As soon as the Apple iPad was announced, news spread that it was an eco friendly gadget, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals and designed to be highly recyclable. However, eBook readers in general have also been touted as a great way to be a little more green, thanks to the fact that they help to cut down on paper waste. But what is the reality behind this bold claim?
The Eco Credentials of the Publishing Industry
When it comes to publishing, there is far more to worry about than the paper use alone. True, vast amounts of paper are used for all of the books sold in stores and through online retailers. But what about the books that don’t get sold?
The way that current bookstores work is that they order more copies than are actually needed, sending books back to the publisher that don’t get sold after a certain period of time. This greatly increases the carbon emissions that are generated from this back-and-forth transport of the books. Newspapers are arguably even worse, becoming out of date just as quickly as they are picked up on any given day.
All in all, the paper production, printing electricity consumption and transportation needs to be considered when looking at how eco friendly printed books, magazines and newspapers really are.
How Does the eBook Reader Compare?
All that you really need to consider when it comes to reading digital eBooks is the electricity consumed in the process. A number of studies have been done to compare the two types of reading, and the results have been overwhelmingly in favour of the eBook’s green credentials. eBooks aren’t perfect, but they certainly help.
Readers like the Kindle take little power to operate the screen, which works differently to a traditional computer screen. Combine this with solar chargers and eco friendly accessories, and you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your part to cut down on the waste generated within the traditional publishing industry!