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Consumer Technology ebooks are green

Published on March 23rd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Are E-Books Really Green? [INFOGRAPHIC]

March 23rd, 2011 by  

ebooks are green

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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  • Joguslav

    much as I like the idea of reducing materials and energy through e-books, I think the above calculations should be re-done to take into account the fact that “a cut tree” is not necessarily equal to the carbon stored in that tree being emitted as CO2. In N-America and Europe in particular, these trees are often replanted and absorb the same amount of CO2, i.e. in a well-managed forest there are no net emissions (machinery fuel use aside) from cutting trees.

    Of course, paper can come from destructive logging in, e.g. SE Asia, but this is a different scenario and both should be balanced in the LCA presented in the grahpic

  • Phil Gwinn

    E-readers are awesome overall. I read on my ipod and the wife reads on her ipad. Before that I read on my palm pilot. It is great to be able to carry dozens of books at a whack.

    My only beef is that the cost of eBooks is still very close to that of a paper book. Production costs are about nil. So, all we really need to do is compensate the author for his/her work.

    I see a future where publishing houses will become extinct if they cannot get the price of an eBook way below the cost of a paperback. After all, John Q Author can easily market a pdf or epub right from his website…..

  • LauriePB

    Can’t make an informed decision about E books, until I see a comparison between the facts shown in the article above, and facts regarding the resources required for E-book manufacturing, expected lifespan, (how many will I need to buy in MY lifetime), and the costs of disposal.

  • Chris

    The only problem with ebooks I’ve found so far is that in an airplane they have to be turned off for taxi, take-off, and landing. On a short flight, this can be more than half the flight! Whereas a book can be open / on from boarding to deplaning.
    Can’t wait for the airlines to allow ebook readers in “airplane” mode for the entire time onboard.

  • Shelley

    Now there are websites that you can lend and borrow digital books for your Kindle or Nook such as Booklending.com.

  • Danielle

    The other option is to borrow and share your paper books, which are biodegradable. Friends & libraries are great for that!

  • rollo tomasi

    so nothing about what will happen to the millions of tablets that will be discarded in the future? the tech industry does not have a stellar record of proper disposal or recycling…just ask the kids in east Africa heating up & stomping on old motherboards to get the metal for the family income…

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