Everybody Knows That PaperHas an Environmental Impact.How Much? Producing one sheet of paper is responsible for about .03 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents (greenhouse gases). Producing one sheet of paper from recycled content is responsible for about . 017 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents.
Effect of Paper on Biodiversity Trees around the world are being cut down and replaced with quick growing, paper producing varieties. This process reduces biodiversity by up to 90 percent.
What If You Use ElectronicsOnly? An iPad releases about .004 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents PER HOUR. That looks like electronic wins. But do electronics have other impacts on the environment?
Metals Used in ManufacturingElectronics Rare earth metals are required, e.g. coltan. Mined in environmentally sensitive areas like the Congo.
Disposal of Electronics Since the advent of flat screen technology, it has become difficult to recycle old cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. Warehouses full of CRTs are being abandoned. CRTs are being dumped along roadsides. Lead from CRTs is contaminating soil and water. New flat panel screens contain toxic mercury.
Both Paper and Electronichave Environmental Impacts What’s an environmentally concerned citizen to do? If you use paper, use 100% recycled paper. Use your electronic devices as long as you can rather than buying every new device to come out. Recycle when possible. Use EPEAT’s environmental impact tool for purchasing electronics.