Printing Papers–Greenwise or Green-foolish?
International Paper is distributing a series of brochures under the title of DOWN TO EARTH, A Practical Look At Environmental Issues And Trends. They are thought provoking and well-designed. I tell you this upfront because it is always good to know the source. In this case it is a paper company making a case for paper, so be sure to take it with a grain of wood pulp.
The brochure I have on my desk in front of me asks the question, Are Pixels Greener Than Paper? I never really thought about it, but if I had I suppose my answer would be, “Of course, pixels are greener than paper.” After all you don’t have to harvest a tree for a blip on the screen. Right? Well I was surprised to learn:
“Twenty percent less CO2 is used per year by a person reading a daily printed newspaper versus a person reading web-based news for 30 minutes a day.”
- “On average it takes 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity to produce 440 lbs. of paper, the typical amount of paper each of us consumes annually. That’s the equivalent of powering one computer continuously for five months.”
“It costs an estimated $2.8 billion [in] energy to leave computers sitting idle overnight in the U.S. alone. On a CO2 basis, that’s 20 million tons of carbon dioxide, about the amount produced by four million cars on the road.”
- “A government study estimates that the rise in gadget ownership and the switch from analogue to digital TV could boost the electricity usage of the consumer electronic sector by 60 percent by 2010.”
There is more to report on this issue and International paper recommends the following sites for further information: ipsustainability.com ; abudantforests.org ; epa.gov ; fsc.org ; iea.org ; pefc.org ; sfiprogram.org ; iplifeoftheforest.com
Next: Sustainability and Recyclability
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