Personally I'm sick of being told to be environmentally friendly by everyone from my kids (who have been brainwashed at school) to governments (who don't seem to do much to reduce corporate energy wastage). But, one of the more interesting green arguments is how much more environmentally friendly are e-books over printed books? Obviously e-books don't need to be printed and then shipped but the devices they're read on do. So are they really any more environmentally friendly than paper?
To answer this the national geographic has an interesting piece:
The amount of paper used for books in one year was estimated at 1.5 million metric tons, and each book produced gave off an estimated 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide. Study groups have found that the carbon released from eBooks is offset after people read more than 14 eBooks. For the life cycle of a device for reading books, the carbon emitted is offset after the first year. The savings in carbon emitted into the air is around 168 kilograms for the following years after the first year of use.It concludes with this bit of advice:
An avid reader, who will read more than 10 books a year, should consider buying a device anddownload ebooks to benefit our environment.You can read the full article here.