Monday, February 1, 2010

How green is the iPad - Part 2: Is the iPad greener than the Kindle and the Nook?

Last week we started our 3-part series following the launch of the iPad. Our quest is simple - to explore how eco-friendly is the iPad.

Today we compare it to other eReaders and find out if it's really a green knockout to both Amazon's Kindle and B&N's Nook.


As you can see in the table below, we focused on the specifications that are most relevant to the device's footprint. When you look for such information, the first thing you notice is that all companies are far from providing transparent information when it comes to their device's environmental impact. Even Apple, which is by far better than both Amazon and B&N in providing such information, hasn't provided yet all the information.

Nevertheless, we believe there's still enough available information to determine that the iPad is greener than both the Kindle and the Nook. Again, it doesn't make it "eco-friendly", but it is still important to notice that it's better for the environment than other popular eReaders currently available.

This conclusion, though, is under the assumption that the iPad will be added to Apple's recycling program. We believe that it's on the way and I hope we're not wrong. Maybe they can even go further and actually incentivize customers to recycle, because unfortunately it seems that it's not just enough to offer a recycling plan to move customers to do the right thing - on USATODAY.com today, Martin LaMonica, who writes for CNET's Green Tech is quoted saying that "only about 10% of U.S. electronics get recycled, and Greenpeace's Guide to Electronics shows they don't always get recycled properly."

Our conclusion is also based on the lack of information concerning the environmental impacts of the Kindle and the Nook. We wish both Amazon and B&N will provide further information on their websites and maybe even prove us to be wrong about their eReaders. We'll be happy to correct ourselves if necessary!

In the meantime, this is the comparison, based on all the information we found available (double click on the table to view full size):






















If you got more details or observations to contribute, please feel free to comment.

Tomorrow we'll bring you the third part on this series with our final analysis.

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

2 comments:

Marianne Peters said...

Hello! My biggest concern with e-readers is the temptation to upgrade. Think how quickly people use and discard cell phones these days (and TVs, and appliances, etc.). You don't have to "upgrade" books. You can borrow them for free at the library, which is perhaps the "greenest" way.

I like that Apple has a recycling program. That's the only responsible way to offer this technology. Don't get me wrong -- I'm ridiculously fond of my iPhone. But if we are going to read with new devices, we need to think ahead and think responsibly about the resources we're using.

Shane at Environmental Health-Wellness-Beauty,LLC said...

Great comment Marianne!