Human Journey

Tip #10: Electrify Your Reading Habits

by Emily Main

Congratulations! You won the battle of the Blackberry. So what’s next on the wish list for the president who has introduced a country to weekly YouTube addresses and who’s trying to install the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer?

Well, considering that you’re also an avid reader, we think you should buy a Kindle. The entire world, including Oprah, seems to be going ga-ga for them, and despite their $359 price tag, they’ve sold out in the midst of a recession.

E-readers are more than just a cool new gadget; they can do wonders to protect our natural resources. According to an article published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, you could conceivably save about one tree per year, just by downloading your newspapers wirelessly every day–which is uber-convenient with the Kindle’s wireless connection. A year’s worth of newspapers can use around 700 pounds of paper (the actual amount varies based on the physical size of your paper), and books use about a pound or two of paper each. Then you have to consider all the greenhouse gas emissions from printing the newspaper and then distributing it to all the newsstands nationwide; another ES&T study found that a printed newspaper emits up to 140 times more carbon dioxide and consumes as much as 67 times more water than an electronic version (paper books can use up to 78 times more water than e-books).

Even factoring in the electricity used to charge the thing allows you to come out on top (you get go totally carbon neutral with a solar charger). Plus, Amazon has instituted a recycling program for the devices (they are electronics, after all, and shouldn’t end up in landfills), And, batteries are sold separately, so when they give out, you can replace the battery alone–not the entire device (something the makers of a certain popular MP3 player might want to try).

Our new tech-savvy president is all about change. Isn’t it time he gave up his dead trees for something a little more forward-thinking?

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