CIS Abroad Blog

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.




Eating Vegetarian 

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.


Buying Second-hand 

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?