The Kindle… Is it Eco Friendly?

This past Christmas, I received a kindle and was beyond excited! Not only am I an avid book reader but I also love books… however, i hate them too. Confused? Let me explain. I love to read but I hate actually having a book for two reasons

1. on most occasions I only read them once, after that they take up space on my shelves (unless I give them away or sell them)

2. on most cases I only read them once –  that’s a major waste of paper! Think about how many people out there only read a book once and just let it sit on their shelves at home!

… enter the kindle

For those of you who do not know what the kindle is, it is an electronic device that allows books to be read on it without the actual paper production of the book. On the kindle, you read e-books.

This brings up the question that many ask in regards to the amount of energy it actually takes to make the kindle and how one can get rid of it once it is no longer of use. Will these factors make it less eco friendly than books?

According to, unless you get 22.5 books in a year, then it will actually be worse for the environment to get the kindle than actually buying the books. You’ll save even more if you get your newspapers and magazines on the kindle as well. Typically, I read a lot so this is something I am not too concerned about and after reading that roughly 125 million trees are cut down annually for books, I am sold.

Even if you are concerned that you may not read that much in a year, if you are a student, something to consider is the fact that you may be able to buy your textbooks on kindle. I actually did that just this year and let me tell you it is way cheaper AND wayyy easier on my back 😉 In fact, some universities like Princeton, Case Western Reserve, and Arizona State are participating in a program that will have students use the kindle to access their textbooks so that they cut down on how much printed paper they use in a year.

The kindle is also great for teachers and professors because they can just create their notes and make them into PDF files so students can easily add them to their kindle device.  I have done this multiple times with notes from my professors as well as with knitting patterns and well… anything else I can possibly make into a pdf file!

Here are some stats on the kindle:

I found this information on

  • According to amazon. com, they are selling more kindle books than hardcover copies (this could for sure mean a point towards being eco friendly if enough people are doing it)
  • In the past three months, for every 100 hard cover books amazon sold, they sold 143 kindle books
  • In the past month, for every 100 hard cover books amazon sold, they sold 180 kindle books

With so many ways to use a kindle, I definitely think it is worth looking into if you are a dedicated reader or student who wants to save money on textbooks and not suffer from arthritis in your back when you reach the age of 25 (ok, maybe not arthritis, but you’ll really lighten your load).

If you do decide that it is more enivronmentally responsible of you to continue using books, here are some suggestions of things you can do to make sure they live their full life:

1. Donate the book to your local library. If its a newer book they may not even have it on their shelves yet! If they do, they will sell it in one of their books sales.

2. Sell it. I have sold a lot of my used textbooks and books on and amazon.

3. Give it to one of your friends or family memebers. I have borrowed a myriad of books from my brother when he finishes them! I have also lent alot of my books out to friends. This saves money and paper 🙂

4. Share books with strangers. There are plenty of websites online where you can do trade books with fellow users for free. Some that I think are really cool are and PaperBackSwap.


3 thoughts on “The Kindle… Is it Eco Friendly?

  1. Pingback: The Kindle… Is it Eco Friendly? | Kindle Digest

  2. At first I wasn’t a big fan of the Kindle (there’s just something about holding a book in your hands, I don’t know). But I’m all about being eco-friendly and after reading this am feeling a bit guilty about my massive book collection (must start donating or book crossing them or something. You’re totally right, I only read most of mine once too) and my negative thoughts about the Kindle.
    Maybe I’ll be a convert! 🙂

  3. Renee, you are awesome!

    I have a Sony Reader, and I noticed that it actually made me use the library more. I just don’t want to own books. But, books aren’t going anywhere. People who have readers have them because they love to read. We’ll always fight to keep libraries and old books around because we love books.

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