Sustainability Champions: How Our Team Members Lead the Way
In a world where the call for sustainable living is growing louder every day, on this Climate Action Day, we wanted to spotlight those who are not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. At CIS Abroad, we take our commitment to sustainability seriously. We believe that small changes can make a big impact, and that starts with our very own staff members.
We recently asked some of our team members about their personal journeys towards living more sustainably. From embracing eco-friendly modes of transportation to making conscious choices in their everyday lives, our staff members are leading the way by example. Let's take a closer look at the steps they're taking to reduce their environmental footprint and make the world a greener, cleaner place:
Cycling for Transportation
Ian Lim-Bonner - University Relations Director
Because of CIS Abroad's remote first mindset, I was able to sell my car after moving to Providence, Rhode Island and now use a bike to get around.
Kris Holloway - President and CEO
I have been a vegetarian for 38+ years, ever since I left my hometown in rural Ohio for college and realized there was a way to be nourished and not eat animals. I am not righteous about it, though I used to be; I am simply grateful that I can choose to feed myself, my family, and colleagues (as this photo shows!) while also being conscious of the health of our planet.
Serenah Quiroga - Advising Assistant
I shop second-hand for all of my clothing which I source from online resale shops, local thrift stores and also upcycling clothing on my own! Through my love for thrifting, I have developed a business where I hand-pick thrifted pieces for clients based on their curated Pinterest style board. I encourage everyone to shop sustainably as fast fashion accounts for up to 10% of global carbon dioxide output.
Marina Weinstein - Marketing and Communications Manager & International Operations Assistant Director
I started composting a while ago and never stopped, since I was amazed at how it reduced my garbage into almost nothing. By composting, you can create nutrient-rich soil that can improve your garden and significantly reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of managing organic materials. When it all looks like ground - dark, crumbly, and earthy-smelling, it's ready to use in your garden! Add it to your flowerpots and flowerbeds and witness the magic of life. :)
Driving an Electric Car
Syd O’Wesney - Program Enrollment Coordinator
Having an electric car has taught me a lot about intentionality and slowing down. Older electric cars don’t have as wide of a mileage range as the newest models, and charging takes more time than filling up gas, so I’ve learned to be a better planner when it comes to getting around. One of my favorite things to do is park at a charging station that’s right in a retail area where my grocery stores, pet store, and gym are all located. Most people driving gas cars would drive to each lot as they run their errands, whereas I walk while my car charges. Other times, I sit and read. In a culture that’s built on hyper convenience and rushing around, it’s nice having an excuse to slow things down and take my time. I get more exercise, I set aside more time to read, my carbon output is much lower, and I find I’m much less stressed while getting around. Not to mention the money I save on gas every month! Most charging stations are either free or never cost me more than $10 for a full charge.
Ginger Sheridan - Internship and Microcredential Professor
I live in a beach-side neighborhood which is now upscale (not when I bought it). Since I am a Xeriscaper (I do not water and only have plants suited to the climate/rainfall/non-invasive), to keep my neighbors happy, I plant extravagantly flowering drought-resistant bushes at the verge - plumbago and bougainvillea. Neighbors only see beautiful flowers as they drive by and not the irregular native lawn beyond. An added bonus is the bushes cut down on the dust drifting into my garden by filtering it out - good for my breathing as I sit outside.
Solar Power + Heat Pumps
Joe Debiec - Vice President of International Operations
My house uses solar panels and heat pumps for 100% of our heating and cooling.
Air Drying Laundry
Kayla Weiss - Program Enrollment Coordinator
This summer and fall I have been boycotting the dryer and have challenged myself to ONLY air dry (At times quite exasperating given the Northeast’s rain this year, but I did it!) I made this shift after I learned just how much energy a typical dryer uses. How fabulous that I’m now only using the energy the earth provides. And isn’t there something just so wonderful and peaceful about hanging your laundry in the sunshine and breeze?
Hear what students, interns, and alumni have to say
BOLDLY COMMITTED to providing the best experiences abroad
Get to know your Irish classmates; you can learn about the country and culture from them. I have met people from around the world and from around America. Many of them I still stay in contact with them because we had become close friends and learned a lot from one another. These friendships would not be possible without CIS Abroad.
One aspect I enjoyed the most was the freedom that I had to be a student and visitor. My site director was the best at guiding me and always being there in any circumstance, yet I still felt like an adult.
This program changed my life in many ways, but most importantly it taught me how to be adaptable. I thoroughly enjoyed the intern mixers that allowed us to meet others in our program.
Come in with an open mind, make friends, and don't pass up an opportunity to explore. I now want to go on more adventures and feel more cultured.
Edinboro University of PA
I will forever have a respect for all cultures and people. My favorite aspect of the program was the weekend trips and weekly activities planned for the students.
University of Arkansas
The excursions included in the CIS Abroad program were amazing. The site directors chose awesome tour guides for our excursions and made it a great experience. Both the site directors and the tour guides were extremely caring and knowledgeable about their job. I felt safe at all times.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone and met so many friends while studying on the Gold Coast, which has allowed me to stay in contact with people on almost every continent. Being a marketing student, this diverse network will also benefit me on a professional level.
CIS Abroad created a comfortable and eventful atmosphere. This program opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to grow comfortable in my own skin when placed in new surroundings.
Colby Sawyer College
This experience opened my eyes to the beauty of the world and showed me how small my problems really are. It showed me that I can be whoever I want and do whatever I want and that money isn't everything. Lastly, it introduced me to my CISabroad family.
Keene State University
Going abroad with CISabroad was one of my best decisions. I really loved how CIS created a family through orientation, excursions, Facebook posts, rooming assignments, etc. There was never a moment where I felt alone or helpless. I've made friends that I'll have for the rest of my life.
University of South Carolina
This program made me realize how much I want travel, culture and adventure to be a part of my life forever.
One of the best aspects of the program was my site director, who is one of the most wonderful people I've ever met. The difference between my experience and my fellow students' experiences in other programs was very noticeable.
Loyola University Chicago
Studying abroad enhanced my Spanish-speaking skills, gave me deep friendships, and positively challenged the ways I viewed my own family, culture, and country. I’ve become a better student, sister, daughter, and friend. I can never see the world through the same lenses again. To that I am forever grateful.
Point Loma Nazarene University
This program gave me so many opportunities to learn about the Irish culture and took us on trips with locals to get the full experience. I was extremely prepared through CISabroad and was never nervous about any plans. I mostly miss the amazing people and culture of Ireland.
Boise State University
The best aspect of the program was the amazing people I met, the different culture, living in the city, and experiencing new and exciting things everyday.