Green: Wow — UC Berkeley’s Lab Notes newsletter this month includes an article noting the benefits to the environment of reading your news on a PDA instead of getting a delivered newspaper. Check this out:
In a new study, UC Berkeley researchers report that receiving your news wirelessly on a PDA instead of delivered to your door requires up to 140 times less carbon dioxide, several orders of magnitude less greenhouse gases, and the consumption of 26 to 67 times less water.
To tease out the truth, Horvath and graduate student Michael Toffel dissected nearly all of the environmentally-relevant processes involved in both wireless news delivery and teleconferencing. In the case of newspapers, the researchers focused on the environmental effects of reading the New York Times in Berkeley, California, from the manufacture of newsprint and ink to the delivery from a nearby printing press to disposal of the newspaper. This data was then compared to such factors as the energy used to manufacture a PDA, including its microprocessor and battery, and the electricity required by wireless and Internet service providers to deliver news content to the device.