The University of Iowa

Environmental Efforts

At International Programs, we acknowledge that long-haul international flights are a large contributor of carbon emissions leading to climate change and global warming. In an effort to be more “green,” we encourage faculty and students to be environmentally conscious in their global travels. International Program’s Environmental Committee is constantly looking for ways to lower our energy consumption, reduce paper waste, increase recycling in the office and be more sustainably-minded.

What you can do:

Carbon Offsetting

For a small amount of an overall travel budget, travelers can donate to an organization involved in carbon offsetting every time you fly (or drive). They will, in turn, contribute money to worthy organizations that are involved in projects that seek alternative energy sources, plant trees, etc. in order to reduce the amount of ozone-depleting carbon in the atmosphere (largely caused by air traffic). These organizations will determine how much you need to spend based on the amount of miles you have flown, what type of aircraft you are flying/vehicle you are driving, and your length hotel of stay. Check with Sustainable Travel International (calculates your carbon impact) or Environmental Defense Fund (lists carbon offsetting organizations).

Link up

Attend "green" events around campus and in the community as well as nation-wide initiatives like "Power Down for the Planet" and "Bike to Work Week.”

Check out the following websites for more suggestions:

UI Office for Sustainability:
UI Facilities Management Energy and Environment:
Iowa Renewable Energy Association:
Iowa Energy Center:
350 Initiatives:
Carbon Neutral:
AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education):

Study Abroad with Green Passport

Study abroad students can make a pledge to minimize their impact on the environment through “Green Passport,” a social networking site dedicated to linking environmental conscious students while providing eco-tourism suggestions and links to additional resources.

NOTE: The listing of resources above does not necessarily connote an endorsement by International Programs.

International Programs Environmental Efforts

International Programs established an Environmental Committee (EC) in 2006 that collaborates with other UI departments to promote sustainability and environmental consciousness. The EC has accomplished many goals right here within the University Capitol Centre to reduce our carbon footprint. These efforts include the following:


Implementation of an expanded recycling program (plastics, aluminum, and glass, batteries and CFLs, in addition to cardboard, mixed paper, magazines and newspaper). We use only 30%+ post-consumer recycled office paper. We re-use one-sided printed paper to create recycled notebooks and scratch pads for students/staff.


Installation of power strips in every office and cubicle to reduce phantom power. We’ve developed efficient computer policies and practices to reduce energy consumption. We’ve reduced unneeded lighting though the removal of fluorescent light bulbs in offices and cubicles.


Purchase of re-usable flatware, bowls, plates and dishtowels to replace plastic silverware, paper plates and paper towels. We encourage groups who use our space for their events to use our flatware or to use eco-minded paper products for their events.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the UI Office for Sustainability

Safe Travels from International Programs!