MediaShift presents 5Across: Environmental Impact of Media

The full video can be found here. This description comes via Mark Glaser of MediaShift, who writes:

Just a note to let you know that my latest in-depth post just went up on PBS MediaShift, this time a new episode of 5Across, a video roundtable discussion about the environmental impact of media such as books, newspapers, computers and e-waste. Surprisingly (at least to me), many roundtable participants believe that reading a newspaper or print pub is less harmful to the ecosystem than using electronic devices that could end up polluting developing countries in 18 months. In fact, Joe Kelleher, the production director of the San Jose Mercury News, says that his newspaper uses mostly recycled fiber, and the “virgin” fiber actually comes from the leftover chips from timber mills. In a comparison of carbon footprints of reading a print newspaper, website or electronic edition of the Merc, Kelleher says there isn’t much difference except when you add in the energy consumed by delivery vehicles. Participants included Kelleher, Sarah Westervelt of the Basel Action Network (monitoring e-waste), Jean Walsh of the San Francisco Dept. of the Environment, Shona Burns of Chronicle Books, and Charles Uchu Strader of Gaia Host Collective.
Key quote: “A lot of times you hear people say ‘I won’t read a newspaper or a book because I’m killing trees by doing so.’ It’s simply not true. We only purchase newsprint from places that harvest trees sustainably. Newsprint is made from a combination of recycled fiber… and the virgin pulp we use is a byproduct of lumber production.” — Joe Kelleher, San Jose Mercury News

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