Many budding entrepreneurs know that establishing and operating an eco-friendly business and work environment is needed to help sustain the planet. But aside from recycling waste products and turning off appliances when not in use, many entrepreneurs don’t really know where or how to start creating a true green business—and there is far more to having a green business than recycling paper. While technically you don’t need a college degree to become an entrepreneur, taking some formal college classes on sustainability can in fact teach you not only how to develop green business practices but why conserving the planet’s natural resources is truly important. And as studies argue, the more someone has more formal knowledge about sustainability, the more likely that person is to practice green living in both their personal and professional lives. With that said, below are some courses that entrepreneurs can take to expand their education on the subject as well as some links to some free online courses.
Introduction to Environmental Science
An introduction to environmental science course won’t teach you the step-by-step directions on how to run a green business, but it will help lay the foundational frame work for an entrepreneur to understand the importance of maintaining a green lifestyle. This is because this course is designed to teach students about the Earth’s resources, including its current condition, the changes the Earth has endured over the years (such as climate change) and the ultimate consequences the human population will face if we do not collectively put an effort to sustain the planet. While the following open courses cannot be claimed for official college credit, they can help entrepreneurs grasp the concept of environmental science a little bit better:
Introduction to Energy Systems
An introduction to energy systems is an excellent course for aspiring green entrepreneurs to take since they are designed to teach students all about renewable and solar energy, including the importance of energy conservation. In addition to teaching students all about a variety of energy-efficient practices and applications such as installing solar paneling, the course typically also compares and contrasts energy usages of different countries around the world. While the course will undoubtedly cover a broad range of topics, students will be left with the knowledge needed to convert the workplace into a green environment. Like mentioned before, the following courses cannot be claimed for college credit and thus cannot be counted towards a degree, but they can help you begin to understand the different uses of energy systems.
- Direct Solar/Thermal to Electrical Energy Conversion Technologies [MIT]
- Sustainable Energy [MIT]
- Why Sustainable Energy Matters [The Open University]
Eco-building design courses are exceptionally useful to entrepreneurs who are creating an office building completely from scratch. Eco-building design courses are constructed to teach students how and when to use sustainable building materials in order to build an eco-friendly office and save money in the process. Course topics also typically include climate and air quality control systems and usually discuss energy systems as well. With that said, the following open courses are designed to teach students how to successfully utilize design to create a sustainable workplace.
- Design for Sustainability [MIT]
- Sustainable Design and Technology Research Workshop [MIT]
- Laboratory for Sustainable Business
Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities, contributed this guest post. She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.