Internal Sustainability Project

Sustainable Bolivia is dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability both within our organization and the community we serve. In an effort to practice what we preach, we track both the resource footprint of our physical operations, as well as the local and global impacts that occurs through our programs. All this effort is shown in the NGO Internal Sustainability Project.

To ensure continued action towards sustainability, SB has a sustainability intern who works with us for three months each year to launch new initiatives and programming.  Our first sustainability intern, during the summer of 2011, organized our first comprehensive Sustainability Report on the social, economic and environmental impact of the organization; it serves as a current snapshot as well as a baseline to measure future progress.  We encourage all potential volunteers to read this brief document to learn more about our vision.

The 2012 sustainability internship focused on implementing and expanding on-site environmental projects at our location in Cochabamba, Bolivia. These include expanded food gardening, grey-water recycling and composting systems, as well as education and awareness-building among our volunteers.

In 2013 and 2014, we continued to monitor our sustainability efforts and build partnerships within the community. In 2016, Ida Ketonen created the second comprehensive Sustainability Report. The sustainability intern focuses on sustainability education among our volunteers – helping volunteers better understand current opportunities and challenges in creating sustainable communities worldwide.  Volunteers will have the chance to learn about the systems we have in place, use sustainable technologies, and learn about the diversity of perspectives around global sustainability.

Want to become our next Sustainability Intern? We receive applications on a rolling basis. To submit your CV and cover letter, or to get more information, please e-mail

Current Sustainability Projects

  • Vegetable and herb gardens and fruit trees
  • Conventional compost to turn yard and food waste into productive soil
  • Bokashi composting to turn food waste into super-rich plant food
  • Recycling of plastics, cans, glass and cardboard at all the Sustainable Bolivia houses

Conscious Living

There are a number of ways volunteers can practice sustainable living while in Cochabamba. Volunteers are encouraged to do the following:

  • Buy carbon offsets to minimize the impact of emissions from their airline flights to Bolivia
  • Shop at the weekly EcoFeria, a local organic market
  • Avoid plastic bags by taking the cloth bags provided at each house when shopping
  • Use our solar oven for cooking
  • Recycle plastics, cans, glass and cardboard and compost food waste
  • Conserve water and electricity at Sustainable Bolivia housing

We offer fun and informative talks, tours, and workshops to support these actions and projects.  We lead periodic events including market tours, visits to the local landfill, a native tree tour, to name a few.

Read more about SB’s internal sustainability program in our newest report.