Tips for sustainable study abroad
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, and through the University’s Global Opportunities Programme, you will not only grow academically, but will also learn about the cultures, languages, and communities you are living in.
But when planning your study abroad, have you considered how sustainability fits into your placement? We know that traveling can have an adverse effect on the environment. So to help mitigate this, we have developed some top tips to help you reduce your impact on the planet and put sustainability at the forefront of your journey.
Consider your environmental impact
- Take a look at the University’s Student Sustainability Hub and complete the Sustainability in Action module to learn more about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and raise your awareness of sustainability and the tools you need to be sustainable while abroad.
- Calculate your travel Carbon Footprint to help you decide on alternative ways to travel.
- Transport will most likely be the biggest polluter in your travel abroad journey, with flying significantly contributing to your carbon footprint. Why not look for an alternative method of transport? Make use of the extensive railway networks, get to know the local public transport systems, or even consider getting about by bike!
- Pack only essential items. Less ‘stuff’, means less waste and packing light will make it easier to hop on and off public transport.
- Support local businesses, artists, and restaurants. By doing so you not only help support the local economy, but reduce carbon emissions by shortening supply chains.
- Shop sustainably, avoid buying single use plastic and refrain from unnecessary purchases – remember the memory of an experience will be more valuable than a souvenir.
Immerse yourself in local culture
- Take the time to learn about the local infrastructure and explore ways you can contribute to your host countries sustainability targets.
- Take notice of issues such as poverty, inequality and environmental damage, these can have a powerful impact on your outlook to Sustainability.
- Try to buy and eat locally grown and processed food, it helps support local farmers and restaurants and reduces carbon
Reduce waste and recycle
- Use water sparingly and take quick showers, especially in drought-prone areas; challenge yourself to three minutes or less.
- Save energy through easy energy saving habits, such as switching off lights and appliances and making use of natural heat and light.
- Recycle at every opportunity and use reusable items such as a water bottle.
When you’re back home
- Share what you have learnt with the Global Opportunities Team and be a force for positive change in your home campus and communities.
- Get involved with the University’s sustainability activities, events and volunteering opportunities.
- Become an advisor or ambassador and encourage future study abroad students be more environmentally aware when studying abroad.
Tips for sustainable travel at home
- Walking is the simplest form of travel and the easiest and cheapest form of exercise there is, it also improves your mood and boosts wellbeing. Try to walk to campus where possible or incorporate walking into part of your commute.
- Access to bikes and equipment can help preserve your health and wellbeing as well as being great for the environment. There are many cycle facilities and maintenance workshops on campus, we’re also working with Liverpool City Council to provide cycle training. Students can hire a LivCycle bike from the Guild for a year, staff can sign up to the cycle to work scheme and both staff and students receive discount from citybike and the Merseytravel cycle discount scheme.
- Staff can choose to use public transport and the University offers interest-free loans for season tickets.
- Whilst its encouraged to use more sustainable alternatives to car travel where possible, we fully appreciate that there are circumstances where car use is necessary so we incentivise car sharing for our staff.
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