ISSUE: ARE PIXELS GREENER THAN PAPER?
More and more people are communicating with electronic media. But are electronic devices the most effective environmental choice for getting information? Get the facts before you decide.
Every decision to communicate
has some impact on the environment.
For example, whether we email or send a letter, we consume energy and resources. There are environmental tradeoffs in every choice we make, and there is no simple “right answer”. Effective stewardship requires a careful examination of the larger picture that compares the entire lifecycle, from raw materials to energy use and end of life, to fully understand the impact and performance of both electronic media and paper. The facts may surprise you.
raw materials: are they sustainable?
paper: One of the great things about paper is that its primary raw materials are renewable. The paper and forest products industry replenishes more than it takes and ensures the sustainability of our forests by planting 1.7 million trees every single day, more than three times what is harvested. And the U.S. Dept. of Energy has stated that the carbon sequestered on forested lands in 2006 was greater than the carbon released from harvesting wood over the same period.
electronic: Making a computer typically requires the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, including gold, silver and palladium, as well as the extensive use of plastics and hydrocarbon solvents. The lifespan of a computer is short, and electronics have become the fastest growing waste stream in the world.NEXT Energy Consumption: Is it Efficient?