are beginning to focus on sustainability and highlights Living Routes which takes students to ecovillages around the world.
The sudden interest at Yale in trying to make study-abroad activities sustainable – both environmentally and culturally – mirrors a similar move within the study-abroad field as a whole. As increasing numbers of American students hop on carbon-spewing planes to exotic destinations, college administrators and study-abroad programs alike have started to focus on what impact these students may be having, both on the environment and on the local cultures themselves.
As a result, some organizations – like Living Routes – encourage students to offset the impact of their flights by making their lifestyles more environment-friendly or by purchasing “carbon credits,” which pay for a tree to be planted or for part of a solar power project in a developing country.
But even at Living Routes, which offers programs designed to encourage students to develop more environmentally sustainable lifestyles through these types of opportunities, doubts remain about whether the results justify the flights.
“We would like to believe that [the programs] change students and that they are therefore worth the environmental impacts,” Greenberg said. “But if over the years that doesn’t pan out, we’re going to be hard-pressed to justify the flights and the travel.”
Read the article on Sustainable study-abroad programs in the Yale Daily