Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Online Education and The Environment

Today, almost every business is looking for a way to help the environment and go green. Kaplan Higher Education is proud become part of this movement and do our part.

As part of this initiative, we are eliminating Styrofoam cups from the break room of all our corporate locations. Americans use enough Styrofoam cups every year to circle the earth 436 times! Polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) is non-biodegradable; it will never break down, no matter how long it sits in a landfill. To combat the use of these cups, Kaplan will distribute “Tumblers” to all of its employees. The “Tumblers,” which are reusable will carry both the Kaplan name, as well as a continual reminder that “Everyday is Earth Day.”

Kaplan's green efforts do not stop in our corporate offices. As an online education provider, we have made a committment to go "paperless" by shifting our focus from traditional paper enrollment forms and brochures for students to electronic clickable PDFs. Let's take a look at the environmental benefits of online education:

• No commute; no car exhaust. Car exhaust is an enormous contributor to global warming. As an online student, the commute is generally from the front door to a home computer.

• A smaller footprint. Habitat loss threatens wildlife all over the world. A school that operates only online has administrative offices, but no need for a showcase campus. With a smaller physical presence, these schools also have a smaller environmental footprint.

• Online classes mean less energy usage. A laptop does use energy. But it doesn’t compare to the energy that a traditional university campus uses: lighting for classrooms and buildings; heating and air conditioning for immense lecture halls.

• Online education is a paper saver. Traditional classrooms still rely heavily on paper.
With an online school, most of the communication is digital.
Instead of printing out and handing in assignments, a student can simply email their professor a document.