Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


How to Make Your Online Education Even Greener

Guest Blogger: Harper Mac

The importance of being eco-friendly has become more obvious in recent years, and online education can help students and instructors become even greener. Everyday consumption like paper, fossil fuels for transportation, and electricity can add up on a campus with thousands of students. By making your degree program portable, you can do your part to make your education even easier on the environment.

Control paper usage

Controlling paper usage isn’t simply a matter of using fewer sheets, though that is an important part of going green. Use recycled paper and pencils to do even more. By using recycled paper, you help keep it from going into a landfill or a municipal incinerator. You also help to slow deforestation by reducing demand for virgin paper and pencils, and using recycled materials helps to reduce pollution.
Thanks to technology, there are alternatives to using pens or pencils and paper altogether. If you are accustomed to writing notes, try using a text document on your computer rather than jotting things down on paper. Buying a tablet can help you stay mobile: taking notes on an iPad or Kindle Fire eliminates your need for buying notebooks, and reading your textbooks on a tablet can help you save energy as well.

Lower electricity usage

It may surprise you, but computers and other electronics use electricity even when they are turned off because they contain transformers that remain energized if they are plugged in. The only way to stop them from wasting power is by disconnecting them from the source of electricity.

To lower electricity needs while you’re using your devices, look for options that carry the Energy Star label which tells you the machine makes efficient use of power. Monitors often have this designation. Some computers and printers are also made to be extra efficient.

Use alternative sources of electricity

Using electricity is unavoidable when you have to run a computer, printer, and other peripherals. This does not mean you have to draw electricity from some pollution-belching power plant. A small solar panel setup can provide enough energy to keep your system running for as long as you need it. If you usually use your computer at night, add a battery to store the sun’s power. Another alternative—though it will take a lot of work and land—is to set up a windmill. It takes a fairly large amount of wind to power an entire house, but a smaller setup will still help lower your usage of on-grid energy.

Recycle waste materials

Even studying at home can generate a surprising amount of waste; so lower your environmental footprint by recycling everything you can. This includes, but is not limited to, paper, empty ink cartridges, empty soda or energy drink cans, water bottles, and pretty much any other kind of empty container.

These are just a few of the many ways you can be even more eco-friendly while you pursue your education. As you go through your day, keep an eye out for other opportunities to lower your use of resources, reduce your carbon footprint, and lessen negative impacts on the planet. You might be amazed at what you can do!

About the Author

Harper Mac

Harper Mac loves to write about education. Making time to study and play with her children can be difficult to balance. She feels as if finding the balance is very important to personal health. Harper loves to learn more about eco-friendly living in her spare time. She writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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