It's safe to assume that reading the news online is greener than reading the paper, right? Many people have cancelled their newspapers to not only save a little green, but also be a little green. Well, not so fast – Treehugger has done a little number crunching, and the results may surprise you…
There are many factors at play, but first and foremost it depends on where you live in the world and how your energy provider creates their power. The research Treehugger used was based on European studies, but the results were adapted to US's electricity production.
The researchers looked at everything that goes into reporting the news, publishing it either in print, online or distributing it to an e-reader, how it is read (number of readers per copy being an issue) and then disposed of.
The second major factor was how it takes to read the news. The result (based on the European data) was that if it takes you 30 minutes to read the news, the paper-based variety is as green, if not greener, than reading online. But if it only takes you 10 minutes to read the news, the online format is greener.
So, in the end, in the bigger picture there are probably other areas in your life where you can make a bigger environmental impact. Take in your news in whatever way suits your lifestyle.
For more details go to Treehugger for the full article, or for a more in-depth look, check out the full study, Screening environmental life cycle assessment of printed, web based and tablete-paper newspaper, in PDF format here.
Image via nielsen wire