Kennesaw State offers more than 50 study abroad programs for students to enjoy, according to the Education Abroad website. Unfortunately, the flights to these destinations add to KSU’s carbon footprint. In an attempt to offset the university’s environmental impact, KSU has asked students and faculty to participate in Tree Planting day, and this effort should not go unnoticed in the community.
KSU’s Division of Global Affairs has partnered with the KSU Sustainability team in hopes to plant enough trees to offset the carbon footprint of the study abroad program as well as start a tree nursery.
The community had the opportunity to participate in this project last week and will also have a day this week on Thursday, Feb. 27. The final date will take place at the KSU Field Station and volunteers may sign up to participate on the Tree Planting Day website.
In 2017, the total carbon dioxide produced from KSU’s study abroad air travel was about 2,818 metric tons, according to the 2017 Greenhouse Gas inventory.
Since 2014, KSU has done a brilliant job of reducing the total carbon footprint every year. The amount of carbon dioxide produced by the university dropped by about 20,000 metric tons from 2014 to 2016 and again dropped from 2016 to 2017, according to the 2017 Greenhouse Gas inventory.
Study abroad programs have a huge impact on theplanet, and this impact can be overlooked. KSU is doing an excellent job of promoting a greener planet by creating this community project to slow the damage that the study abroad programs cause.
“I did not know about the impact that my study abroad in France had on the planet,” junior environmental science major Piper Grant said. “But now that I know about this I’m going to try to make the next date [to plant trees], it’s a great opportunity to make a difference.”
Not only would the Earth benefit from KSU planting more trees, but the KSU community will benefit as well. Trees can help humans in many ways such as keeping the air cleaner, environment cooler and stress levels lower, according to U.S. News.
Vegetation helps lower stress in individuals by facilitating more physical activity and social connection. This, in turn, may allow for a better disposition and overall mental and physical health among both faculty and students.
KSU may be helping to balance out the carbon dioxide produced from the university But by planting trees, the university will be creating a less stressful campus altogether. Students and faculty alike should be able to support this cause regardless of their study broad air miles because trees do so much to help the community’s health.
The goal to offset the carbon dioxide produced by KSU should be more well known. With one more day left to plant trees, those who have not yet participated should join in to help this cause.
Appreciating KSU’s push towards a greener and brighter future brings attention to the importance of environmental activism. The KSU community should recognize the efforts of the current initiatives and consider getting involved. With the collaboration of the entire community, the university will be able to reduce their carbon footprint one tree at a time.