UNYP goes greener with Perlego

When it comes to fighting climate change, we immediately think of bans on gasoline-powered cars, making tech giants use renewable energy to power their data centers, recycling waste, and generally rethinking humanity’s approach to using natural recourses. Since 2008, the University of New York in Prague has had a recycling policy in place, working with a recycling company and placing recycling bins for paper and plasticsthroughout the campus. In 2015, our school donated 56 computers and monitors to the Donate Computer charity project, which raised sufficient funds to enable us to donate a tablet to the Motylek Butterfly charity for disabled children. In 2018, we raised awareness of plastic pollution by limiting access to plastic cups on campus, and giving out BPA-free reusable plastic cups to the UNYP community. 

UNYP is now proud to partner with Perlego, an online digital library service that is mindful of its environmental impact. 

This year, UNYP began a new partnership with the Perlego online library platform, and purchased 800 accounts to give its students and faculty free and unlimited access to over 400,000 digital textbooks and manuals. Thanks to Perlego’s recently formed partnership with Eden Reforestation projects, 800 trees will be planted on UNYP’s behalf! Eden Reforestation projects simultaneously reduce poverty and restore forests, by employing impoverished local villagers to plant millions of trees every year. This initiative began in Ethiopia in 2004, and has expanded to Madagascar, Haiti, Nepal, Indonesia, and Mozambique. Eden currently employs over 3,500 village workers who were previously at risk of becoming refugees due to the radical deforestation of their native areas. In its sixteen years of work, Eden Projects has planted over 200,000,000 trees and offered life-transforming income to tens of thousands of villagers who were previously living below the poverty line. 

By partnering with Perlego, UNYP will not only save our students up to CZK 20,000 (EUR 760) per year on purchasing textbooks, but will help to conserve the resources used in physical book production while reducing CO2 emissions. According to The World Counts, it takes up to 13 liters of water to produce a single A4 piece of paper, so imagine how much water it would take to print 400,000 books! The Perlego online library subscription also solves the problem of deterioration, as physical textbooks used by many students in traditional libraries inevitably suffer breakage and other damage. By offering our students free access to digital textbooks, we eliminate the necessity of storing additional hard copies in UNYP’s library. Even paper textbooks that are in good physical shape must be replaced from time to time as information is updated and new editions are released; of course, this is not an issue with online textbooks.

Of course, calculating environmental impact is always tricky. It is crucial to keep in mind that digital libraries must store their data on servers, which consume an enormous amount of electricity. Perlego uses AWS servers, which incorporate sustainability considerations into their data center design. With a long-term commitment to using 100% renewable energy by 2025, AWS servers exceeded 50% renewable energy usage for 2018, incorporating wind and solar farms and making significant progress in their commitment. 

Ultimately, replacing some of the necessary printed study materials with a Perlego subscription will reduce the environmental impact of your university education, as the energy needed to maintain an online library is less than the energy required to produce millions of hard copies of textbooks. Replacing paper textbooks with online texts also reduces the emission of ozone-depleting substances and chemicals associated with ocean acidification throughout the life cycle of the textbook.

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