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Are Pixels GREENER than paper?

Are Pixels GREENER than paper?

in Green Matters

Many believe that electronic media are more environmentally friendly than paper and have a smaller environmental footprint.  Before you choose, weigh all the tradeoffs between electronic devices and paper.  Start by asking the right questions:

Is the medium made from a renewable resource? Paper is made from wood – a resource that is being renewed on a daily basis by the paper and forest products industry, which plants millions of trees every year.  Electronic devices are made of plastics and other non-renewable resources and often contain toxic chemicals and metals.

Aren’t most electronics recycled and made into other products?  No. Only 18 percent of the U.S. electronic devices are currently recycled, and many of those are not being reused for other products.  In the U.S., nearly 60 percent of all paper is recycled, recovered and reused to make new paper products.

Is electronic delivery of communications always greener than paper?  No. As new research emerges, it is clear that “either/or” is not the answer.  Instead, on must consider all the inputs and outputs before making a decision about which communications are better delivered electronically or on paper.


Is there room for both paper and pixels in the future?  Yes. By linking the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, we can streamline our communications and help maintain the best environmental balance possible.

DID YOU KNOW? 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.