Perhaps overlooked in the scramble to move students toward online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is just how much greener remote learning is compared to conventional classroom settings.
In 2015, an article outlining the “4 Unsung Environmental Benefits of Online Education,” cited dramatic reductions in gas usage, decreased pollution and harmful emissions, lowered impact on natural resources and less reliance on paper.
“Online learning reduces the negative environmental impacts that come from manufacturing and transportation,” the article states. “The materials needed for traditional education institutions (textbooks, desks, electricity, buildings) are dramatically reduced. This reduces waste and conserves natural resources. Additionally, online learning saves money and time for both the learning institution and the student.”
While nobody expects brick-and-mortar schools to disappear, reducing our reliance on them will have an immediate and lasting impact on our environment.
With less need to go back and forth between home and school, we reduce the use of gasoline and other fossil fuels along with the emissions and pollution from vehicle exhaust. Without the need to heat and illuminate large buildings, we reduce costs and resources needed to heat, cool and light them. And with remote learning, there’s less need for paper used in textbooks, homework and tests.
A study by the Stockholm Environmental Institute showed remote learning resulted in a 90 percent emission reduction. The average full-time traditional student generated roughly 180 pounds of CO2 emissions. The online student? Four pounds of CO2.
At JazzJune, we made “Green” one of our “5 Gs,” our five guiding principles that inform how we conduct ourselves as a corporate citizen:
“We all need to be good stewards of our mothership Earth. At JazzJune, we strive to limit our use of natural resources. … This is the only home we have. Let’s protect it. Together we can make a difference.”