If you want to study to become a nurse but are concerned about your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment, studying online could be the best choice for you. There are several benefits to studying online - it’s more flexible and self-led, you can study from home and choose when to study based on your other commitments, and it often works out cheaper for students. But there are also plenty of benefits that online study has for the environment. If you are concerned about being an eco-friendly student as you get your nursing degree, here are some of the reasons why you should consider studying online.
Studying online automatically means less paper. Since every class and lecture is accessed from your computer, you will likely use fewer notebooks and paper materials compared to studying on-campus. Online students often find it much easier to go completely paper-free as they study, even when it comes to textbooks, which are more likely to be provided to you in eBook format rather than paperback or hardback books when you study online.
Less Electricity Waste
While studying online might mean that you use a little more electricity at home, it can significantly reduce the amount of electricity used overall on college campuses. When you’re studying at home along with thousands of other students, that’s several lecture halls and classrooms that don’t need to be lit, and campus PCs that aren’t in use because students are at home on their laptops instead. And there are several strategies that you can take as an online student to ensure that you are using as little energy as possible, such as using energy-saving light bulbs and unplugging your laptop when studying as soon as it is fully charged.
Fewer Carbon Emissions
Carbon emissions from traffic are having some of the biggest impacts on the environment these days, and as a student, if you chose to study on-campus, that might mean commuting every day by car or public transport to your classes and lectures. On the other hand, studying online means that you can stay at home with little to no transport required. For example, these accelerated BSN programs allow you to mainly study at home with only a few visits to campus required for clinical lessons and assessments, compared to studying on-campus full time, which would mean a lot more travel.
Along with reducing carbon emissions by staying at home to study rather than traveling, you’ll also reduce the amount of gas that you consume by not traveling to campus. In fact, research has suggested that online students use less gas - and with the average American using around 600 gallons of gas per year, it’s a natural resource that is definitely worth conserving. And along with being better for the planet, using less gas will also have a positive effect on your bank balance.
Less Plastic Waste
Studying online can impact the environment in a variety of ways that you might not have thought about, and less plastic waste is one of them. The truth is that if you are studying from home, you are less likely to turn to food and drinks in single-use plastic since you will probably have fresh food available to you at home along with cutlery and crockery that you can use. On-campus, you might find yourself drinking from single-use water bottles if there are no alternative options, for example, or eating a sandwich wrapped in plastic for your lunch. When you are studying from home, you can easily drink water from the faucet in a glass and have your sandwich on a plate, which can contribute to reducing the amount of plastic that you waste more than you think.
Uses Fewer Natural Resources
Along with the resources that we’ve already discussed like gas to get to campus and electricity to power lecture halls and classrooms, there are various other natural resources that you can help to save by studying to become a nurse online. For example, offering online-only degree programs allows schools to significantly cut back a large number of other nonrenewable resources such as metal, plastic, building materials, and wood.
Keep Printer Cartridges Out of Landfills
Every year, hundreds of thousands of printer ink cartridges end up in landfills, making a massive contribution to the world’s ever-growing problem with landfill waste. As an online student, it’s likely that you will be printing less compared to a student on-campus. This is because all resources that you need to complete your degree will be delivered online, with less need for you to print anything out. For example, online students are more likely to turn in assignments digitally.
Of course, college campuses are placing more importance on recycling, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a campus today that doesn’t provide a range of trash cans for different recyclable materials. However, as an online student, you can recycle more and more effectively. When you’re using the recycling cans provided on campus, you don’t know what’s going to happen to that waste. On the other hand, when you’re at home, it’s easier for you to come up with creative ways to recycle and reuse your own things rather than simply throwing them away and hoping that they are recycled correctly.
Alongside all the eco-benefits of getting your nursing degree online, there are plenty of further reasons why it’s such a good idea. First of all, studying online puts you firmly in control of a program that you can tailor to suit your needs rather than having to stick to a set class timetable. If you plan to work while getting your degree, the option to study online can make juggling the two so much easier. In addition, learning online is often cheaper - and sometimes because of some of the eco-friendly reasons mentioned above. For example, not having to relocate or commute to campus can benefit the environment when you use less gas, and also help you save a significant amount of money.
If you want to be as eco-friendly as possible while getting your nursing degree, you should definitely consider studying online.