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Today is Earth Day, a day to celebrate and appreciate the Earth’s environment. Today we raise awareness of environmental issues and discuss ways to preserve and protect the Earth.

As readers, you may be wondering what this has to do with books. Well, the huge boom in the eReader market has many people wondering: Is an eBook more environmentally friendly than a traditional print book?

Environmental Impact of  eReaders

Audio Books: Earth DayDaniel Goleman, author and narrator of Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy recently wrote an article for the New York Times exploring the issue of the ecological impact of both types of books.

The bottom line? Production of an eReader has about 70 times more adverse health impacts than a print book. Beyond that are considerations of energy spent transporting, light for reading, recycling, and landfill decomposition. All-in-all if you read around 100 books on an eReader, the effects break even.

I pull the discarded papers from the trash and place them in the recycle bins.

In his book, Goleman explores the relationship between global warming and man-made toxins and our self-deception. He claims that recycling programs and products that claim to be green may actually be harmful by allowing us to think that we are actually doing enough to help the environment. The book stresses the need for examination of the real impact of the life cycle of an item from production to disposal to truly understand how we are affecting the Earth. I really like this idea.

Recycling at Home

Audiobooks: Earth DayI plan to check the book out. I am the recycling Queen at my house. My husband and kids roll their eyes as I pull the discarded papers from the trash and place them in the recycle bins. They sigh as I rinse out the dreaded peanut butter jar and mutter that I should just throw it away. A book like this might help them realize just how our actions and the products we use affect the Earth. Or… it might just give me plenty of facts to annoy them with while I sort the recycling.

Interested in just how Earth Day came to be? Try reading The Man From Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson, by Bill Christofferson and read by David Henry. In 1970, Senator Nelson of Wisconsin fulfilled his dream of putting the environment in the forefront of the world’s attention. He was an opponent of the Vietnam War, a key player in the civil rights movements, and is considered to be an extremely important environmentalist.

Update: Overdrive and the iPhone App

Quick news update: I am so excited that OverDrive finally has a free iPhone app! Now no extra steps are required to download audiobooks from participating public libraries. This is awesome! Check it out in the iTunes store!

Audible Audio Books for Download
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