Leaving A Green Footprint

Leaving a green footprint in an otherwise sand-stricken region, 58 students from the International School of Beijing joined the Hutong for five days of learning about sustainable tourism and environmental issues in Inner Mongolia.

Through visits to the Yulong Desert, the shrinking Dalinor Lake and vast Mongolian grasslands, the students studied the impact of desertification, interviewed local Mongolians about life in the grasslands, applied critical thinking to analyze the costs and benefits of renewable energy and experienced firsthand Mongolian customs, cuisine and rural life.

Surrounded by stunning scenery, the students tasted local salty milk tea, slept in traditional yurts and frolicked through expansive sand dunes. They saw how otherwise lush mountains were being eroded by an avalanche of sand and stood atop a breezy hill to discuss wind energy with a local expert.

Through homestays with local farmers, the students were exposed to life in the rough: they scooped dung to be burned to warm their traditional kang beds, they coped with a limited access to water and hole-in-the-ground toilets, but did so with a true explorers’ spirit! We were impressed with the students energy, curiosity and strong will.

Hats off to our latest group of sustainable travelers!