Online Education: A sustainable solution to Combat smog


Online Education: A sustainable solution to Combat smog

According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution is a major environmental concern. Outdoor air pollution, both in cities and rural areas, was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2019. This mortality is due to exposure to fine particulate matter, which leads to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as cancers. Nowadays, Lahore and nearby areas are suffering from smog, making residents’ lives more hazardous. Rapid urbanization, an increase in vehicles, and smoke emissions from industries are making people’s lives miserable. This toxic smog has various effects on human beings.

Effects of Smog:

Smog can lead to various health complications, including allergies, sinus issues, asthma, emphysema, lung infections, and even cancer. The major effects of smog on human health are:

  • An increase in allergies, coughing, and severe irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
  • An increased chance of developing birth defects.
  • Exaggerated effects on asthma patients.
  • An increase in breathing problems and lung infections.
  • Deaths due to lung cancer.
  • An increased risk of developing rickets.


Online Education and Smog:

Every year, due to smog, the government announces the closure of schools, colleges, and universities, affecting students’ education. The government of Punjab has now imposed a smog emergency in smog-affected districts of Punjab, leading to a kind of lockdown. Modern problems require modern solutions. Physical education contributes significantly to air pollution because students have to commute from one place to another for education, resulting in air pollution. Online education is a solution to this problem. Let’s discuss how online education can address this issue.


Let’s start with the most obvious one! Transport is a major source of air pollution. Vehicle emissions contribute more to air pollution than carbon emissions from factories. Online education is an excellent way to reduce emissions from transport, as students can take classes from their homes and don’t need to commute from one place to another. Studies have found that online learning can reduce travel-related emissions by 89%.


Studies have shown that it takes 24 trees to make one ton of paper, and cutting trees results in smog and other air pollution. It is also observed that air quality is much better in areas with trees and greenery. In physical education, notebooks are essential, as they rely on hardcopy study materials. In online education, students have access to online notes, which is beneficial for saving trees and making the environment less polluted. Did you know that e-books alone could save more than 15.8 million trees for every billion books not printed?

Energy Consumption:

One of the favourite features of online learning is that you can learn anywhere and anytime, resulting in less energy consumption. In physical classrooms, educational institutes consume more electricity to facilitate students, but through online education, we can save this energy. It is reported that in Pakistan, 76.1% of total CO2 emissions come from energy industries. Online education not only saves electricity but also helps the environment by reducing CO2 emissions from energy consumption.


It is a proven fact that online education is a need of the time to protect our Earth from pollution. In Pakistan, we face many climate-related issues that can be addressed by taking such a bold step. Another main benefit of online education is that it makes quality education accessible to everyone,which also increases the literacy rate in Pakistan.