How Green Is The Kindle?

by Nick Livermore

Have you ever wondered just how green is an Amazon Kindle? When you see one sitting next to a stack of books, it’s easy to assume that the device is more environmentally friendly. While it’s often thought that making paper uses a lot of water and resources, it’s important to note that it takes 10 gallons to make the average computer chip.

The good news is that San Francisco based Cleantech Group conducted a study entitled, The Environmental Impact of the Amazon Kindle (download here). If you don’t feel like reading the full report, let us summarize it for you! The hard facts:

  • 168 kg – The amount of CO2 produced by the lifecycle of one Kindle
  • 23 – The number of books a user must read on his or her Kindle to confidently say that the device is more environmentally friendly than 23 paper copies

Having trouble choosing which e-reader is most suitable for your lifestyle? We recommend reading cnet’s Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy?

So beyond reading more than 22 books a year, what else can you do to be more environmentally conscious when reading?

  • Use an eco-friendly case for your device – Buy one or make your own
  • Use fewer lights – read by a window or outside during the day
  • Recycle – share your paper back books with friends or donate them to a library or school
  • Unplug it – don’t leave your device on the charger overnight, it’s bad for the battery and uses more electricity

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