Going Green with Online Education

Though little research has yet been done on the environmental benefits associated with online education in the U.S., a number of European organizations have already released studies quantifying the environmental impact of the higher education sector and establishing the “potential of the Internet and other e-learning methods to radically reduce energy consumption and emissions,” according to an article by WorldWideLearn.com.

“The results of the European studies are quite astounding,” says WorldWideLearn.com spokesman Doug Jones. “It turns out that choosing an online degree program is an incredibly easy way for students to make an environmental impact.”

The Stockholm Environmental Institute and the U.K.’s Open University Design Innovation Group found that, compared to traditional campus college courses, distance learning courses consumed nearly 90 percent less energy and produced 85 percent less carbon dioxide emissions. These energy reductions included a 92 percent reduction in travel related environmental impact and a nearly 50 percent reduction in paper and print consumption.

“For the first time, students have the opportunity to make an environmental impact while at same time receiving a high-quality educational experience,” says Jones. “Conserving natural resources is only the tip of the iceberg. An online education program also enables students to strengthen global communities and build awareness of environmental responsibilities.

Though little research has yet been done on the environmental benefits associated with online education in the U.S., a number of European organizations have already released studies quantifying the environmental impact of the higher education sector and establishing the “potential of the Internet and other e-learning methods to radically reduce energy consumption and emissions,” according to an article by WorldWideLearn.com.

“The results of the European studies are quite astounding,” says WorldWideLearn.com spokesman Doug Jones. “It turns out that choosing an online degree program is an incredibly easy way for students to make an environmental impact.”

The Stockholm Environmental Institute and the U.K.’s Open University Design Innovation Group found that, compared to traditional campus college courses, distance learning courses consumed nearly 90 percent less energy and produced 85 percent less carbon dioxide emissions. These energy reductions included a 92 percent reduction in travel related environmental impact and a nearly 50 percent reduction in paper and print consumption.

“For the first time, students have the opportunity to make an environmental impact while at same time receiving a high-quality educational experience,” says Jones. “Conserving natural resources is only the tip of the iceberg. An online education program also enables students to strengthen global communities and build awareness of environmental responsibilities.

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