How Green is Your Kindle?

Is reading ebooks on Amazon's Kindle really greener than buying paper books? What are the environmental impacts of the Kindle? What are the social impacts of Amazon's Kindle products? How eco-friendly is the new Kindle Fire? How green is Amazon? Here you will find links to articles we published on our blog and other publications related to this issue.

The links are brought to you in a chronological order. We hope you will find them useful!

You can also find on our website further information on iPad, Nook, best green apps and book apps, and ebooks vs. paper books.

Amazon’s Kindle Reports Biggest Sales Ever, But How Green Is It? - Akhila Vijayaraghavan, Triple Pundit, January 9, 2012

One of those things that still bring a twinge of sadness is the slow death of independent book-stores. As an avid reader and one that loves to browse around second-hand bookshops, on the lookout for a bargain or a rare read, I will miss the romance of it all as the world is rapidly shifting toward e-books. E-books, of course, have functionality and convenience but not the fresh-paper smell or other associations that we have with real books.

Solar-powered Kindle cover means you never have to plug it in again - Sean Ludwig, VentureBeat, January 8, 2012

If you’ve ever wanted a Kindle that you never have to plug in, SolarFocus has the accessory for you with its solar-powered Kindle case..The solar-powered Kindle case fits only the fourth-generation Kindle, but it should be available for the Kindle Touch in the spring. The front part of the case features one long solar panel, which is a bit inelegant. On the inside, there is a pop-up light that can help you read at night or in low-lighting.

How green is the Kindle Fire - part 3: Will it kill B&N and drive the bookseller into bankruptcy? - Eco-Libris blog, October 6, 2011

now with the introduction of the new Kindle Fire and the new Kindle products the competition is becoming much harder. Just look at the comparison we provided yesterday between the iPad 2, Kindle Fire and Nook Color. Why would anyone pay now $249 for Nook Color, when they can get the same if not better (updated operating system and so on) Kindle Fire for only $199?

How green is the Kindle Fire? Amazon week - Part 2: Comparing Kindle Fire, iPad 2 and Nook Color - Eco-Libris blog, October 4, 2011

First, we need to acknowledge the sad fact that currently only Apple publishes information on the carbon footprint of its device, as well as information on its eco-friendly features, such as having an arsenic-free display glass, being brominated flame retardant-free, PVC-free, and so on.

How green is the Kindle Fire? Amazon week - Part 1: Green impacts on e-reading - Eco-Libris blog, October 3, 2011

Today we start our Amazon week, following the announced of the company last week on the launch of its new tablet, Kindle Fire, and the new Amazon Kindle products (Kindle for only $79, Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G). The question we'll discuss today is are these new Kindles How making e-reading any greener? Let's start with the bottom line. Our answer is Yes. Why? Mainly because of cheap prices and the evolution of e-reading devices.

How green is my Kindle? - Dave,, September 26, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I visited the beautiful town of Ludlow in Shropshire to take part in their annual food fair. We sampled the delights of the local ales, sausages, cheeses and something resembling squashed road kill that was actually really tasty. Delightful as all this was, this isn’t what I want to talk about today.

Facebook, Amazon Panned on Energy Management and Transparency - Environmental Leader, September 13, 2011

Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and other major internet firms are failing to adequately disclose their carbon footprint, according to a report by independent analyst Verdantix... By contrast, Verdantix says, Amazon has rejected stakeholder requests for increased transparency on GHG emissions.

Amazon presents a new e-textbook rental service - Does it make the Kindle any greener? - Raz Godelnik, Eco-Libris Blog, July 25, 2011

Three months after Amazon announced it would allow Kindle users to read e-books from more than 11,000 public libraries on the devices, it is going even further and launching Kindle Textbook Rental. My question is whether this new service also helps in making the Kindle greener?

Why Amazon rejected a shareholder decision to disclose how it deals with climate change? - Raz Godelnik, Eco-Libris Blog, June 13, 2011

Last Tuesday Amazon's shareholders rejected on their annual meeting a resolution calling the company to prepare and publish a report describing how is assessing the impact of climate change on the corporation.

Why Amazon Needs to Come Clean About its Carbon Footprint - Raz Godelnik, Triple Pundit, May 9, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, just before Earth Day, Amazon presented some interesting information about the green purchasing habits of its customers, showing how America is going green. One interesting piece that was missing in this report was how Amazon is going green. Frankly, I really don't know how green is Amazon because when it comes to its own footprint, Amazon is consistently more secretive than the CIA.

Kindle Users to Be Able to Borrow Library E-Books - Julie Bosman, New York Times, April 20, 2011

Amazon said on Wednesday that it would allow Kindle users to read e-books from more than 11,000 public libraries on the devices beginning later this year, a reversal of the company's previous policy. “We're excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle at Amazon, said in a statement.

How Eco-Friendly is Your Kindle? - Green Independent Natural Lifestyle, February 27, 2011

How many of you treated yourself or were gifted an Amazon Kindle over Christmas? We are loving our new lightweight reading gadget, but just how ecosystem friendly is this latest tech must-have? As it's World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March, it's timely to investigate the Kindle's eco credentials.

Environmentally, Kindle can't hold a candle to the library - Matt Marusiak, Tainted Green, February 21, 2011

With the proliferation of Kindles and Nooks and iPads, perhaps it is worth revisiting if such E-readers are really more environmentally friendly than paper books. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not at all clear-cut, and depends a lot on the reader’s behavior. The more books you read, the better Kindles and iPads are from an environmental standpoint.

The “green” credentials of the Kindle - Planet Millie, February 19, 2011

I've seen quite a few reviews of the Kindle suggest the green benefits of owning a Kindle over owning “real” books.  This is a huge misprepresentation of reality, and one I want to set straight! Books: Firstly, let's look at the paperback book.  Nowadays, it's usually printed with FSC-certified paper (in the UK, at least), so we know the trees are being sourced sustainably.

How Green is Your (and My) Kindle? - Eco-Libris blog, January 11, 2011

No one really knows it. There was an attempt to figure out the Kindle's footprint in 2009 - Cleantech Group published on August 2009 a report saying it was "an average of 167.78 kg of CO2 during its lifespan". We looked carefully at the report and thought that as these results are not based on a life cycle analysis and lack any sort of scientific base they shouldn't be used. I wouldn't get into it again if I haven't had the chance to see that this figure was presented last December on ABC'S Good Morning America by Sierra Club Green Home 's Jennifer Schwab.


Why Amazon is so hush hush about the Kindle's sales figures and footprint? - Eco-Libris blog, December 14, 2010

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon with an ad for the holidays. Minutes later I read at GalleyCat that "This morning, Amazon revealed they have sold “millions” of Kindles in the last 73 days ." How many exactly? Well, Amazon wouldn't tell. And it got me wonder again about's hush-hush policy. As you can see Amazon is willing to share with you some facts about the Kindle, such as:

What 7 percent of the owners of Amazon Kindle are doing with their Kindle? - Eco-Libris blog, December 1, 2010

An interesting survey was published yesterday showing how the e-Reader market has essentially become a two horse race between the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad.
One of the interesting questions in the survey was ' Which of the following types of content do you currently read with your eBook Reader?' As you can see from the graph below with the results, only 76% of iPad owners read e-books with it. What's even more interesting is the Kindle's reply with 93% reporting they read ebooks with their Kindle.

Dear Jeff Bezos, please make Kindle the greenest e-reader? - Eco-Libris blog, August 16, 2010

I started considering buying a Kindle. I'm sure many people consider it given the latest price drop. But first I must know more about the Kindle's environmental and social impacts. So I wrote an email to Jeff Bezos and see if he can help me here. I want to share it with you because I hope many more readers who share the same concerns will write Bezos about it, so he'll know that customers and potential customers really care about these issues.

New report finds Kindle greener than physical books - is that really so? - Eco-Libris blog, September 5, 2009

On August 19 Cleantech Group published a report that was supposed to put an end to an ongoing debate on the question if the Kindle and other e-readers are actually greener than physical books. The report, entitled 'The Environmental Impact of Amazon's Kindle' was written by senior reporter Emma Ritch. I read the executive brief and was happy to find a well-written analysis that integrates many pieces of information that together create a more coherent picture. At the same time I wasn't that sure about the validity of the findings.

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