One E-reader Equals 22.5 New Books

| 9/1/2010 12:53:37 PM


It is easy to write-off e-reader devices—such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Sony’s Reader—as wasteful gadgets further fueling our throwaway economy. E-readers are made from plastic, silicon, and heavy metals and will one day lie in non-biodegradable purgatory at the bottom of a landfill. Conventional wisdom holds that, at least, e-reader users aren’t contributing to society’s waste by buying bound books.

EcoGeek, ecstatically commenting on a carbon-impact study released by The Cleantech Group, enumerates some of the ethical perks of transitioning to digital books: “Authors are getting paid more, consumers are paying less, and as long as the devices replace the purchase of more than 22.5 new (not used) books in the lifetime of the device, it will be a positive force for the environment. This seems to be roughly one year’s use of the Kindle. Of course, if you’re replacing newspapers and magazines with your Kindle, chances are you'll go carbon negative faster than that.”

(Thanks, The Book Bench.)

Source: EcoGeek 

Image by goXunuReviews, licensed under Creative Commons.

7/21/2014 3:45:00 AM

I truly like your type of composing.

7/14/2014 8:37:42 AM

I bought an e-reader for my wife but she did not get used to the small screen and gave it to our daughter. I guess E-readers will have a lot of popularity among youth, I am more interested in ways to optimize the growth box and think that nothing can change the sensations you have when reading a real book.

Katherine Rinne
2/1/2012 10:47:35 PM

This analysis does not reflect the social and ethical impacts of manufacturing an e-book, or any other electronic device. I speak specifically of the rare earth minerals that are mined by what can only be called slave labor. I know that there are probably people in paper manufacturing, etc., who have difficult working conditions (poor pay, long hours, etc.) but there is simply no comparison to the labor needed for mining. Nor is there quite the same problem with recycling that is inherent with electronic products.

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