Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Earth Day 2012: How Online MBA Students Are Protecting the Environment

Earth Day first came about in 1970 on March 21 - the first day of spring. The concept was pioneered by John McConnell at a UNESCO Conference. At about the same time a separate Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. The aim of this day is to focus on the environment and work towards the protection of the planet. Earth Day has grown to be coordinated globally by The Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Today, the protection of the environment is of utmost importance. With a global population of over 6 billion, we are running out of resources fast.

This year Earth day will be celebrated on April 22. Different communities came together and contributed in various ways to protect the environment. However, just one day in the year is not enough to sufficiently reduce the damage that we are causing to this planet. It requires a change in lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprints and proactively work towards improving the way we treat Planet Earth.

As Americans we spend a lot of resources on an act as simple as travelling. The average American drives 37 miles every day. Taking this into consideration, an MBA student is most likely to drive 15-20 miles a day to and from school; let's say 17miles. That's 85 miles a week, 340 miles a month and 3230 miles per MBA school year! With the price of gas in California averaging around $4, that's almost $12,920. That's a lot of money spent and an even larger carbon footprint created.

Students who take up online MBA programs contribute a great deal to reducing our average carbon footprint. Since they don't drive to and from their school every day, they reduce the amount of harmful emissions into the air by a substantial amount. Online MBA programs allow them to learn from the convenience of their homes. They can attend lectures, consult with faculty and give exams in the same manner. They don't lose out either. There are various accredited online MBA programs which hold the same value as fulltime MBA courses and are also much more affordable. In fact, online MBA courses have several perks. They are flexible in nature, allowing students to learn in environments that they are comfortable with and at a pace that suits them.

Even those students who are enrolled in Hybrid MBA programs are saving the planet far more than the average student. A Hybrid MBA program is one which has part on-campus, part online coursework. This also includes a substantially less amount of driving and wasting gas.

In another aspect of saving the environment, students who enrol in online MBA programs use far less paper than other students. Their exams are conducted online and their notes are distributed via the Internet. Also classrooms that facilitate hundreds of students have a footprint of their own. Tens and hundreds of classrooms require central air-conditioning, a cost which is no longer a burden to the planet when it comes to online MBA universities.

With these highlights in mind, both environmental and otherwise, more and more students are opting for online MBA programs and doing their bit to save the planet.