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Green eLearning - Tips and best practices

I am starting a new category on Green eLearning in my blog and over the next few weeks, I will post several tips that can help streamline workflows and reduce learning footprint (the nice thing: it also reduces cost).

As part of this blog entry series, I would like to highlight organizations that have successfully implemented sustainable strategies in their learning practices. Please submit your green learning stories in the comments field below. I am looking especially for success stories with achieved cost savings and CO2 reductions as well as new hardware that helped meet your goals.

So, here is my first tip:

What's your learning footprint?

learning footprint calculatorThe first step in reducing your learning footprint is knowing how much CO2 you or your group actually generate. Luckily, there are plenty of calculators available online that help you estimate your learning footprint - check out learningfootprint.com.

If you want to go a bit deeper and more detailed, try the following links:

  • Atmosfair.com to calculate flight emissions.
  • Conservatree to calculate how many trees you use e.g.

    1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets.

  • Environmental Defense Fund's paper calculator which also gives you info on how many gallons of waste water are produced.
  • MIT Design Advisor to calculate your specific training facility emissions.
  • I haven't yet found a good calculator for hotels but Greenlodge.com provides an estimate of 44lbs/night. I believe it's rather on the low side since merely having a towel washed is already .5lb and many hotels have the room AC set to 68 degrees in the summer, keep all the lights on, and have the TV running before you even arrive ...
  • Climate Savers Computing Initiative to estimate your computer footprint
    From the U.S. PC Energy Report 2007: 1 PC wastes 635.1 kWh x 1.45 lbs or 920.89 lbs of CO2 emissions per year.

If you have more good links specifically for elearning or office carbon footprint calculations, please submit the URLs with a short description via the comments.