To show kindness to the planet and increase environmental awareness, Appalachian State University has formed a partnership among its academic areas, Outdoor Programs and Office of International Education and Development to design carbon-neutral international travel.
The first carbon-neutral trip is to New Zealand May 12 - June 5, 2008. Eighteen students and their five leaders will plant trees in New Zealand and purchase green power both at home and abroad to completely offset the expected 73 tons of carbon dioxide associated with their air and ground travel.
The cost of going carbon-neutral is surprisingly low: just $782, the equivalent cost of two restaurant meals for the entire group at $20 per person.
The month-long trip gives students the opportunity to experience the New Zealand culture and landscape, as well as develop their outdoor leadership skills through kayaking, backpacking and rafting treks. They also will explore some of the environmental issues facing New Zealanders and Americans alike.
Participating students represent the following academic majors: recreation management, biology, health education, public relations, art, business and communications.
Participating in portions of the trip will be students from Appalachian's partner institution in New Zealand, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.