We are all aware of the impact human activity has on our planet. As the population continues to grow rapidly, we all need to start making more eco-friendly decisions. This applies to travel, lifestyle, and even our education. Furthering your education will enhance your skills, increase your career choices, and raise your earning potential. If you are planning to further your education, then you may have considered online study. This option is usually a cheaper and more flexible way to learn and refine your skills. Another major unsung benefit of online learning is that it is more eco-friendly. Today, we will be taking a closer look into the environmental benefits of online study.
Is Online Learning for You?
To feel comfortable with and do well in an online course, you need to have particular skills and qualities in order to have the right mindset. This includes being self-motivated, disciplined, organized, persistent, technical, and independent. You also need to be able to create a proper study space at home that will allow you to commit and concentrate while completing tasks, classes, and assignments. Whether you do or do not feel like you meet the criteria for the perfect online student, it is important to understand the benefits that distanced learning has on the environment.
1. Lower Pollution and Emissions
Students who are expected to study on-site will have to commute to and from their learning facility throughout the week. This will increase their fuel costs as they release high levels of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere. For example, nurses who choose to study online midwifery programs won’t have to go to and from different hospitals for work, learning, and training. You can learn more about online midwifery programs and the other courses at Baylor University here. Research suggests that people who choose to study online will reduce their levels of pollution by 90%.
2. Local Wildlife is Safer
Due to less travel, the risk of hitting an animal on the road significantly decreases. Around one million animals are said to be killed on the road in the United States per day. This is a huge number of lives lost and includes mammals, birds, and reptiles. It can threaten the local biodiversity and the species itself, as some animals are more susceptible to being hit by a vehicle, like raccoons and rabbits. Hitting an animal on the road can also put the driver at risk and cause significant damage to their vehicle. When you study remotely, you won’t be putting any animals at risk, especially if you live in a rural area.
3. Decreased Need for Gas
The average American is said to use up to 600 gallons of gas every year. A lot of this gas is wasted by people speeding in their cars, idling in car parks, and sitting in traffic. Students who choose to travel to study will have an increased need for gas and other natural resources compared to those who study online. Online learning allows people to work at a time and place that is suitable for them and they don’t have the pressure of attending classes on time. Professors won’t need to travel to school either. Everyone will save money on gas and their vehicle and local roads will see less wear-and-tear.
4. Natural Resources Aren’t Used
Natural resources are required to produce large amounts of energy to heat and power buildings. Some examples include coal, oil, and natural gas. Most of these resources produce greenhouse gasses when they are used, which are harmful to the environment. Students who decide to study in a classroom will consume higher levels of energy during their lectures compared to those who opt for online learning. When people choose to enroll in an online course and study at home, they will reduce their consumption of natural resources by 90% compared to those who pick traditional learning methods.
5. Reduces Need for Paper
Deforestation is the cause of several serious global issues. According to research, around 60% of the waste produced by learning facilities consists of paper. To produce a ton of paper, 16 large trees need to be destroyed. Recycling paper can protect the forests, but it requires a considerable amount of crude oil. Many schools are trying to take the right steps to reduce their paper waste, but this isn’t an issue with online learning. This method will require little to no paper and will reduce the energy required to recycle it. Your curriculum and learning resources will be available at the click of a button.
6. Less Printer Ink Required
In the US, hundreds of millions of non-biodegradable ink cartridges are thrown away and end up in landfills every year. This means they can’t be broken down naturally. There are many benefits associated with recycling printer ink cartridges, but unfortunately, many people don’t take notice of this information. If you choose to study an online course at home, you will use less printer ink, which will reduce the impact you have on the environment. While you may want to print off some materials for your own learning purposes, this will be considerably less than the amount of ink you would have used in class.
7. Expansion Won’t Be Necessary
Distanced learners will not have to travel into a learning facility, which means that schools won’t need to expand to accommodate a large number of students. Unfortunately, construction requires plastic, wood, metal, and many other building materials, plus more energy and natural resources for the building to function effectively upon completion. Expanding a facility also requires many large vehicles that need fuel and release carbon emissions. Online education means that the demand for these raw goods and resources will be reduced, which will have a positive impact on the environment.
Online learning won’t work for everyone. It is great for people who have the skills required for independent learning, those who don’t have the money for traditional school, and those with work and family commitments. If you would prefer to attend classes, then you should make eco-friendly decisions.