Within a ten-year period (FY 2002-3 to FY 2012-2013), the University of Richmond study abroad program has experienced a 96% increase in student participation. In 2007, Newsweek magazine recognized the University as the "Hottest School in America" for international studies. In 2013, 710 University students studied abroad. While studying abroad has numerous academic benefits, international transportation contributes carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and thus increases the negative environmental consequences of anthropogenic climate change. In FY 2013, UR students traveled 6,154,032 miles, emitting ~6,892,515 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Given this negative impact and UR's carbon neutral goals, we feel UR and UR students should be aware of options to mitigate carbon emissions. One way to compensate for emissions released by air travel is to invest in carbon capture offset programs. Although some assert carbon offset programs merely sustain environmentally unfriendly behaviors by reducing the guilt people feel, others have found carbon offsets a beneficial option for people who will be traveling by plane (Lovell et al. 2009).
This project introduces several international carbon offeset programs that might help offset UR's international travel carbon emissions. Specifically, we examine options for programs around the countries most popular with University of Richmond students.
Poster prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.
Bailey, Kristen, Kelly Kurz, and Tanya Sushkova. "Carbon Offset Solutions for International Travel Emissions." Poster session for Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone, University of Richmond, April 21, 2014