One of the primary purposes of 350.org is to increase the strength and connectivity of the global grassroots movement to tackle climate change. We are able to make steady progress in that direction largely thanks to the use of the internet — armed with a website and email, we are all making more visible and escalating our efforts around the globe on this common endeavor.
But the internet most certainly doesn’t count for everything. It’s pretty hard to argue against the power of face-to-face connections in spreading a movement like our’s — the chance to build trust, share visions and aspirations, and work side by side towards achieving 350. Of course, the most important face-to-face connections to make are those with your friends and neighbors in your own community. When we are attempting to build an internationally-connected movement, however, every chance we get to make new cross-border connections is invaluable.
That’s why it’s exciting to announce the launch of a new partner initiative that is using both online tools and individuals’ travel experiences to promote awareness and action on environmental sustainability and social justice — The Green Passport Program.
Based in the United States, the Green Passport Program is an intercollegiate initiative that aims to “green the field of international education.” Already there are 161 Green Passport holder who have committed themselves to the following:
“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).”
International travel is most definitely a sticky endeavor these days with flying being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. (The Green Passport Program website features an interview with 350.org co-founder, Bill McKibben discussing that subject precisely). So for any of us privileged with the opportunity to travel and experience new places, there’s all the more reason to active promoters and leaders in new environmental and social responsibility. And as The Green Passport Program suggests, working to grow the 350 movement is one great way of doing that.
If you are not sure how that might work, how a student traveling abroad might help to promote the 350 cause, just check out the photo attached to this post to see what a US student studying abroad in India was able to help get going. Click here for the full report from that action.
So if you are a student aspiring to experience new parts of the world but want to use your travel for the greater good, check out the Green Passport Program website and sign up to take part: http://www.greenpassport.us.