E-Readers More Eco-Friendly than Paper Books

By August 28, 2009 2 comments

A new study by The CleanTech Group reinforces the argument that e-readers are ultimately more eco-friendly than print. The production of one e-reader is the equivalent of the production of 22.5 paper books. CleanTech predicts that e-readers will save 9.9 billion kg of CO2 over the next 3 years, when e-reader sales are expected to reach 14.4. In 2012, CleanTech predicts, e-readers will save 5.3 billion kg of CO2.

According to the report, it takes a year’s use for an e-reader to offset its carbon emissions. After that, they offset on average 168 kg of CO2 per year if they buy three e-books a month.

While the production emissions of a single e-reader vastly outweigh a book’s (169 kg of CO2 vs. 7.5 kg) using an e-reader’s full storage capacity would offset nearly 11,185 kg of CO2 emissions.

“Multiplied by millions of units and increased sales of e-books, e-readers will have a staggering impact on improving the sustainability and environmental impact on one of the world’s most polluting industries: the publishing of books, newspapers and magazines,” said the report’s author, Emma Rich.

In 2007, 125 million trees were harvested by the book and magazine industries, with brick-and-mortar bookstores leaving twice the carbon footprint of online retailers.

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Well if they can make it as cheap as paper books, than we'll definitely switch :)

Submitted by Michael Aulia (not verified) - on September 02, 2009 at 07:10 pm

This calculation is based on emissions for the production, but fails to take into account the expected lifetime of productions. I still have at home paper books produced and printed in the XVIIIth century. How many e-book readers will be in the trash can 3 years from now ?

Submitted by CB (not verified) - on August 31, 2009 at 06:19 am

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