April 6, 2010

Lifecycle Analysis: iPad vs. good ol’fashioned Book.

New York Times’ analysis: what’s greener, a paper book or a digital iPad?

The NY Times, last Sunday, did an in-depth analysis of the eco-impact of the iPad vs. printing, buying, reading hundreds of books. Fascinating: is it greener to mine the earth and create metal gadgets that allow you to read 1000s of books without printing anything but that need electricity and are shipped halfway across the world, or is it greener to ship heavy books printed (usually) with petroleum-based inks?

I say the iPad is greener (particularly if you consider all the other things it does)—if it’s built to be taken apart and recycled at the end of its useful life.

Their conclusion? Hint: go to the library.

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