Many people enroll in online education courses to learn more about sustainability and enter the green collar industry. However, a student does not have to be working toward an environmental degree to reduce their carbon footprint. Small initiatives can make a difference in the long run if everyone does their part. Being green has not only become a popular trend, but worthwhile for the sake of the planet. As global warming remains a concern, students and society in general continue to look for ways to be more environmentally friendly. Whether an individual is attending a traditional or an online college, or regardless of what state they live in: West Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming – there are a number of ways students can do their part to save the planet.
Turn off your computer. It is not uncommon for both distance learners and traditional students to rely heavily on computers for a majority of their coursework. However, these machines are known to use a hefty amount of energy to function, especially over extended periods of time. When it is not in use, students are encouraged to put their laptop or computer in hibernation or sleep mode. This can not only reduce energy consumption, but electricity bills as well.
Buy energy-efficient bulbs. College students are known for burning the midnight oil while cramming for exams. To limit the amount of energy used during extended study sessions, individuals can buy florescent bulbs. Energy-efficient lights are designed to use a small amount of what normal bulbs use to illuminate a large space. They are environmentally-friendly and have a longer shelf life as well. This can limit the number of times a student has to get up to change a faulty bulb during crunch time.
Ride a bike or carpool to class. For individuals who have to attend class on a traditional campus from time to time, making an effort to cut down on fuel usage can be cost-efficient and have a positive impact on the environment. Students are encouraged to carpool with classmates when possible or take public transportation to reduce their carbon footprint. If biking is an option, cycling to class is a healthy alternative as well.
Pull down shades during the winter and summer. Extreme temperatures can often provoke individuals to crank the heat or turn up the air conditioner. This can result in high electricity bills and unnecessary energy consumption annually. For students who want a comfortable workspace without paying the price, utilizing shades is an option. During the winter, shades can prevent drafts from flowing throughout a room. In the heat of summer, they can shield areas from intense sunlight and high temperatures. Although this may seem like a tedious chore, it is a worthwhile habit that can save hundreds of dollars in expenses every year.
Reuse paper. Both online and traditional colleges love to mail out flyers to students, which can come in handy when it comes to coursework. Instead of buying a number of notebooks, individuals can reuse stray pieces of paper to take notes during class. When filling binders, students are encouraged to buy recycled paper and to throw it away in the proper receptacle after it has been used. Students who take these small steps can help reduce the number of trees it takes to produce paper around the globe.
Unplug electronics when they are not in use. Computers are not the only device that can drain energy. Everything from cellular phone chargers to lamps can waste energy when they are left plugged in. Before leaving the room, students should make sure that everything is off and unplugged before heading out the door. Hitting the light switch only does so much when everything else is allowed to consume energy.