Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earth Day Campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book: Reason #3

We continue with our Earth Day Campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book, where we share with you 41 reasons provided by readers to celebrate the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day.

With more than 180,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise that we think planting trees to green up books is a great idea.. But we also want to hear what readers think about it and why they believe planting trees for their books is a good idea.

So for 41 days until Earth Day, we will publish the 41 best answers we receive on the blog, one reply a day. All replies will be gathered and presented on the campaign's page.

Reason no. 3:

Planting a tree for my book is a good idea because this way my book can "give back" to Mother Nature by starting life again! - Shannon

Thank you Shannon for sharing with us your thoughts on planting trees for your book!

Shannon, just like all the other readers whose replies we'll publish, is winning one of the great 41 prizes we give away on this campaign,
courtesy of our partners. Winners can choose their prize from a great list of gifts including a $25 gift card for Strand Bookstore, audiobooks from Simon & Schuster Audio (such as The Half Life by Jennifer Weiner, American Assassin by Vince Flynn and Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama) and great books, like Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender, books from the Little Green Books series, Menu Dating by Tristan Coopersmith and The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz. You can see the full list of the prizes on the campaign's page.

If you want to participate in the campaign, we still have some spots available so please send us your reply, either by adding a comment here or sending it to info@ecolibris.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Apple reduced the iPad 2 carbon footprint by 20 percent

Last week the environmental report of the iPad 2, where we learned that its carbon footprint is 105 kg CO2e, a reduction of 19.2% comparing to the footprint of the first model.

This is the first out of two posts where we'll analyze the differences between the iPad and iPad 2 from a green point of view. Today we'll focus on the carbon footprint.

So, here's the carbon footprint of the iPad 2:

And here's the carbon footprint of the iPad:

Now let's look at figures instead of percentages as part of the total footprint:

iPad iPad 2 Change
Production 75.4 63 -16.4%
Transport 14.3 10.5 -26.6%
Customer use 39 30.45 -21.9%
Recycling 1.3 1.05 -19.2%
Carbon footprint: 130 105 -19.2%

As you can see, we have a reduction in the footprint of each one of the 4 components in the life cycle of the device. The greatest reduction is in transport, followed by customer use, recycling and production.

What's the reason for these changes and does this 20% reduction in the carbon footprint means that the iPad 2 is green? We'll try to answer in these questions on Thursday, on the second part of this analysis.

Comparing the iPad 2 it to paper books:

For this comparison, I'll use the figure of 7.46 kg of CO2 to represent the lifecycle carbon emissions of an average book. This is also the figure I used for the comparison made for the first model of the iPad.

This figure was presented on the Cleantech report (The Environmental Impact of Amazon's Kindle) and according to the report based on three independent studies that used life cycle analysis calculators to assess the impact of raw materials (I know it's much higher from the figure of 4.01 kg presented on the 2008 Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry report, but I believe it helps to make the comparison more balanced).

So, comparing between the two gives us the following breakeven point: iPad 2 = 14.1 paper books.

It means that if you put aside all the other uses of the iPad, then from a carbon footprint point of view, it becomes a more environmental friendly alternative option for book reading once you finished reading your 14th book on your iPad (or 15th book if you want to be more accurate).

If you make the comparison based on the
4.01 kg CO2 per book (provided by the Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry report), the breakeven point is 26.2 books (comparing to 32.4 books for the first iPad).

This is of course a conservative estimate since the iPad, as a tablet computer, has many other users and actually reading ebooks is not the most popular use of these devices. If you take other uses in consideration, the breakeven point may be lower.

Last but not least, although I criticized Apple many times here and in other places, I think they deserve kudos for publishing this report and making it available just within a week of the release of the iPad 2. Right now they're the only ones doing it - Amazon or B&N don't disclose any sort of environmental reports on the Kindle or the Nook, so thank you Apple and I truly wish Amazon and others will try to imitate you not just in technological innovation but also in the level of transparency you're presenting.

More resources on how green is the iPad can be found on our website at www.ecolibris.net/ipad.asp

More resources on the ebooks vs. physical books environmental debate can be found on our website at www.ecolibris.net/ebooks.asp.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!