E-Books Not Such a Green Option, According to Research

August 25, 2010, By Radimir Bobev

A recent research conducted by an environmental consulting firm has determined that e-book readers such as the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle aren’t as nature-friendly as you would expect. One of the selling points behind this type of device is that it’s less harmful to nature as opposed to regular printed books, but this may not be exactly the case.

The firm, called the Cleantech Group, determined that a single book amounted for about 17 pounds, or 7.5 kilograms, of carbon dioxied equivalents – which includes the book’s entire life cycle, from production and transportation to recycling. As opposed to that figure, an iPad generates about 286 pounds (130 kg) of carbon dioxide during its entire lifetime, while the Kindle generates about 370 pounds (168 kg).

What does this mean for you? Well, if you get an iPad, you’re only doing nature any good if you manage to read at least 18 books on it – after that you’re really being less harmful. For Kindle users, your 23rd book marks the point after which the device pays off its debt to nature.

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