Online not always greener
Reading news online could be more environmentally harmful than print editions, according to a study by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This surprising discovery, however, is only true if you spend more than 30 minutes a day with the reading material. But the study found that e-paper is the best solution yet — reading a newspaper on e-paper for 30 minutes is equal to 10 minutes online:
The greatest burden on the environment for the paper version is the production of the paper. For the Web-based version what harms the environment is primarily the use of energy in order to read the paper on the Net, while with the e-paper version it’s the production of the terminal.
Other factors that affect the environmental load are how many people read a specific copy of a newspaper and the length of life for a computer, a screen, and e-paper. Whether the equipment is used by one or several people and whether it is used for purposes other than newspaper reading are also factors to be considered.
While e-paper has yet to really catch on, there might be a green marketing opportunity for print publications here.