Happy Earth Day!

eaarthI found a selection of Kindle books that feature green topics such as green living and food and diet that are featured just in time for Earth Day on April 22.  It is good to celebrate Earth Day especially with the trends going towards sustainability and environment issues.

Named one of the best books of April, 2010, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben, is an intense look into climate change, and a totally different view of the Earth we’ve always known.

We’ve been hearing how we’re close to the point of no return as far as global warming is concerned, but that there is still time to fix it.  Well, Eaarth says we’ve already passed that point.


“McKibben describes a place so strikingly different from the planet Earth we have always known, that it has to be renamed to “Eaarth.” McKibben’s writing is easy to read and his ideas are clear, but his thesis is overwhelming to any reader: “The earth that we knew–the only earth that we ever knew–is gone.” (pg 25) At times, reading the book is similar to the experience of watching a carwreck – it’s heart-wrenching but you can’t force yourself to look away. ”

After reading the reviews of The Gorgeously Green Diet, it actually makes me want to give it a try.  This book provides easy to read recipes and is written in a style that you can relate to.  Often I pick up “easy” cookbooks only to find that they are still difficult to understand.  This is not the case with Sophie Uliano’s latest cookbook.

“In her relatable, girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone, Uliano pledges that anyone can go green and lean, no matter where they live or what resources they have. Uliano recognizes that dieting and going green are big lifestyle changes and makes it easy for readers to commit to both by allowing them to personalize their plans according to their needs. The book has three diet plans-light green, bright green and deep green- that depend on how much time, travel, and money readers want to commit to going green. The three plans promise the same amount of weight loss, but the darker green the plan is, the greater the commitment the reader makes to reducing waste, going organic and staying carbon neutral. ” – Amazon

Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life is written by Ed Begley, someone who has actually put what he’s written into practice for 30 years.  That adds a lot of credibility to what he has to say.  He provides suggests that go from unplugging unnecessary electronics, to purchasing solar panels.  So, you can choose to make small changes or invest in much longer ones.

Well come to think of it, by owning a Kindle, we’re doing our own part to help save trees and reduce paper…

When do eBooks out-“Green” paperbacks?

This has been a question that I’ve been wondering about for some time.  As an avid reader with a habit of finishing at least a book or two per week, I’ve often wondered if, as seemed logical from a knee-jerk instinctive point of view, I was actually saving resources by switching away from printed material in favor of a Kindle. I’m sure many of us have. The answer is a little bit surprising.

A recent article broke things down for me in terms of resource extraction, environmental impact of manufacturing and transportation, energy usage and disposal, within the limits of general understanding since the composition and manufacture of individual screen types and such are often not a matter of public record. Apparently, depending on what factors you choose to gauge your green-ness, an eBook Reader gains the edge after between 50-100 books. This seemed like a lot at first glance, but since that’s about a year of a book per week(not something I consider an unreasonable rate of consumption) it’s easily less than what I plan in the life of any eBook Reader I might happen to pick up. That doesn’t even begin to take into account the resource savings on things like periodical and newspaper subscriptions, which are an area in which the Kindle shines.

It might be a small change, but it’s nice to be aware that in a world increasingly aware of resource deficits and “green guilt” hitting me left and right, I can be proud of this rare intersection of technical convenience, enjoyment, and ecological soundness. Not quite as proud as if I were to start walking to the used book store every week instead, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

How Green is the Kindle?

Pretty green, according to a new report by the Cleantech Group.  For every Kindle currently in use, there are about 22.5 less books that are sold each year.  In terms of carbon emissions,  this should be a saving of something around 168 kg of CO2.

Of course, what really matters is whether the Kindle’s savings offset the carbon used to manufacture one.  Luckily, according to the report, it only takes one year of use for a Kindle to make up any emissions from the manufacturing process. This also takes into account the electricity used to run the device; the highly efficient eInk display keeps the energy usage of the Kindle to a minimum.  The best part is that Cleantech’s findings show that even if a user continually upgrades to newer models, they only need to use each Kindle for a year to have a positive impact on the environment.

This is all great news for eReader users.  I can imagine that as public schools and business start using eReaders (replacing tons of paper documents/textbooks) these savings should really skyrocket.  One of the coolest parts of the report is how the savings drastically increase with the increase in eReaders.  By 2012, the number of eReaders in circulation will be so far past the number being produced that the reduce in emissions will be drastic.  Check out the following projections from Cleantech: