Environmental Literacy: Why Reading Ebooks Matters

Reading eBooks is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can help support the environment. There are many benefits to reading books electronically over traditional print versions.

Table of Contents

Reading ebooks is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can help support the environment. Not only does reading ebooks reduce your carbon footprint, but it also helps reduce the amount of waste produced by the publishing industry. In addition, ebook readers are relatively energy efficient, so you can save money on your energy bill by reading ebooks.

There are many benefits to reading books electronically over traditional print versions. E-readers offer a more comfortable experience, as you can hold the device in one hand and read without putting it down. This is especially useful if you’re often on the go or need to stay focused while you work. They also allow quick access to previous chapters to revisit a section that interests you but didn’t get enough attention during your current read.

The environmental benefits of reading eBooks

There are several environmental benefits to reading eBooks. Here are just a few:

  • E-reading emits less carbon dioxide than traditional printing because books account for only 1% of the total published material.
  • Sustainable paper uses 35% fewer resources to produce than regular paper and can be recycled multiple times without losing its quality.
  • Most e-ink readers use no light when in sleep or standby mode, which helps conserve energy and reduces strain on the battery.

Environmental impact of our books and the e-reader

When we compare reading 120 paper books with 120 eBooks read on an e-reader, we see that paper books have a higher environmental impact for most impact categories. The e-reader only has a higher impact on resource use, minerals and metals and freshwater eco-toxicity (inorganic). 

So, why is this?

One reason is that when you read an ebook, you carry electronic copies of these books. This means that every time you pick up your book to read it, a new demand is placed on resources. In addition, because ebooks are stored on devices rather than being distributed globally like traditional printed texts are, they tend to take up more space and require more energy to store and access.


Reading books is one of the more climate-friendly activities a person can engage in. Compared to reading on an e-reader, which results in emissions of 52.3 kg GHG, buying and reading 120 books results in 153 kg GHG emissions. This may seem like a lot, but it’s important to remember that this amount pales compared to other types of emissions (such as CO2 emissions from driving). So while engaging in book reading may not be the best way to save the planet right now, it’s still a better option than doing nothing!

Ebook readers that support powerful devices for book lovers

Several ebook readers that support powerful devices. These devices allow users to read books and other digital content on a regular printer without purchasing new cartridges or printing materials multiple times a month.

Some of the most sustainability-friendly ebooks readers include the Amazon Kindle Oasis, Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 7th Gen., and Kobo Aura H2O. All three of these devices use renewable energy sources to power their screens and stores, respectively:

  • The Kindle Oasis uses an illuminated display panel.
  • The Nook GlowLight uses ambient light from the surrounding environment.
  • The Kobo Aura H2O uses pressurized water instead of batteries. 

These e-readers also have features that promote environmentally friendly reading habits, such as reducing screen time in favour of reading actual books (the Kindle Oasis) or allowing for “kwiksells” – shorter chapters linked by popups – so readers can read more quickly without sacrificing comprehension (Kobo Aura H2O). 

All three devices offer privacy settings that protect personal information when not being used. This is another concern for sustainable book lovers who don’t want others to know what they’re reading!

How to choose an e-reader that supports sustainable paper

When selecting an e-reader, one of the most important factors is its support for sustainable paper. Many e-readers marketed as environmentally friendly or sustainable use recycled paper or biodegradable materials in their construction. However, not all eco-friendly readers are created equal – so it’s important to research before purchasing.

You need to look for three key things when choosing an eco-friendly reader: sustainability certification, environmental compliance, and material choice. 

Sustainability certification is a good way to know that the reader has been tested and meets specific environmental standards. Certifications can range from voluntary programs such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified labels to more comprehensive schemes such as The Green Reading Program developed by EcoLitigation Resources LLC.

Environmental compliance refers to how well the reader conforms with federal/state laws and regulations relating to waste management and energy consumption. Material selection ensures that the device uses environmentally compatible materials throughout its manufacturing process.

Choose a reader made from bamboo pulp instead of trees if possible – this will help reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional book production methods!

Tips for reading books on sustainable paper

If you’re looking for tips on reading ebooks on sustainable paper, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll provide some helpful advice on how to make the most of your reading experience while minimizing environmental impact.

  1. Choose books that are printed using sustainably sourced paper. This is important because it will help reduce the number of toxins and waste produced during book printing. Not all publishers use sustainable paper practices, so research which ones do before making a purchase. 
  2. Consider buying secondhand books instead of new ones. By doing this, you can support local businesses and reduce pollution caused by manufacturing new books. You can also find great deals on used books online if you search carefully enough! 
  3. If reading electronically isn’t your thing, try out a physical book sometime in future! Using traditional methods such as printing and binding material resources more efficiently has huge benefits for our environment and society – don’t wait until there’s no other option!

Ways to reduce your environmental impact when reading ebooks


There are several ways to reduce your environmental impact when reading ebooks. Here are a few suggestions:


  • Choose paperback books over electronic versions whenever possible. Paperbacks use far less energy in production and can be recycled more easily than ebooks.
  • Use solar-powered devices, like Kindles or tablets, when you can. These devices generate electricity without using fossil fuels, which helps offset some energy used to power the device itself.
  • When choosing an ebook reader, look for models with lower energy consumption options (like low battery warnings). Energy conservation is key if we want to minimize our ecological footprint!


Reading ebooks is one way to help support the environment. By reading ebooks, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste produced when books are printed. Additionally, you are supporting the development of new environmentally friendly technologies by reading ebooks. By reading ebooks , you can help improve the publishing industry’s sustainability and positively impact the environment.


What is environmental literacy?

Environmental literacy refers to an understanding of the natural world and the impacts humans have on it, as well as the ability to take action to protect the environment.

Why is reading eBooks important for environmental literacy?

Reading ebooks is important for environmental literacy for several reasons:

  • Ebooks are often more environmentally friendly than physical books, as they do not require paper, ink, or transportation.
  • Ebooks can provide access to a wider range of information on environmental topics, making it easier to learn and understand complex issues.
  • Ebooks can also save space, as they do not require shelves or storage, reducing the demand for materials and energy for building and maintaining physical libraries.

What are the environmental benefits of reading eBooks?

The environmental benefits of reading eBooks include:

  • Reduced paper usage and deforestation
  • Reduced ink usage
  • Lower carbon emissions from transportation
  • Lower energy usage for storage

How can reading ebooks help individuals become more environmentally literate?

Reading ebooks can help individuals become more environmentally literate by providing access to various information and resources on environmental topics, including scientific studies, news articles, and educational materials. Additionally, ebooks often provide interactive features, such as multimedia content and interactive graphics, which can help make complex environmental issues easier to understand.

Can reading ebooks help protect the environment?

Yes, reading ebooks can help protect the environment in several ways:

  • By reducing the demand for paper and ink, ebooks can help reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • By reducing the need for transportation, ebooks can help lower carbon emissions.
  • By reducing the demand for physical storage space, ebooks can help conserve energy and resources.

Social Media

Most Popular

Stay Updated with the latest
Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

TheGreenLiving is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.