Sarah and I have been discussing the environmental impact of gadgets and if our technolust is indeed greener. So I set out to find out what I could and this article sums it up pretty well. If you were to buy a iPad and use it for nothing but reading books, you would have to read 60-70 books over the lifetime of the gadget to balance out the environmental impact. The study doesn’t account for everything such as the energy used by lightbulbs while reading paper books is actually greater than the power consumed by the iPad. Nor does it note the use of the iPad for other activities such as emailing and watching movies would help offset the impact. It also doesn’t account for reading news and magazines which would definitely offset in my case. It does account for transportation, production, and resources used to make the corresponding products.
It does put the greening of gadgets into perspective, considering the average person in the U.S. reads 9 books a year. A fact that may raise other questions about how technology affects our society.