Many people assume that e-readers like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad are greener than printed books, but is this really the case?
Maybe, but it depends on how many books you read.
Physical books and e-readers both have an ecological footprint. This is determined by several factors including the life cycle analysis of a product, which is its ecological footprint at any stage. This can range from cutting down trees to paper to recycling an iPad when the newest version comes out.
Assuming that these devices are used for the sole purpose of reading books, studies show that the breakeven point is between 50 and 150 books. A study by the Sierra Club claims that the e-reader is probably the better option for people who read over 40 books a year. Compare this to the average American who reads four books a year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll in 2007.
If you do use an e-reader, make sure you recycle it at the end of its lifecycle with a company like us to stay All Green!