If you’re an online college student that’s trying to stay green, you’re already on the right track with your learning method that demands zero exhaust from a car commuting back-and-forth to a campus. But what are some other ways of staying green?
Let us have a look at ten ways that a college student can make their learning experience greener at home, whether it’s in an exclusively online classroom or in a hybrid learning setting.
- Run an energy star computer. This seems like Green Choice 101, but some computers just eat up way more energy resources than others and students never think about it. When you spend so many hours a day studying and working online for your college degree, it’s imperative that you system is ENERGY STAR approved. Keep in mind that it takes energy to build a new product, so if you could update your current computer by simply changing out some power sources, that’d be even better than a new computer investment.
- Don’t print out your readings. If there’s one thing online education is heavy on, its reading. Avoid printing out the reading materials you receive in the online classroom as much as possible. If reading from a computer screen is painful on the eyes, try an LCD monitor, LED monitor, or an e-reader like the Kindle.
- Get e-books instead of textbooks. If you can avoid textbooks by acquiring an e-book version, that’s more printing prevented. American Sentinel University is a military-friendly online school that promotes e-books for texts.
- Work on your assignments on recycled paper. When you’re taking an online math class, it’s inevitable that you’re going to bust out the pencil and paper. Turn to eco-friendly resources like recycled paper when note taking on the computer isn’t a feasible option. Recycled paper is infinitely better for the environment.
- Recycle your paper! When you do work on paper or print something out, don’t forget to recycle it! Also recycle your ink cartridges and other expendable school supplies.
- Use solar lighting in your study area. Solar lighting options will allow you to keep a study area lit 24/7 with the help of an open window.
- Attend an eco-friendly school. Prospective college students could research different online colleges to see how the school participates in the environment. As an example, Saint Leo University hosts seminars on saving the environment like the fresh water crisis presentation, Social Justice: Who Has the Right to Drink Water?
- Get involved in your communities ecology. Online degree programs offer community service opportunities just like anywhere else. Get active in your local communities ecology; for example, as a student, I lived near tide pools and helped out there. This not only enriches your education, but reflects well on your resume. An eco-friendly school will encourage this kind of volunteer work, done remotely depending on the student’s area.
- Buy used clothing. College is expensive, and that means students are cutting corners. It’s trendy and affordable to begin with to buy used clothing and is a common practice among online and campus-based college students alike; but add that into the factor that used cloths means less sweatshops and energy, and suddenly you have both an economical and green method for handling your wardrobe.
- Bike or walk anywhere you need to go. Online education programs means you don’t need to drive to-and-from campus. If you can remove a car from your daily lifestyle altogether, this is a definite eco-friendly plus.