Are electronic communications "greener" than print? Not so much
Washington Post article debunks the myth
In a recent article in the Washington Post entitled "Electronics are built with death dates: Let’s not keep them a secret", the Post points out the tremendous human and environmental cost of profit-driven tech strategies that limit the life of your devices to get you to upgrade them sooner than you need to.
A few of the article's many points:
- 70% of the carbon footprint used by devices is consumed during the manufacturing process
- Decisions to glue in batteries and not make them replaceable are designed to force you to replace otherwise working devices
- The rare metals involved in devices' manufacturing are mined at tremendous human and environment cost
Our industry trade group, Two Sides North America, has a web page, Myths and Facts, that debunks much of the misinformation around paper and printing. In fact, due to plantings by the paper industry, North American forests increased by 13 million acres in a recent ten year period. Simply put, our industry plants far more trees and is responsible for far more forests than it consumes.
There are lots of good reasons to embrace digital communication. We use it ourselves! A claim that digital is more environmentally friendly than print just isn't one of them.