At CET Academic Programs, we are committed to protecting our planet, its natural treasures and its people. In our offices around the world, we have taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint. We limit our use of gas, electricity and paper, and reuse resources whenever possible. In 2011, under the name of our parent company Academic Travel Abroad, we received our eco-certification from Sustainable Travel International.
We encourage our students to join us in our quest for environmental sustainability. For starters, read our list of Top Five Ways to be Green Abroad and our Sustainability Call to Action. Or, help us give back to the local communities that serve as our hosts around the world. We encourage students to support our list of philanthropic organizations.
- Turn off all lights, heaters and air conditioners before leaving your dorm room or apartment.
- Walk or take public transportation. Avoid taxis.
- Use water sparingly. Take short showers. Turn off the water while brushing teeth.
- Purchase locally produced food and products.
- Reuse whenever you can. Use cloth napkins, reusable shopping bags and water bottles, non-disposable eating utensils, scratch paper, etc.
Respect the fragility of your Earth. Unless we are willing to help in its preservation, unique and beautiful places may not be here for future generations to enjoy.
To make your travels more meaningful, educate yourself about the geography, cultures, and customs of the regions you visit. Take time to listen to the people who live there. Learn about their environmental, conservation and preservation challenges.
Leave only footprints, take only photographs. Respect historical sites and natural areas and leave them as you found them, without disturbing their peace and sanctity.
Respect the privacy and dignity of others. Learn about and follow local customs. Obtain permission before photographing people or their homes.
Refuse to buy products from endangered plants and animals (including ivory, tortoise shells, animals, skins, feathers).
In wildlife areas and national parks, follow designated trails only and respect the rules laid out by local authorities. Be careful not to disturb plants and animals in their natural habitats.
Learn about and support conservation programs and organizations working to preserve the environment in your area.
Consider buying carbon off-sets from reputable organizations to help counter the impact your travels have on the globe.
Return from your travels and help educate friends and family about what you have seen and learned and encourage all to nurture a cleaner, safer planet.
Hua Dan, China
Hua Dan is a China-based social enterprise dedicated to enabling the personal, social and economic empowerment of China’s migrant and rural population through participation in and leadership of inspirational arts-based projects.
Museum of Romani Culture, Czech Republic
This is a museum dedicated to the preservation of Romani cultural history. As such, it also aims to fight xenophobia and educate the public about Romani culture and heritage.
Addio Pizzi, Italy
This Sicily-based organization works to generate grassroots resistance against the Mafia-backed extortion of local businesses. Addio Pizzi offers consumers a guide to businesses that have pledged not to pay pizzo to the mafia.
Polaris Project, Japan
The Polaris Project is an organization that works to combat human trafficking.
Auschwitz Jewish Center, Poland
The Auschwitz Jewish Center is building Café Oshpitzin in the home of the last Jew who lived in the town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz), Szymon Kluger, who died in 2000. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (concentration camp complex) gets roughly 1.5 million visitors per year. Very few of them ever enter the town of Oświęcim to see the community that thrives there, amidst a very complex history. Café Oshpitzin will help draw these visitors to the town, giving them a better understanding of the local history and the work that we, and other groups, are doing to eradicate anti-Semitism and promote understanding for all peoples.
The Syria Trust for Development, Syria
The Syria Trust for Development is a national non-governmental development organization established in 2007 for the purpose of inspiring and enabling individuals and communities in Syria to shape their futures and realize their potential.
Smile Group, Vietnam
Smile Group is an organization dedicated to assisting children who are affected with HIV/AIDS.
Fund for Education Abroad, United States
The Fund for Education Abroad is an organization committed to increasing opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships.
BikeTexas, United States
BikeTexas works to increase awareness and interest in bicycle access, safety and education to cyclists at both the state and national level.
Primary Source, United States
Primary Source promotes history and humanities education by connecting educators to people and cultures throughout the world. Primary Source provides learning opportunities and curriculum resources for K-12 educators.
Tourism Cares, United States
Tourism Cares is committed to saving sites that are important to travelers by giving financial assistance to tourism-related natural, cultural and historic sites around the world. The organization also strives to increase awareness and educate travelers about responsible tourism. Tourism Cares organizes volunteers in the tourism industry to help clean up and restore important historic sites that are in need of care and rejuvenation.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, United States
This foundation strives to save the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers, keeping them highly productive and in good health as measured by established water quality standards.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation, United States
The mission of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health.