East Carolina University
Office of International Affairs

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Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

ECU encourages its outbound study abroad students to remain environmentally and socio-culturally responsible in their host countries. There are a number of resources available for students to discover how they can decrease their carbon emissions and remain respectful of their new cultural environment. Download our brochure for more information about how you can minimize your carbon footprint.

Green Passport

One action students can take is to become a Green Passport holder (http://greenpassport.ning.com/). This is a program open to any student planning to or currently studying abroad. Green Passport holders will increase their awareness of sustainable travel and learn how they can take action while overseas.

Center for Sustainable Tourism

ECU’s own Center for Sustainable Tourism (www.ecu.edu/sustainabletourism) offers a ton of resources for students to incorporate sustainability not only in their daily lives, but while traveling the globe as well.

Carbon Offset program

Air travel is one of the greatest environmental costs associated with study abroad programs. Luckily, there are carbon offset projects that specialize in assisting travelers minimize their carbon footprint. You can find information about these projects as well as other useful information for your upcoming travels at the Sustainable Travel International website (http://www.ecu.edu/sustainabletourism/Carbon-Offset-Calculator.cfm).

Plant a Tree

Each April, the Office of International Affairs sponsors a tree planting project that takes place on Earth Day. Faculty and Students are welcome to make donations to plant native trees on the ECU campus to show respect for the environment and help minimize their carbon footprint from international travel.

Simple Tips to Remain Eco-Friendly while Abroad

  • Use public transportation, take a walk, or ride your bike when possible. These are great ways to learn more about your new surroundings and save money.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle and purification device (if needed) with you instead of purchasing bottled water.
  • Learn about the recycling and waste programs in your host country.
  • Eat locally produced foods and dine in locally owned restaurants. This reduces transportation costs and ensures that your dollars stay in the community you are living.
  • Stay in hotels that have sustainability policies. Ask questions to find out if they have recycling and linen reuse programs, and if they use water conservation and energy efficiency methods.
  • Only use tour companies that have sustainability policies. Do they pay their employees livable wages and do they strive to conserve the ecology and culture of the areas they visit?
  • Make an effort to ensure that souvenirs you purchase are authentic, not imported from another country.