Digital reader or printed paper: how to become eco-responsible?

The digital e-reader is gaining more and more fans and is gradually nibbling away at a large share of the market. But is it really more ecological than paper books? To find out more, you can research online or contact experts for guidance.

The advantages and disadvantages of paper

First and foremost, if you take the right precautions, printed paper allows you to store information for a virtually unlimited amount of time. Despite the various advances in digital technology, computer hard drives can fail or encounter various incidents. Besides, storage spaces as well as e-mail addresses can also become the target of piracy. Therefore, good old paper is the most reliable data storage medium over time.

In addition, you can go back to a paper document as many times as you want, without your actions affecting the energy footprint of the document. Moreover, consulting your paper invoice sometimes will not cost you anything. However, opening it with a digital reader may involve downloading or browsing. You should know that the weight of a single query on Google is already estimated at 10gr in carbon equivalent. And if the manufacturing of paper involves several steps that consume a lot of resources, it is easier to recycle than a digital option.

Advantages and disadvantages of digitality

Despite this, it is impossible to deny the advantages offered by digital technology. First of all, it allows for quick access to documents with unparalleled ease of delivery and an almost unlimited amount of information. In addition, it is generally easier to search online or on a computer than in paper archives. It is also easier to send an e-mail.

Unfortunately, digital options are not more ecological than paper. Every time you send, view, save and download something, it uses a lot of energy. However, the digital alternative is not immaterial. It requires a medium such as a computer, a tablet, a cell phone, etc. And compared to paper, these devices have great impacts on the environment, both in their manufacturing process and in their recycling.

So which option should you choose?

It is difficult to say what is the ideal support, because everything depends largely on the use to which it will be dedicated. Several variables come into play such as the nature of the documents, the number of users, the type of storage, the frequency of use and replacement, recycling, etc.

For invoices, digital options can be a good solution if you don't print them and you don't spend more than 30 minutes in front of your screen. Regarding books, research differs. If you read less, the paper version would be the most appropriate. On the other hand, the big readers should opt for a digital reader, because in this case it is more profitable ecologically. It is therefore important to remember that the shorter the duration and frequency of consultation is, the more appropriate digital alternatives are.

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