How green are digital magazines?

“One of the main reasons consumers enjoy reading digital magazines is because they feel like they are doing something good for the environment,” so says chief Rich Maggiotto in Digital Magazine News. But are digital magazines any greener than print?

Notice Maggiotto does not say his offerings are less damaging to the environment, but rather that people think they are. This reminds me of British Rail, which was always happy for people to say trains were greener than cars, but resisted making the claim itself. Trains may be better in the rush hour, but a nearly empty InterCity train running from London to Edinburgh at up to 140mph is hardly anyone’s idea of being green. And then there’s all that s*** being dumped on tracks up and down the country as passengers flush the loo…

It’s the same with digital magazines. Fine, there is no paper involved, no delivery lorries, but what about all that power being eaten up as you read the title on screen (probably about 200W an hour – the same as leaving 2 old-style lights on)? And a PC has to be just about the most damaging piece of kit in a household when it comes to the environment. Huge amounts of water and energy are used in its manufacture and then there are those plastics and poisonous metals to recycle.

Think I’d better switch off now.

History of digital magazine

Tags: , ,

One Response to “How green are digital magazines?”

  1. Magtastic Blogsplosion | News from the magosphere 27th Nov ‘08 Says:

    […] People think digital magazines are green Though as Tony points out, are they really? Reminds me of another survey I saw a year or so ago, about how uncoated paper is seen to be less harmful to the environment than glossy paper. The reality is that it often isn’t […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: