AIFS Overseas Alumni Perspective: Sustainability Practices in Spain

Many international locations and their residents around the globe are working diligently to do their half to mitigate the local weather disaster. AIFS Overseas college students are in a position to see this firsthand throughout their examine overseas and worldwide internship experiences by immersing themselves within the native tradition and collaborating in our local weather change training efforts. By getting concerned and observing on the native stage, college students are in a position to authentically replicate on their very own practices at dwelling. Simply ask Catherine, an AIFS Overseas Alumni Ambassador from Seton Corridor College who studied overseas in Granada, Spain and is captivated with sustainability:

“Finding out overseas in Spain drastically broadened my perspective of sustainability. Sustainability and inexperienced practices are drastically inspired in Spain, and even authorities mandated in some instances. Seeing a rustic prioritizing preventing local weather change was refreshing, and fairly completely different from something I’ve witnessed in the US. It was attention-grabbing to see that preventing local weather change was simply an unstated norm in Spanish society.”

Catherine noticed and took part in various sustainability practices throughout her examine overseas program in Spain:

Deliberately Dividing Trash and Recycling

“First, the division of trash and recycling into much more particular classes was one thing that I needed to get used to. Practically each road nook had 5 bins, which I assumed seemed like spaceships once I first arrived. Every was a unique coloration equivalent to what needs to be put in every bin. The inexperienced bin was for glass; the blue was for paper and cardboard; the yellow was for plastic packaging; and the brown was for compost and different natural waste. Gray was for all different waste. Whereas this was troublesome to recollect and get used to at first, it felt good realizing that I used to be being extra sustainable in eliminating my waste and that separating the kind of merchandise would make recycling a lot simpler. The one factor that made dividing waste troublesome is that in our house we had been solely given one small trash bin, so it was laborious to divide up the completely different gadgets when it got here time to take out the trash.”

Limiting Particular person Motor Car Use

“One other necessary sustainable observe that stood out to me throughout my time in Spain was that the federal government drastically tried to restrict the usage of particular person motor automobiles. Granada, the place I lived, was very walkable and I not often took public transportation. Whereas most individuals have automobiles, numerous the streets are too slender to suit them, so the overwhelming majority of individuals drive motorbikes when going additional distances that are extra gas environment friendly than automobiles. Moreover, the federal government has handed laws that limits motor visitors on sure streets to solely residents. This was handed as a part of an effort to considerably lower the nation’s general emissions. The variety of automobiles which are allowed on every road is considerably restricted, which each lessens fossil gas emissions and makes the streets far more nice to stroll on.”

streets of granada, spain
Streets of Granada, Spain

Conserving Electrical energy

“Spaniards are fairly conservative with their use of electrical energy and fuel, aiming to chop it down in any manner potential. A method that that is accomplished is thru hanging garments to dry. Most Spanish folks do not need dryers of their home and as a substitute grasp their garments on clotheslines to dry. This observe saves numerous electrical energy. Additionally, they restrict the quantity of warmth or air con they use, by layering their garments or spending time outdoors in the summertime. Moreover, numerous the infrastructure was created utilizing supplies that produce a cooling impact, as Spain will get very popular within the Spring and summer time, so the homes typically retain cool, even when it’s brutally scorching outdoors. Even small modifications similar to limiting the usage of warmth or air con can have a huge impact on sustainability.”

In Spain, residents embrace a variety of practices to preserve vitality and stay sustainability.

Whereas a few of these habits can take some adjustment, examine overseas college students can take consolation in realizing that making these minor way of life tweaks can positively impression the setting. Sure, it might take some further effort and time to separate waste, air-dry laundry, or go for strolling over driving — but it surely’s value it. These are easy actions accessible to any scholar overseas who’s seeking to undertake a extra sustainable way of life again at dwelling. Catherine shares:

“Since returning to the US, I’ve made a acutely aware effort to attempt to stroll extra to locations which are a brief distance away. Strolling not solely decreases my very own carbon emissions but additionally is healthier for my well being. Moreover, I’ve develop into extra acutely aware about recycling and dividing my recycling between paper/cardboard and plastic/aluminum. It is a higher observe to make sure that all the pieces is recycled. Total, I picked up numerous sustainability practices by my examine overseas expertise.”

Spain is doing its half to mitigate local weather change and improve its sustainability practices. We’re, too!

In response to the overwhelming world local weather disaster, AIFS Overseas has made sustainability a key precedence when contemplating organizational, operational, and programming choices. We perceive that the one strategy to successfully fight this disaster and mitigate the results of local weather change is to drastically cut back our environmental impression. Subsequently, we’ve dedicated to reaching carbon neutrality by the 12 months 2025.

Our Inexperienced Initiative has three pillars:

  1. Inexperienced Enterprise that features auditing our personal enterprise practices and our program companions to cut back our consumption of finite sources and limiting our carbon footprint.
  2. Sustainability Schooling for each our program individuals, by onsite engagement with native environmental initiatives, and inside our trade as a frontrunner in our discipline.
  3. Offsetting Carbon Emissions by buying verified carbon credit for all our program individuals spherical journey flights to their program location.

AIFS Overseas Inexperienced Initiative

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