When I was growing up, Earth Day was always one of those annual events on the school calendar that generally would fly by without much attention. Occasionally we’d have a teacher who would discuss the evils of pollution and its effect on the ozone layer. Then, if we were lucky, we’d go outside with the entire class and plant a tree. But, for the most part, Earth Day didn’t garner the visibility of other more noted holidays.

Oh, how the times have changed. The importance of Earth Day cannot be understated. If we ever needed a day to celebrate Mother Earth, it would be in 2022. With a global pandemic, devastating fires, catastrophic floods, never-ending droughts, and mass depletion of our rainforests, we need to celebrate Earth Day now more than ever.

The good news is that Earth Day is a globally recognized annual event that most of the world is getting right. Out of 195 countries, 192 celebrate Earth Day in some way, shape, or form. Founded in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year. The day aims to raise awareness about climate change and global warming. It inspires us to act toward protecting the environment and focus on the need for conservation.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably asking yourself, “What does Earth Day have to do with studying for my next Cisco certification exam?” That’s a great and fair question! The answer is that by making minor changes to your daily study routine, you can help make significant impacts toward a greener future.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can “stay green” while exam prepping and feel good about Earth Day along the way.

Tip #1: Learn al fresco

Did you know that studying outside is a great way to save energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and do something good for yourself? It’s true! Taking your learning outdoors is an energy-efficient way to study. It’s also healthier for you overall. The next time you’re thinking about hitting a coffee shop, find a place where you can enjoy nature, such as your backyard or a park nearby.

Tip #2: Take a Cisco self-paced e-learning certification or technology course

Studying for your CCNA or CCNP exam(s) once required expensive equipment or taking time away from your job to drive or fly to classroom training. In addition, you needed costly textbooks, physical labs, and mountains of paper and highlighters for notes. A great instructor or mentor is an invaluable resource and a great way to learn, but now you can take all of Cisco’s certification courses online. You can even access the same labs found in the instructor-led training (ILT) version of the courses. That virtual self-paced format can save you gas and travel time. Plus, our virtual courses include a bookmark functionality, where you can add your notes directly to the study material.

Explore individual, self-paced e-learning:

Visit the Cisco Learning Network Store or Cisco Digital Learning

Tip #3: Self-study, share notes, and quiz each other in an online community

Let’s face it: if there’s one thing we learned during the pandemic, it’s that you can collaborate “hybrid” style. Studying with a friend or coworker online is easier and greener than ever with collaboration tools like Webex.

Read now: “What Earth Day, Webex, and Carbon Footprints Have in Common

Studying from home saves gas, reduces pollution, and encourages better study habits. Without the structure of an in-person course, it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals.

If you’re self-studying for a Cisco certification, Cisco Prep programs are a great way to help you stay on track. You can attend webinars by exam topic, access subject matter experts directly, add exclusive study resources to your certification study plan, and more.

Sign up for free:

You can also join a certification community on the Cisco Learning Network. The Cisco Learning Network has a ton of great study info online, which saves trees by ditching the books and the printing paper. Oh, and joining Cisco Learning Network is free. What could be better?

Tip #4: Use a lab simulation tool to practice

Plenty of great lab simulation tools are available to you, and for the most part, they’re green — at least greener than the energy required to run a physical lab. You can download a lab simulator online and lab from anywhere. Some of the more popular sim products include Cisco Packet Tracer (download for free) and Cisco Modeling Labs for individuals and teams.

Tip #5: Buy eBooks instead of hard copies

When you shop titles from Cisco Press, opt for the digital eBook. An eBook grants you instant access to the content. That means you can start learning right away instead of waiting for your book to be delivered. Going the digital route saves on the production of paper, trees, the fuel required for shipping, and more.

Making small changes is a big deal. While some of these tips may seem obvious, it’s always a good idea to do a self-check to see where you can help the planet. So, take a step back on Earth Day and consider how you can do your part. After all, the little things really do add up. And achieving your certification while helping planet Earth is a big deal — and that’s pretty awesome. Happy Earth Day!

Which of these tips are you applying in your learning journey right now? I would love to hear about your environmentally-friendly learning habits. Leave a comment below and share how you are doing your part to protect our planet! Thanks for reading!

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David Major

Go-to-Market Leader

Learning & Certifications