eReaders: Better for Travel, Better for the Earth
As the self-proclaimed gadget guru, I gave up buying “paper books” more than a year ago when I got a Sony eReader. Now, you might be tempted to think, “Oh, she must not care about her reading experience. She doesn’t know how a real book person feels.”
But that’s not true. I spent four years on the editorial track at Random House and I love books more than anything. In fact, at any given time, I’m usually in the middle of three different stories, each catering to a different mood.
Why did I switch to an eReader then? Well, a big part of my decision was the convenience factor. The only thing I love as much as reading is traveling and I got really tired of hauling a stack of books with me all over the world. Now, when I’m finished with one, I go to the hotel’s lobby, sync up to the free WiFi, and download my next adventure.
Another big reason was sustainability. It made logical sense to me that an eReader would be a greener choice than paper books, but until now, I didn’t have any hard data to prove it.
Enter Slate’s Green Lantern. The Green Lantern is my favorite eco-column, answering wacky questions like, What’s greener, an escalator or an elevator? And just last week it answered a question I’d been waiting a long time for: Are Kindles and iPads Better for the Environment?
In a nutshell, yes. Even when you take into consideration the environmental cost of making an iPad, the device is officially better for the Earth during your 18th book. 18? That’s NOTHING for this book nerd! A Kindle is better for the Earth halfway through your 23rd book. Even 23 is nothing when you consider how long you can own the devices for.
Of course, the funny twist at the end of this story is I no longer use an eReader. I’ve taken it a step further. I read all books on my iPhone. One less gadget needed! I gave my old eReader to my brother, downloaded the free Kindle app, and voila. And no, the small screen doesn’t bother me. In truth, the device disappears in your hands.
My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.