Have you got a green face?

Quick tips on helping preserve our precious natural resources

As should already be obvious, this month’s issue is on eco-sustainable initiatives as they apply to e-learning strategies.

Though some of our contributors this month have more to say on the following subjects, here’s a quick summary of ways that an e-learning department can join the movement to “go green.”

>> Closely monitor travel costs. Web-based conferences like the Elearning! Summits are becoming more popular. The first such Summit was held on May 8th with 1,122 attendees. By May 15th, more than 1,200 executives had visited the virtual booths of event sponsors. Future summits are being held on Nov. 6-7, 2008 and March 26-27, 2009.

Software programs are also available that closely track and monitor the amount of CO2 and fuel costs that its users save through Web conferencing. The iLinc Green Meter makes it easy to see exactly how much CO2 would have been released into the air had all participants driven or flown to meet. Embedded in iLinc’s Web conferencing software, the Green Meter makes calculations based on each participant’s location and the standard emission rates for cars or planes. It also measures cost and mileage savings.

>> Minimize e-waste. According to SustainCommWorld, the average desktop computer with monitor requires at least 10 times its weight in fossil fules and chemicals to manufacture. Cathode-ray tube monitors (CRTs) use inordinate amounts of energy and contain products harmful to the environment. On the other hand, flat-panel displays eliminate more than two pounds of lead and consume up to 80 percent less energy in sleep mode.

Computer manufacturers are doing their part. Apple Inc., plans to completely eliminate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products and arsenic in the glass of flat-panel displays by the end of the year.

It’s also important that your computer choice carries the “Energy Star” rating. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. EPA and the Department of Energy. Americans taking advantage of the program last year reportedly saved greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those generated by 27 million cars— plus $16 billion on their utility bills.

>> Save paper. In addition to offering recycled paper and soy-based inks, a green-conscious training partner can facilitate administrative functions while helping you capitalize on savings through on-demand printing. In addition, to help determine which paper recycling issues are most important to your company, visit the Website Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (www.epat.org). The site analyzes your paper needs against the relative costs of water, air and climate quality, then tells you where to buy the paper that best meets your needs. Elearning! did its part by printing this edition on recycled paper.

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