An interesting topic surrounding the online verses print debate is the issue of being ‘green’. Is reading the news online greener than reading your broadsheet? Well apparently it all depends on how long you spending reading your news.
Columnist Brian Merchant from the Planet green section of the discovery website makes a valid point. You’re likely to use a decent amount of electricity whilst being online. However if you only scroll through the headlines then is it not best to do this online rather than waste paper that you will only partially read?
According to Matthew McDermott from tree hugger.com if it takes you 30 minutes to read the news, then it actually is no worse to print the newspaper than read the same amount of news online.
But, if that news only takes you 10 minutes to read then surely online reading comes out ahead.
In America the Department of Energy estimates the paper manufacturing industry is the nation’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
Also we must consider environmental costs of transporting newspapers to newsstands, emissions from taking the used papers to re-cycling plants, and dare I say it to landfill sites.
On the other hand it is estimated that an average server and desktop that make online newspapers possible consumes 4,505 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. So which is better? In my opinion the term swings and round abouts comes to mind.