The Green Passport Program (GP) aims to “green the field of international education” in the United States by motivating, engaging, and supporting study abroad administrators and students interested in adding a more socially and environmentally conscious dimension to their education abroad experiences. The overarching goal of the program is to foster education, dialogue, advocacy, and action around the issues of environmental sustainability and social justice by providing study abroad offices and education abroad programs with resources to “green” their operations and by providing students with a variety of tools to lessen their negative impacts while they travel and to learn about sustainability while abroad.
In order to work toward greening the field of international education, the GP Program aims specifically to:
A) Educate and empower students about the environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts of their study abroad experience,
B) Demonstrate to students how other cultures are dealing with today’s sustainability issues,
C) Provide education abroad professionals the tools they need to implement sustainability practices into all aspects of their operations including their U.S.-based offices, program sites overseas, study abroad programs, and conferences,
D) Thereby, supporting local ecosystems, cultures and economies, and, ultimately, helping to create a more sustainable future.
At the moment GP works toward these goals through this website with resources for students, international education professionals, and faculty, and through a Facebook Page.
A key part of GP is the Pledge, designed to inspire and guide students. Students are encouraged to sign the pledge by becoming a member of the Facebook page.
As a Green Passport Holder I acknowledge the interconnectedness of the world’s people and the environment. I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of studying, living, working, traveling, or volunteering abroad and will try to improve these aspects of my international experience. While overseas, and when I return home, I will do my best to:
• 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).
The Green Passport program was initially conceived of by Rodney Vargas at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Office of International Programs and was developed with the support of the Abroad View Foundation, Living Routes, Ithaca College Office of International Programs, and Middlebury College’s Office of International Programs and Off-Campus Study in the Fall of 2007.
Please note that at this time, the Green Passport Program and website are still in development and will be continually updated to become more user-friendly, compelling, and reflective of the key educational and training components that are critical to the program. We welcome any recommendations and feedback on how to customize the site to achieve these goals.
The Green Passport is also open to suggestions for how to collaborate with other organizations and projects to achieve mutual goals and is, of course, always happy to accept donations of talent and/or funds. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org