Ereaders Such As Kindle: Will They Save The Planet?
by: Dr. Phil Hariram

ShoutOut to my Kindle Fire just randomly updat...People using Kindle and other ereaders to read rather than printed magazines, books and newspaper are on the increase. These ereaders enable owners to store over a thousand ebooks without the need for paper and therefore less need to cut down trees, the lungs of our planet.

Records show that there were three million ereaders sold in 2009 and it is expected that this figure will rise substantially in years to come because the newer models have several good attractive features. New ereaders are slimmer, lighter and more affordable.

The big question is, does ereaders such as Kindle help reduce global warming and help the environment? Wireless Reading Devices may impact positively on the environment if ereaders are extensively used worldwide. When the need for newspaper, printed books and magazines is less because readers want the digital edition, then the need for paper will be reduced. The digital version of books, newspaper and magazines will be cheaper and delivered at no cost. Lower CO2 release will result from less printing and distribution.

To make one ereader like Kindle releases 168 kg. of CO2. The produce a book uses 7.48 kg. of CO2 (CNET). So after reading about 23 ebooks, you start saving on CO2 release. Between 2009 and 2012, ereaders could save 1.5 billion kg. of CO2, according to Cleantech.This is encouraging.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9-Inch 4G LTE Wireless Dolby ...
Kindle Fire HD 8.9-Inch 4G LTE Wireless Dolby Audio Dual-Band Wi-Fi 32 GB (Photo credit: Giftss)

Every year we cut down 125 million trees according to experts for printed materials. In addition, if you add a further effect of convertion into paper, printing then distribution, one can easily understand why books have the highest carbon footprint for a single unit. About a third of printed material are returned to be recycled, thrown away or incinerated.

Sarah Rotman Epps, Media Analyst, says that currently ebooks are not having any positive effect on the environment. This will only happen when publishers print fewer books in antipication of increased ebook sales. As long as the amount of printed paper remains constant, we will still cut down 125 million trees and the environment will not be better off.

The other problem to consider is that not only there is carbon doixide used in the production of Kindle ereaders, but the ongoing use of electricity from fossil fuel power source. According to Tech News World, LG has created a solar powered ereader. This is welcome news. One day all ereaders will be solar powered.

Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire (Photo credit: Dekuwa)

Having a Kindle or any other ereader will save you money on books, magazines and newspaper. Papers and magazines can be archived to read again later. It is space saving and it is getting cheaper. There is also the issue of electronic waste. According the the New York Times, Apple has stated that their iPad does not contain PVC, a highly toxic compound. Other ereaders including Amazon Kindle have not submitted similar evidence.

The bottom line is the environment will not benefit until the volume of printed material is reduced as a result of a great demand for ebooks, magazines and newspaper from Kindle and other ereaders.

About The Author
At the ereader website, Dr. Phil reviews ereaders like Kindle. No one is sure if Kindle and other ereaders will one day help the planet but as readers, these gadgets are excellent.
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