Friday, March 21, 2008

Carbon Footprints of the Publishing Industry

This statistic from the Australian newspaper, The Age, was interesting. Actually, the statistic wasn’t from The Age, but from Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the US Book Industry.
... the US publishing industry is responsible for 12.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere each year.... Not surprisingly, the chopping down of trees to provide paper had the biggest impact on the industry's carbon footprint.

Which of course brings e-books to mind. Some people love them; some do not. I’m split. Actually, I’ve never read an e-book. I don’t have an e-reader, and I already do so much reading and research online that I’m not sure I want to start reading books on a screen. But, on the other hand, I do love trees. I do want to protect the environment. And I don’t want to give up books -- I’d rather hate to lose physical, bound books, but books take trees.

Perhaps for now, we'll have to do a combination of both -- at least until die-hards like me get used to reading on a Kindle or e-reader. It'll probably happen. The other day I had to drag out our old typewriter and dust it off -- really dust it off since it'd been in the garage forever. I kept making mistakes. It'd been way too long since I'd used anything other than the computer to type. And the typewriter had been a relic for so long, even the correction tape wouldn't work and the keys kept sticking down.

I don't want to go back to the typewriter.

I love books. I hope there doesn't come a day when I say, "I don't want to go back to bulky print books."


  1. This fact certainly should encourage all publishers to begin looking at the POD technology, instead of stacking books in warehouses.

  2. More and more are indeed looking -- and already using -- POD. Some are offering print books and e-books. Times are changing. I'd always written by pen on paper and didn't want to write on a computer. I finally gave up and changed. We all change, sometimes kicking and protesting, but we all change.


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