Godelnik argues that e-Readers contain toxic materials and will contribute to the electronic waste stream. He also noted, “If you try to find out about the environmental impacts of Amazon's Kindle or B&N's Nook, good luck with that. Except for Apple, none of the companies that sell e-readers makes environmental data available.” Godelnik says that mobile devices will contribute to a “rapid growth in energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with so-called cloud computing over the coming years.”
Matthew Wheeland, the author of the Green Computing article, agrees that the iPad is not “a planet-saver.” On the other hand, he notes that book publishing has its own eco-footprint.
If you order a book online and have it shipped 500 miles by air, that creates roughly the same pollution and waste as making the book in the first place. Driving five miles to the bookstore and back causes about 10 times the pollution and resource depletion as producing it. You'd need to drive to a store 300 miles away to create the equivalent in toxic impacts on health of making one e-reader -- but you might do that and more if you drive to the mall every time you buy a new book.Wheeland concludes by calling on both the print industry and the e-industry to do more to be green – with “greater energy efficiency, less toxic manufacturing, greater recyclability, and more responsible sourcing.”
Do you think print and e- publishers will ever reach a point where “green” trumps “sales”? Oh, and since you’re here, define “cloud computing” for me.