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There is nothing more prominent in global headlines than environmental issues and today’s student is well aware of the impact they are having on the ecosphere. No matter what field of study a student pursues, there is bound to be at least a mention of what the future holds if we don’t make a difference today. This is especially important to students within the field of engineering because it will be up to them to design and develop environmentally friendly products that reduce the damage they are currently doing while seeking ways to reverse some of the worst damage we have done over the years.

Whether you are a Rutgers University online student working towards an advanced degree in environmental engineering systems or a liberal arts student studying interdisciplinary approaches to education, the environment is going to be a key focus at some point in your studies. So then, is it possible to be an environmentally friendly student in light of what you know? With just a little effort, it certainly is!

Online Studies Could Be a Key Factor

Stepping back for just a moment, consider that Rutgers student who is pursuing a graduate degree online. This, in itself, is certainly one way to be an environmentally friendly student. Using a good quality laptop will significantly reduce your paper usage. Consider the fact that you will not need to travel to a campus daily. You will no longer need to hop in the car to drive to class because the class is wherever you happen to be! As long as you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can study anywhere, anytime. Not only will you be reducing your dependence on fossil fuels (gas) but you will not be releasing CO2 into the atmosphere upon firing up that combustion engine. That’s two benefits in one go.

Contributions to a Paperless Society

The very same Rutgers University student would be, for the most part, studying in digital format. While there are still universities that require hard copy textbooks, most of your studies will be online. In fact, many universities now offer digital textbooks, which can be downloaded upon purchase. Of course, it all depends on the publisher whether or not digital texts are available, but there are a growing number of educational publishing houses that have this option.

Also, all work is submitted in digital format as well. In days gone by, students laboriously worked on formatting pages per academic requirements for term papers, thesis papers, and even doctoral dissertations. Many professors now accept digital (typically PDF) documents which can be uploaded to the institution’s website. That’s another huge move toward the reduction in waste. Reforestation programs are lacking, and our forests are quickly being depleted.
There is one last area for the student to consider when it comes to going paperless, and it is perhaps one of the trickier ones; administrative documents. All the forms and papers you need to keep track of, from student loan documentation to class registration, and even extra-curricular materials that can’t be simply thrown away.This area is a little more difficult to go paperless in, but for documents you don’t need the original for consider using a scan to PDF software (we found FilecenterDMS online via Google search, but there’s plenty of options) to help store the files digitally and then recycle the papers afterwards.
A Final Thought on the Benefits of Recycling

For those students who still study on campus, have you thought of buying used textbooks? Not only are they less expensive but you can reuse a perfectly good book if there isn’t a new edition in print. Anything from lab equipment to computers can serve you well if refurbished, so why buy new? Any effort you make at saving our natural resources is an effort toward being an environmentally friendly student. You are the future, so make what you do now count. It is, after all, your future we’re talking about and now it’s up to you to safeguard it.

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.