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The Role of eBooks in Environmental Responsibility


eBooks have many advantages, and most people are familiar with some of the key benefits: affordability, instant gratification, large print capabilities, audio capabilities, educational interaction, and saved space, to name a few. However, many people remain unaware of the very important and unique advantage eBooks have concerning the environment. To learn more about how eBooks may actually help care for the environment, try taking a look at the information below. Many people are at least a little surprised to find out how great of an impact eBooks may have on the world around them – both intellectually and physically.

Going Green with Plastic?

The Role of eBooks in Environmental Responsibility

The Role of eBooks in Environmental Responsibility

The “go green” movement continues to sweep through the nation with much success. People are starting to realize that planet Earth cannot be treated thoughtlessly. As a result of this, many industries are becoming more conscientious about the products they manufacture and the way in which they manufacture them. Consumer demand is more and more about ethicality than about quantity. Therefore, traditional publishing companies are beginning to produce more and more eBooks in an effort to reduce the number of trees cut and amount of paper used during traditional printing processes. A lot of consumers have jumped on board with the digital over paper campaign; however, many who are reading this article may be a little skeptical about the concept of eBooks as environmentally friendly items. Both plastic and paper are poor for the environment, so what is the difference? Can the world really be improved if more plastic is being used than ever? In this case, many individuals state that choosing the lesser of two evils is the way to go. Preserving the many trees that are being cut down during mass deforestation endeavors is one of the most vital aspects of the environmental enthusiast campaigns today. Endangered animals are dying and entire people groups are being cornered due to the lack of forest left from mankind’s ravaging of resources. eBooks save trees, and this fact cannot be denied.

Paper Problems

Over 300 million tons of paper is consumed across the globe on an annual basis. Since paper is not a necessity in such a technology driven world, it causes concern among those who are environmentally conscientious. eBooks solve the paper problem by providing a way for individuals to get the same information without using a slew of natural resources.

Energy Waste

The amount of energy needed to mass produce printed books in the publishing industry is astonishing. It does not take a lot of imagination to think of how much power is burned on a regular basis at any given book manufacturing plant. The energy needed to run large equipment and machinery, heat bind pages, etc. may leave a larger carbon footprint than people had previously realized. Those who are concerned about “leaving no footprints” may want to consider whether or not buying brand new books is environmentally responsible or not. A recent news story highlighted the horror of mass publication when it reported that an entire publication of new books was pulped due to previously unnoticed typos.


Everyone enjoys having a package show up on the front porch; however, having that new book set shipped to home may actually be a cause of pollution. Most people do not stop to consider the fact that books arrive via transportation – a.k.a. gasoline burning vehicles that leave a gigantic carbon footprint. When possible, avoid shipping physical copies of books. Instead, visit a local used bookstore or order an electronic copy of the bestseller you have been waiting for. Reading said bestseller on a Samsung Nook is just as satisfying as reading it via printed paper – maybe even more so.


The use of ink is a major concern of environmentalists. The problem is easily evidenced by the 350 million cartridges that end up in landfills on an annual basis. If homeowners use this much ink on a regular basis, then how much more ink must the publishing industry use for the mass production of traditionally printed books? The thought should be alarming to those who are concerned about about the tons of plastic discarded as ink cartridges are thrown away, or those who feel uncomfortable about the use of certain chemicals within common printing inks. Take action and protest the use of environmentally disrespectful items by purchasing eBooks instead of traditionally printed and published books.

Many people today are interested in “saving the planet;” however, very few people actually take the steps and make the actions necessary to make a difference. Even one person can make a difference by choosing more earth friendly alternatives in day-to-day living, such as the use of eBooks instead of the “norm.” Books and newspapers may seem totally normal and “in place” to citizens around the nation, but that should not be an excuse for the current lack of concern about paper waste. The prevalence of a problem does not make the problem okay. Take the time to choose which aspects of life ought to be changed in order to live in a more earth friendly lifestyle. Grab an eBook and curl up on a Fair Trade beanbag. The effort it takes to make these simple decisions is well worth it in the end – the world itself is at stake.

Ricky is a computer enthusiast, his passion is contagious. He’s the one who spends almost all day searching the internet for the latest and most interesting news around the world. He likes computer gaming and animated design. He’s also the manager of BelleNews.