Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are eReaders "Greener" Than Traditional Paper Books?

We've seen companies, households and individuals go green.  We're not talking about being green with envy.  The term "green" has been used to describe efforts to be more environmentally friendly.  In the past few years, I have tried to go green.  I now recycle at home.  It has become especially important since I work from home.  I now hate the thought of throwing a single piece of paper away.  I recycle everything I possibly can.  It makes me feel good to do my part to take care of our earth. 

Even though I have gone green, I still enjoy paper books.  Of course, the books I enjoy are made from trees.  Some think that eReaders are a greener option for reading.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  We need not consider only the trees that are used to make the paper versus the electronic product, but we also must consider the energy needed to recycle the eReaders.  What happens to the parts that are non-recyclable?

Based on my research, the conclusion is that unless you’re a fast and furious reader, the energy required to manufacture and then dispose of an eReader is probably greater than what’s needed to make a traditional book.  If you’re reading 40 or more books per year on your eReader, that might be the right choice.  But if you use it only occasionally, it's probably better to stick to a traditional book. 

For more information on this topic, visit Sierra Club.  Sierra Club Green Home was developed with a simple mission - to help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy.

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