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dab228
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Registered: ‎01-06-2011
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Are E-Readers Green?

In a study by Green Press Initiative they conclude that using an iPad to read a total of 60 to 90 e-books will result in less harm to the environment overall, including the iPad lifecycle costs, than the corresponding paper books.

 

I estimate that this mark should be reached well before the end of 2011 for my Color Nook purchased in January. The iPad is used for the report because they say that Apple is the only device manufacturer who reports life-cycle environmental impact. My guess is that the Nook is not notably different.

 

My purchase of the Nook was certainly not driven by environmental motives but I'm glad to get a little glow (environmentally friendly) as a side benefit. How is your environmental glow doing?

 

Read an e-book, save the environment?

 

David

 

P.S. Apparently the U.S. national reading average is about 9 books a year (15 if you eliminate those who don't read any books). I suspect that the average for this forum is significantly higher, at least for those of us who have the time. (I'm retired :smileyhappy:.)

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riffrafff
Posts: 1,581
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

There was a poster on here about a month ago claiming that the NC in particular was not green, as the battery life was half that of the charge time.  Or something to that effect.  

 

:smileyvery-happy:

 

 

 

 

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Ya_Ya
Posts: 3,334
Registered: ‎09-29-2010

Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Most people will not keep their ereaders long enough to read 90 ebooks that they would have bought in DTB form.  Currently I read three to four books on my NOOK per week, but only about half are purchased (or would have been purchased as DTB - free ebooks, et al).  Most of my reading is done courtesy of the public library - and has been for several years.  I can count on two hands the new DTBs I've purchased or been given in the last four years.  I grew up in the public library and in our last home, we had limited shelf space, so I quit buying books.  Figuring out what to discard in order to house the new one was far too emotionally taxing.  :smileywink:   (And presuming that I ever get a job again, I'll be reading more like one or two books per week.  :smileytongue:)

 

I couldn't quit reading and I rediscovered the public library.  Now, most of my library books are electronic, but I'd be taking them as DTBs if I didn't have a NOOK.

 

I expect to keep my NOOK for four to five years, but most users here admit that they don't expect to be using the same ereader (due to new technologies) in one or two years.  Very Few people will read 90 books in one year.  More will read one book per week, making them carbon neutral after almost two years - about the same time they replace the reader.

 

Like you, I didn't buy NOOK to be green, although I would love for that to be true.  We do a lot of small things (no paper napkins, 12 rolls of paper towels last us well over a year, we recycle everything we can - meaning a biweekly trip over to the local construction resale warehouse to recycle what our city doesn't collect, we buy used for anything that we can find acceptable quality used versions, I use vinegar as a cleaner, etc...) but I know we could do way more.

 

I'd love to believe my NOOK addiction is green, but in my case since I bought very little of my reading material before, my NOOK is probably the antithesis of green.

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Niteryder
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Registered: ‎03-17-2011
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Maybe, but will it have any impact on the environment? I would be skeptical about it. There is still energy that has to be used to build the device, people have to drive to work, more energy used there. They have to be transported to the stores, I just read B&N ordered 3 million more NookColors. Trucks, trains and ships will be used to deliver the product. Once they arrive at the facility that sells them, the lights must be on, workers usually drive to work, consumers will drive to the store, take them home, charge them, then get on the internet, all of these things require energy, energy usually=waste product.

 

I am not trying to be negative, I am just saying i think e-readers will help, but I really think in the grand scheme of things, it may make a small impact on the environment, it just seems to me that the savings in paper will be made up for in the use of energy it will take to build, transport, buy and use the devices. I drove a truck for about 2 years after my on and off retirement, I think people would be amazed and shocked how large the trucking industry is. That is a lot of fuel, emissions, and energy to keep those trucks going 24/7.

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gb18
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Green is my most hated color.....if anything I owned turned green, I'd flush it.

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orb9220
Posts: 1,195
Registered: ‎06-16-2010

Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Yep seems a mute point to me. As pointed out taking production & transportation into effect and then a electronic device is considered green? Isn't it a fact that the majority end up in land-fills? and those that are being recycled which helps in minimizing resource use in raw materials just ends up starting the process over?

 

Just about everything I own is used or hand me downs. From clothing to electronics and rarely buy new. Tho the nook color and my computer I built from scratch were the exception.

 

My other hobby if needing things is Craigslist,Yard Sales and Thrift stores. Have as much fun with them when needing something as I have fun reading with my Nook Color.

 

The problem is not the devices and what they are made out of. So much as Human Nature Desires & Wants for shiny things not needs. And far as I can see until there is a Major Consensus Reality shift of the Masses and their Behaviours then the Green movement is just so much PR. It may have to start with the individual but will get nowhere until the masses embrace it.

.

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richardwrite25
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

I disagree with the math that says most people won't read enough for it to make a difference. Keep in mind that Mother Nature doesn't care whether what you read is a "book" or a "magazine" or a "newspaper."  All contain paper, and probably about the SAME amount of paper.  So would you read 90 books, newspapers or magazines in a year?  I sure would!

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Ya_Ya
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

[ Edited ]

 


richardwrite25 wrote:

I disagree with the math that says most people won't read enough for it to make a difference. Keep in mind that Mother Nature doesn't care whether what you read is a "book" or a "magazine" or a "newspaper."  All contain paper, and probably about the SAME amount of paper.  So would you read 90 books, newspapers or magazines in a year?  I sure would!


 

But would you have BOUGHT all of them.  If you would have borrowed from it the library, read the copy in the doctor's office, the copy bought by your office during lunch, it's not being "removed" from the paper column, since the paper copy you would have read is still out there. There's still a large portion of the population who can't subscribe to their daily paper electronically.  Maybe when that's overcome the math could work.  

 

I'd like to be wrong, so maybe enough people will pop in to say that they've gone completely electronic and that they are reading 90+ DTBs worth of material on their NOOKs/NOOKColors that they would previously have bought.

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LGman
Posts: 117
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?


Ya_Ya wrote:

 


richardwrite25 wrote:

I disagree with the math that says most people won't read enough for it to make a difference. Keep in mind that Mother Nature doesn't care whether what you read is a "book" or a "magazine" or a "newspaper."  All contain paper, and probably about the SAME amount of paper.  So would you read 90 books, newspapers or magazines in a year?  I sure would!


 

But would you have BOUGHT all of them.  If you would have borrowed from it the library, read the copy in the doctor's office, the copy bought by your office during lunch, it's not being "removed" from the paper column, since the paper copy you would have read is still out there. There's still a large portion of the population who can't subscribe to their daily paper electronically.  Maybe when that's overcome the math could work.  

 

I'd like to be wrong, so maybe enough people will pop in to say that they've gone completely electronic and that they are reading 90+ DTBs worth of material on their NOOKs/NOOKColors that they would previously have bought.


I'm reading a LOT more with the NC (and Nook before it) than I did in the past 10 or more years. And as you questioned above, I would NOT have bought DTB versions of these books, I now buy the ebook versions because of simplicity and variety of access. I can browse for more ebooks on more sites, select and purchase from a larger variety of locations and have access to a Large selection of FREE ebooks than I ever could have with DTB versions.

I like to hope that I'm helping the environment, realizing that I'm probably not (wish more hybrid car drivers would realize that as well), but my quality of life has improved. And with improvements such as these, there is usually an initial 'cost' to the environment that will self-correct over time. Hopefully not much time as I believe will be the case for ebook readers.
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Reader 2
d4c4c8
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-26-2011

Re: Are E-Readers Green?

My nook is grey.

 

where did you get green?

 

<GDRLH>

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ImmortalBeloved
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

This is a good question and when you think about the fact that no paper is involved I guess from that perspective yes but I look at it and wonder how "green" the factories are that are making the indiviual parts and components of the NC and any other electronic device out there. For example, the palstic parts. How green is the process of producing those? And some factories are "greener" than others or so they claim. Then you have the batteries. How green is the process of producing those? Then you have the circut boards, the screen ect. I always wondered the same thing about these hybrid cars.The car itself is "greener" than a gas powered car once it's on the road but how "green" is the process of producing one? I keep reading about factories and their contribution to CO2 emissions so I just wonder if these factories are some of the ones that a big contributors to that. Obviously I'm no expert I have just wondered about it before.

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LGman
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?


ImmortalBeloved wrote:

This is a good question and when you think about the fact that no paper is involved I guess from that perspective yes but I look at it and wonder how "green" the factories are that are making the indiviual parts and components of the NC and any other electronic device out there. For example, the palstic parts. How green is the process of producing those? And some factories are "greener" than others or so they claim. Then you have the batteries. How green is the process of producing those? Then you have the circut boards, the screen ect. I always wondered the same thing about these hybrid cars.The car itself is "greener" than a gas powered car once it's on the road but how "green" is the process of producing one? I keep reading about factories and their contribution to CO2 emissions so I just wonder if these factories are some of the ones that a big contributors to that. Obviously I'm no expert I have just wondered about it before.


Exactly! There are so many factors involved in the manufacture of these 'green' products, cars, etc that it's nearly impossible to say they are even close to 'green'. Don't forget about the environmental damage caused by the strip mining of lithium for the batteries, or the number of barrels of oil used to ship the raw materials around the globe to assemble these products and the pollution created by sub-standard manufacturing and assembly houses.

I believe BN uses the same manufacturing house as Apple, so there may be some hope in that Apple has forced them to meet certain environmental standards.
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riffrafff
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

 


ImmortalBeloved wrote:

The car itself is "greener" than a gas powered car once it's on the road [...]

 


 

 

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Kinda depends on where you're getting your electricity from.

 

Here in the mid-west, most electric plants are powered by coal (with the exception of the Wolf Creek nuclear plant). 

 

So, recharging an electric car then is not so clear-cut.  Same with hybrids, in that many people have to drive on the highways to get to work out here. I have to drive 46 miles to get to work.  Luckily, I can often work from home, but that's another argument.  Many people do not have that "luxury."  (Working from home also means they always know where you are, so yes, I put that in quotes.)   In such cases, hybrids make no sense, since you're not only using the gasoline engine 95% of the time, but you're also hauling those heavy batteries around, to no avail.

 

 

 

 

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ImmortalBeloved
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

See, those are good points! How green is green? If you really want to be green walk. lol

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phoneboy
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

NC2. The screen doubles as a solar panel... Phoneboy patent # X565

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dab228
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Registered: ‎01-06-2011
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

I think these are the right questions. That's why I quoted the original study since they tried to take all these factors into account. The folks who ask if we would have bought all the books made me think further. I do read a lot of library books (they count about 5% of a purchased book). However, I'm also reading all my news and magazines on the NC. Maybe my environmental glow will be delayed a bit but I'm still hopeful!
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EdwardRad
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

If you really want to be green, the NST is the way to go because it uses far less energy than the other Nooks. The only time that it needs energy is when you turn the page. Also, I haven't been able to find the CO2 emissions for any of the Nooks, but an iPad produces 2.5 grams of CO2e per hour of use, so we can assume that NC is similar. One physical book is responsible for "a net 8.85 lbs" of carbon emissions over the course of it's life (production, transportation, and retail).

 

http://www.themillions.com/2012/05/are-ereaders-really-green.html

 

Also, there was a study done not too long ago that proved that consumers only needed to read 23 eBooks to make they're e-reader greener than print versions.

 

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/are-e-readers-greener-than-books/

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compulsivereaderTX
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Conversations on "green" products always confuse me.

 

The concept that something can't be green because of the production/transportation/storage/retail environment of a certain product as an argument against it is moot. EVERTHING involves production/transportation/storage/retail environment. EVERYTHING YOU BUY AND USE EVEN IF YOU GREW IT YOURSELF! Those seeds had to come from somewhere as do everything you might use to preserve/can or cook it with. Even animals have to be transported/fed/housed and they produce methane gas like crazy.

 

We grow cotton and FIL owns a cotton gin...and what could be greener than cotton, right? But...the field has to be tilled and prepared/fertilized, sown and treated for boll weavels(major restrictions on cotton grown with boll weavels so you don't want them) and weeds, then stripped or picked,ginned,bagged, tagged, stored and transported to a storage facility that then transfers it yet again to a buyer where it is then made into thread,stored,transported again to where it is made into the final product that has to be produced/stored/transported yet again to a retailer where it is stored yet again.That's an enormous amount of deisel/propane gas, electricity and chemicals, not including the plastic used to bag bales of cotton, module tarps, plastic twine/special spray paint (to keep track of cotton before it is ginned) labels, the machinery required for all these processes. 

 

There is so much electricity/gas involved in the process it's crazy. But at least cotton is an easily reproduced product as compared to a tree. And most of the cotton used in this country is grown overseas and shipped here. and that's a whole nuther process/cost :smileysad:

 

Nothing is green. :smileyhappy:

 

So I don't feel particularly ungreen using my NC. I read over 100 books a year and buy just as many as I did DTB's and read free ones as frequently as I did before as well. My NE1 is finding a new home with my sister so it's not heading for a landfill anytime soon either.

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dilbert04
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Registered: ‎11-29-2010
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?

Off topic, wow do you really read a book every two days?  Between work, the house, the pets, the kids, life... I read about 1 a month.

compulsivereaderTX wrote:

 

I read over 100 books a year...


 

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bobstro
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Re: Are E-Readers Green?


dilbert04 wrote:
Off topic, wow do you really read a book every two days?  Between work, the house, the pets, the kids, life... I read about 1 a month.

With a NOOK, you don't need that pile of books in the bathroom! :smileyhappy:

 

Depending on what else is going on, a book every 3.5 days is reasonable, though it depends a lot on the title. An O'Reilly technical title is not as quick a read as a short novel.

 

I have found that I'm a lot more likely to jump around between titles with the NOOK. With a traditional book, I'd carry the blasted thing around until I was finished, or tired of it. Now it's easy to put one aside until I'm "in the mood". This, of course, makes it harder to track how long it takes to finish a book.

 

Not sure how this relates to "green" factors, other than not driving out to buy printed books. If 20-something books is the point at which a reader is more green than printed books, I wonder if there's a point at which the increased amount of reading one can do with an ereader results in more footprint. The "cost" of dragging a big book around is eliminated, so we consume more.