Sustainable Travel

The UF International Center takes sustainability issues seriously. In an effort to minimize our impact on the environment, we have provided resources that will help you travel sustainably.

Take the Green Passport Pledge:

Minimize my impact on the environment
Act in culturally respectful ways
Engage with locals and participate in the local community
Give back to my host community(ies)

University of Florida Sustainability Study Abroad Programs:

Sustainability Study Abroad Programs through other Universities:
(The following list includes institutions that have active sustainability study abroad programs) 

American University Sustainability Study Abroad with University of Peace
Arizona State University Human Dimensions of Sustainability
Augsburg College Sustainable Development and Social Change in Central 
Daemen College Consortium for North American Sustainability
Georgia College & State University Environmental Sustainability in Thailand
Michigan State University Sustainable Development in the Humid Tropics
Oregon State University Iceland: Sustainability and Human Civilization
Ramapo College Spring Semester Study Abroad Program in South India
University of California at Davis Sustainable Cities of Northern Europe
University of Georgia Sustainability Programs in Brazil, and the South 
University of Maryland Indonesia: Civil Society, Democracy and Sustainable 
University of Minnesota Study abroad program for Sustainability Studies Minor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill     Institute for the Environment Cambridge Field Site

Organizations that offer Sustainability Study Abroad Programs:
(Below are sustainability-focused programs offered by study abroad organizations)

Academic Programs International Program in Costa Rica
American Universities International Programs Oceania, Antarctica: Humans and the Environment
AustraLearn Creating a Green, Sustainable Environment
Center for Ecological Living and Learning Sustainability through Community
Council on International Educational Exchange Study Australia (Sustainability + Environment)
Study Latin America (Sustainability + Environment)
Creation Care Study Program Various program offerings
Danish Institute for Study Abroad Sustainability in Europe
Earth Education International Deep Ecology & Sustainable Living
Sustainable Global Stewardship
Education Abroad Network Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia
International Center for Development Studies Environment, Sustainability and Development in Latin America
International Honors Program Urban Planning and Sustainable Environments
International Sustainable Development Studies Institute   Various course offerings
Living Routes - Study Abroad in Ecovillages Sustainable Community Development
New Etruria College Association Environmentally Sustainable Businesses in Tuscany
School for Field Studies Costa Rica Sustainable Development Studies
School for International Training Various program offerings
SEA Semester Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems

Offset your carbon emissions

To achieve the goal of a sustainable UF, we are committed to encouraging and facilitating the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff to generate knowledge, acquire skills, develop values, and initiate practices that contribute to a sustainable, high quality of life on campus, in the state of Florida, and across the globe.
To take into account the social and environmental consequences of studying abroad, you can improve these aspects of your international experience.

  • An average 2,000 mile international flight can emit ONE TON of C02 per passenger.
    One tree = one ton of carbon reductions

To help with these efforts, you can offset your international flight carbon emissions. Neutral Gator, a non-profit Florida organization, will plant a tree for you and retrofit low-income homes with energy efficiency products. It’s easy; click here.

What you can do

  • Learn about current environmental issues in the places you are visiting. Different regions will have different situations based on their ecosystems. Learn about the effects of mass tourism on beaches, mountains, wetlands, deserts, etc. and then seek to counter those effects.
  • Use accommodations that have a reputation for being sustainable (they recycle, use alternative forms of energy, are owned by or employ locals, contribute to local causes). Increasingly, there are regional and national certification systems that accommodations can obtain if they are sustainably operated, much like the organic labeling system. Check to see if there are any local certification labels that can help you to determine where to stay. Search the Internet to do this (country name + tourism certification) or inquire with the visitors bureau or local tourism offices.
  • Use water sparingly. Many communities face water shortages and water usage costs money. Take quick showers.
  • Save electricity. Turn off lights, air conditioners, and heaters when you are not in the room.
  • Don’t litter! Even if you notice the locals doing so, try to find a container to dispose of your litter. Always recycle if possible.
  • Don’t buy products made from endangered species or valuable, historical, or cultural artifacts. Ask about where a product comes from. Many of these products are illegal to export.
  • Don’t disturb the wildlife. Maintain a proper distance at all times. Don’t use loud, motorized equipment among small communities of people or in areas where there is wildlife.
  • Don’t pick up and take home natural resources such as shells, plants, animal bones, etc.
  • If you go camping, make sure you have any necessary permits and follow local park rules. Pack out what you pack in. Stay on trails.
  • Choose your recreational activities wisely. Low impact sports that don’t involve a lot of equipment or fossil fuels and that don’t disturb the environment or local communities are preferable.
  • Use local and public transport whenever possible. Take a train or bus. Bike or walk. Try to fly less—airplanes produce massive amounts of ozone-depleting carbon dioxide.

Resources on how to travel sustainably