Last year, Vancouver set the ambitious goal of becoming the "greenest city" in the world by 2020. The Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) , venue of this year's conference, is making one big stride in that direction - it is the first convention center in the world to receive LEED platinum certification. In honor of the 2011 NAFSA conference theme, Innovation and Sustainability in International Education, and the host city's green aspirations, this post will be devoted to highlighting local sustainability practices and tips for travelers.


As you check out the delicious cuisine at some of Vancouver's top restaurants, you may notice the Ocean Wise logo dotted throughout the menus. Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program designed to educate consumers on sustainable seafood. At home, many Vancouverites have made their own sustainability pledge by adopting the 100 Mile Diet - the brainchild of a British Columbia couple committed to the virtues of local eating.

Getting Around

Vancouver's comprehensive transit system received a big boost in preparation for the 2010 Olympics with the addition of a new SkyTrain line that transports travelers from the Vancouver International Airport to downtown. Make your way to Level 3 in the airport and follow directions to the Canada Line for an easy and convenient way to make it downtown from the airport using public transportation. Once downtown, the large network of bus lines will easily transport you to and from the conference.


Want some green Canadiana to take home? Check out the eco-friendly apparel at Roots or visit Vancouver's Green Living Guide for a selection of eco-friendly retailers.

carbon offsetWhat You Can Do:

Offset your carbon footprint created by traveling and participating in the annual conference, attend sessions and seminars related to sustainability and international education, and learn about other ways you can help reduce your environmental impact while in Vancouver.

Fun Fact: The 45,000 km Olympic torch relay was carbon-neutral.

Do you have other green tips? Share your tips as comments to this post.

Carol ZachsCarol Zachs is the Local Arrangements Committee (LAT) communications chair for NAFSA’s 2011 Annual Conference & Expo. After completing an internship in 2000-01 at the University of Aarhus’ International Secretariat in Denmark, Carol has worked in the field of international education ever since. Currently, she serves as the manager of study and research abroad at the University of British Columbia, where she is also completing graduate work in education. Originally from Mexico City, Carol has been a Vancouver resident for the past 24 years. Carol looks forward to showcasing what Vancouver has to offer to all of the conference attendees.