Analysis of students carbon footprint in higher education institutions amidst pandemic

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Research Paper 10/11/2022
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Analysis of students carbon footprint in higher education institutions amidst pandemic

MA. Lucille W. Abarracoso
J. Bio. Env. Sci.21( 5), 35-40, November 2022.
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During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes were observed in individual routines, thus affecting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Schools were also affected, with a sudden shift from face-to-face to online classes. To study this circumstance, it is important to account for the activities contributing to their carbon emissions. The carbon footprint is the total GHGs emissions generated by our actions, directly or indirectly. This study aimed to analyze the average carbon footprint of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) students during face-to-face and online learning and identify which student-related activities contribute more to one’s carbon footprint. A descriptive-survey research design was employed using an online survey to gather the activity intensity of every student regarding their food, electrical consumption, ICT use, and transportation. The activity intensity was then multiplied by the emission factors based on other studies to compute their carbon footprint. It was revealed that the student’s average annual carbon footprint during face-to-face learning was estimated as 2.55 t-CO2e per person and 1.35 t-CO2e during online learning. In addition, transportation use was the highest contributor and accounted for 58% of the total carbon footprint of the students during face-to-face learning. However, during the height of the pandemic, the footprint from transportation significantly dropped. Food, on the other hand, contributes the most to online learning, accounting for 48% of the total footprint. As a result, school systems may be encouraged to integrate blended learning to reduce the students’ carbon footprint.


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