This Earth Day, we at NAFSA are using the occasion to shine a light on the ways international educators and higher education as a whole can show our appreciation by treading more lightly on the Earth. Through aligned action, NAFSA aims to embody our "think globally, act locally" ethos. 

  • We signed the CANIE Accord to signal our commitment to the sector's transition to more climate-friendly operations. And we encourage other organizations to do the same. 
  • We push the sustainability conversation forward by sourcing and distributing thought pieces and practical guidance on how to integrate sustainability into our work as international educators, including International Educator’s (IE) May 2022 issue, The Big Questions, the May 2022 issue of NAFSA’s Trends & Insights, “Environmental Sustainability and Internationalization: Challenges and Opportunities” and IE's “Sustainability in IEM: a Starting Place”, which wrestles with the impact of international enrollment management’s large carbon footprint. 
  • NAFSA's forthcoming book, Global Goals, Global Education: Advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, will provide higher education institutions worldwide a comprehensive, practical guide on how to align with the 2030 Agenda.
  • The NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference & Expo will be held at the LEED Gold-certified Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, where NAFSA is committed to actions that minimize waste and environmental impact, such as distributing reusable water bottles and responsibly sourced tote bags and partnering with eco-conscious vendors like Freeman. The conference offers registrants a variety of ways to engage with sustainability including a hands-on service project with the Sustainability SIG
  • Closer to home, NAFSA staff regularly telework and use a variety of modes of transportation to travel to our LEED-Gold certified office building in downtown Washington, D.C.

Given the vast scope of the impact of human actions on the environment, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and that small actions don't matter. But Karen Doss Bowman urges us to think differently in her piece in International Educator: “When it comes to environmental sustainability, every effort makes a difference.”

And the rewards of these efforts are significant, as my NAFSA colleague Stacy Johnson so aptly put it in her ode to the Earth, 

“As I close my eyes and reflect on the Earth in all its glory,
I can hear the still small voice of the Earth whisper, 'This is my story.'
Take care of me, and I’ll take care of you.”

More information is available at