Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reading the newspaper electronically saves the environment

22.11.2007
Reading the newspaper 30 minutes a day on e-paper instead of a regular newspaper is environmentally preferable. If you read a Web-based newspaper instead, you can only read for ten minutes to produce the same load on the environment. This has been calculated in a study at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

The study was carried out at the newly launched Center for Sustainable Communications at the Royal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with STFI-Packforsk. It investigated the environmental impact of various ways of reading the daily paper. The findings show that a half hour of reading an Internet newspaper per day has about the same environmental effect as reading a paper newspaper.

"If you read the newspaper for 30 minutes each day on e-paper instead, the load will be lower. Reading it on the Web for 10 minutes yields the same load. The alternatives are not entirely comparable­you obviously get more out of reading for 30 minutes than 10. Of course, reading the paper version is not really comparable to reading electronically," says Åsa Moberg, one of the researchers behind the report.

e-paper has a resolution of 170 dots per inch, which is twice as high as what we are used to from computer screens, offering sharpness close to that of a newspaper. It can also be read in bright light and doesn't flutter the way a computer screen does. Some prototypes are thin and can even be rolled up, just like a traditional newspaper.

Using so-called simplified live-cycle assessment (LCA), the researchers studied the resource use and environmental impact from the entire life cycle of the various alternatives: editorial work, paper production and printing, production of computers and e-paper respectively, reading the newspaper, and waste management of the paper and electronics.

The greatest burden on the environment for the paper version is the production of the paper. For the Web-based version what harms the environment is primarily the use of energy in order to read the paper on the Net, while with the e-paper version it's the production of the terminal.

"The environmental load and differences in environmental performance for the products change depending on whether you place it in a Swedish or a European perspective, primarily owing to different means of generating electricity. The products' contribution to different sorts of environmental impact differs as well, but in general the paper and Internet newspapers with a longer reading time burden the environment more than e-paper and the Internet version with a shorter reading time," says Åsa Moberg.

Other factors that affect the environmental load are how many people read a specific copy of a newspaper and the length of life for a computer, a screen, and e-paper. Whether the equipment is used by one or several people and whether it is used for purposes other than newspaper reading are also factors to be considered.

e-paper is still under development, and more detailed studies of production, substances used, and waste management need to be done to steer this product development in the right direction, according to Åsa Moberg.

"The study shows that e-paper has potential from an environmental point of view if readers and newspaper companies are interested. However, we still don't know how it will be dealt with as waste, and the data for the chemicals involved are uncertain," she adds.

The study "Screening environmental life cycle assessment of printed, Web-based, and tablet e-paper newspapers" was carried out by Åsa Moberg, Section for Strategic Environmental Analysis at the Royal Institute of Technology and STFI-Packforsk, Martin Johansson, STFI-Packforsk, Göran Finneveden, Section for Strategic Environmental Analysis at the Royal Institute of Technology, and Alex Jonsson, Section for Media Technology and Graphic Production at the Royal Institute of Technology.

Contact Åsa Moberg, phone: +46 (0)8-790 7395, asa.moberg@infra.kth.se

Pressofficer Magnus Myrén; myren@admin.kth.se; +46-705 70 43 50

Magnus Myrén | idw
Further information:
http://www.csc.kth.se/sustain/publications/reports/
http://www.csc.kth.se/sustain/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht The plastic brain: Better connectivity of brain regions with training
02.07.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>