ISEEN's Commitment to Environmental Sustainability 

Sustainability has a central role in the world of experiential education. ISEEN is committed to doing what we can; we are making specific choices to make a positive impact. The following are ways in which ISEEN is committed to sustainability.

Paperless Institutes

We choose not to print programs. By hosting all of our Institute materials on the Whova Events App for the Winter Institute and on Google Docs for our Summer Institute, we save approximately 215 lbs of CO2 and 1,400 gallons of water each year between the Winter and Summer Institutes (calculation source). 

Reusables for Food and Beverages

Each year, we ask our attendees to bring their own water bottles and travel coffee/tea/hot-beverage-of-choice cups with them to the Institutes. Additionally, we work with all our vendors to provide only reusable dishware, cutlery, and containers and not to provide paper or plastic materials. This has allowed us to significantly cut down our plastic footprint at all Institutes.

Conscious Purchasing

In honor of our place-based and sustainable commitment, ISEEN works to partner with and support businesses that have a mission for sustainability and/or are local businesses to where we work. The gifts we purchase for our amazing volunteers are chosen specifically for their connection to the place where the Institute is held, helping to support local business. And, our ISEEN swag is also reflective of this practice.

For example, In 2019 we worked with Miir, a Seattle-based travel container company for ISEEN mugs (a beautiful 8oz. travel mug). Miir is a B-Corp not only with a mission to create sustainable and enduring products, but it also has a mission to give back income from each of their products (each product has a “give code” traced to the project it helps fund).

ISEEN Mug that helped support "The Women's Wilderness project in Boulder, COThis mug helped support The Women's Wilderness project in Boulder, CO 

Carbon Offsets

While one of the most sustainable ways to travel is staying home, there’s really no way around traveling to our Institutes. We know that our members and Institute attendees must choose their professional development experiences, and thus, their carbon impact through travel wisely, and we’re grateful so many of you choose to have ISEEN as your place to be from year to year. 

So for those of you who do join us at our Institutes, we suggest you include carbon offsets in your travel budget. The Sierra Club has a great description on their website of their carbon offset program through NativeEnergy and some answers to frequently asked questions about them. 

To purchase carbon offsets, here’s what you can do:

  • Calculate your emissions here
  • You can either purchase your offsets through the NativeEnergy website above (they let you “add it to your cart” within their website once you calculate), OR
  • If you want more choices for projects to support, you can find an array of projects through the United Nations Carbon Offset Platform and contribute your offsets to one of those.

There are many carbon offset programs out there. The above suggestions are ones which we and other organizations have done research, but if you’d like to do more research, we suggest reading this New York Times article on what to look for in a program.