Student’s Corner

As I prepare for my semester abroad in Copenhagen, I find myself constantly adding new items to the list of things I need to buy before I leave. Whether it’s new toiletries or an extra hairspray, it’s becoming very obvious to me why I’ve never been considered a light packer.

Even though it doesn’t seem to carry into my own life, I’ve always admired the European outlook on limiting what you own and buy. Throughout my summer in London and other travels I have realized Americans, myself included, tend to bring more clothes and simply have more stuff. I recently wondered what the implications of this are on the environment, especially since I’m going to one of the more sustainable cities in the world, and how I could adapt to a more European outlook on travel.

I’ve put together a couple tips for more sustainable travel, so we can all be a little more European.

  1. Lighten your load through limiting what you bring abroad in the first place. Simply put, the less your suitcase weighs the smaller your carbon footprint because you’re limiting the extra fuel needed for the plane. This potential impact can continue down the line when rather than walk the couple blocks and explore the city, you have to catch a taxi because your suitcase is too heavy.


  1. Bring a reusable water bottle instead of collecting a plethora of plastic cups on the plane and water bottles in the airport. It is easy to get dehydrated on a long flight and a water bottle ensures you won’t be dehydrated or spending the money meant for quaint European coffee shops on a bottled water.


  1. Invest in a solar powered charger so you won’t rely on having to finding an outlet in a crowded airport. No more airport floors for you! Furthermore, no need to buy an adaptable charger!


  1. Walk don’t drive whenever possible. Some of my favorite memories from vacations is just wandering around the city. Not only are you actively reducing your carbon footprint you are immersing yourself in a city rather than seeing it from behind a glass window.

It’s been a great semester as the Sustainability Assistant for Facilities Team Green. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!


Image Source: Public Domain Pictures

Written by Emma Briggs, Class of 2018