Table of contents
1. Action: Sustainable Travel Contest
This action is a contest designed to promote student awareness of carbon footprints, more sustainable travel, and ways to counteract negative effects of traveling on the environment, especially from flying. The prize can be a trip to Montserrat. (The team who wins the Scavenger hunt at the beginning of the semester receives this as a free trip, so one more additional trip can be given to the winner of this contest.)
Students, especially those studying abroad are eager to see all that they can while in another country; however, it is essential that they are aware of their ecological footprints. Calculating one's "footprint" is a tangible way for people to see their impact on the Earth and its resources and whether they are living sustainably or not. Typically, the "carbon emissions" section of the ecological footprint calculator will be the area which needs the most improvement, and transportation falls under this category. Thus, this is the area that needs our attention.
The long-term effect of this contest, ideally, will be that there will be no need for a “contest” but that students will voluntarily participate in keeping track of their ecological imprint on the environment and find means to counteract the negative impacts they produce on the environment, especially from travelling.
1.2.1 Potential Benefits
People best respond to incentives. The incentive of protecting our world is not as tangible or immediate as a physical “prize.” Therefore, this contest is a way to promote awareness of travel that is more ecologically friendly with the intent to incorporate it into people’s mindsets. In a way, costs are being externalized and benefits are being received in the immediate in order to gain benefit in the long-term.
1.2.2 Potential Costs
Initially there will be monetary cost of the “prize” given to the student deemed “most sustainable traveler.”
Implementation of this action is quite simple. The page outlining the necessary steps to be taken by the students participating can be included in the student handbook given at the beginning of the term and explained during orientation. The student who essentially takes the most action towards calculating his footprint and offsetting his carbon emisions will be deemed the winner.
Below is an example of the page:
Get Involved! Win a free trip! AND help protect the world that you travel.
Take these simple steps and be on your way to winning a free trip, earning the title of “most sustainable traveler,” and doing your part to protect the planet for future travelers.
-Calculate your carbon footprint for the flights you will be taking (if your trips are planned in advance)at:
www.travelfootprint.org - select “journey emissions”
-OR Calculate your ecological footprint at:
-Compensate for flights:
Pledge to compensate for your flights – some airlines have an option where you can pay a small additional amount to be used to plant trees or offset your carbon emissions for the flight
Turn in your results to _ by _ and be on your way to winning a FREE TRIP!!
Obviously this action can not be implemented until next semester since the time has passed for students to be able to win trip with IES this semester. Therefore, next semester with the next round of study abroad students, this flier/page for the handbook can be distributed.
1.4 References and Links
1.5 Students Involved
Sarah Plyler - leader
Assignment 8: Peer review form