Study Abroad Students: Choose at least 3 sustainability actions that you are willing to do abroad. Ideally you should select actions that are new to you (not things you are already doing).

Middlebury is taking a step to address study abroad travel carbon emissions by use of carbon credits that are generated through its conservation of 2,100 acres of forest land around its Breadloaf Campus.The credits are quantified and verified by third parties and registered on the American Carbon Registry for sale to entities that are voluntarily reducing their carbon emissions.The College buys back the credits it needs to maintain carbon neutrality.

Each carbon credit is equivalent to a ton of carbon dioxide. Middlebury College will purchase 10 carbon credits in exchange for at least 75% of study abroad students committing to at least 3 of these actions. Further, if at least 30 students submit a photo of an action they performed to Middlebury’s International Programs social media, Middlebury will increase the purchase by five carbon credits. 


  • Bring reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and straws with you every time you leave your house/residence hall/apartment.

  • Take a cloth bag with you when shopping (many countries now charge per plastic bag used).

  • Take short showers and turn off air conditioning/heat and electronics when you leave your room.

  • Adopt local cultural norms and practices, such as conserving water and air drying clothes.

  • If applicable, buy a water filter or boil water rather than defaulting to bottled water. Follow local guidelines to find safe alternatives and/or invest in a filter.

  • Choose to eat vegetarian dinners at least twice per week. Bonus if you choose vegan.

  • Make a choice at least once to travel within your host country (by train or bus), rather than flying to a different country on breaks and weekends.

  • When you travel, choose accommodations that are locally owned and have “green features” such as green design, renewable energy, low waste, recycling, local sourcing for food and other products, etc.

  • Whenever possible, utilize local transportation rather than an individual vehicle. Bonus if you walk or bike!

  • Book direct flights whenever possible and minimize the number of layovers.

  • Subscribe to a green news source from your host country.

  • Watch a documentary about sustainability/climate change in your host region/country.

  • Follow sustainability social media influencers from your host country, and engage with their content regularly.

  • Before you return home, make a list of sustainability actions or sustainability issues you have learned about abroad that you pledge to do after you return home. Bonus if you share your list with International Programs ( or fill out our Sustainability Abroad Survey (see below).

  • Other: _______________________________________________________


  • Research and follow recycling protocols in your host country. Have a conversation with a local about recycling.

  • Research the key sustainability issues in your host country/region.

  • Whenever possible, support local businesses, artists, and restaurants within your host community.

  • If you are living with a host family, consider your impact on the family regarding sustainability (e.g., water and energy consumption) and determine how to offset your impacts.

  • Connect with local organizations (e.g., student groups, NGOs, etc.) that work on environmental and/or social sustainability issues in your host community/country, and attend at least three meetings.

  • Photograph ethically. Seek consent before taking photos of people, including children.

  • Attend a climate event (e.g., local university lecture, workshop, beach cleanup).

  • Vote! Vote by absentee ballot if your country of nationality allows it. For U.S. citizens, you can find information on how to vote by absentee ballot from abroad on the State Department website.

  • Other: _______________________________________________________

Share your experience:

  • Send a photo to International Programs ( of yourself taking one of these sustainability actions while you are abroad, that we can share on social media.

  • Help future study abroad students learn about sustainability in your host country by completing the Sustainability Abroad survey . It only takes a few minutes.

  • Other: _______________________________________________________

Study Abroad
Sunderland Language Center, First Floor
356 College Street
Middlebury, VT 05753