The new iPad has a few things going for it, but it is definitely still one of our fleeting, throwaway-culture phenomenons. Here are the pros though: the cases are made out of recyclable aluminum; the screens are LED, not LCD, backlit and thus use less energy; the glass on the screen is mercury and arsenic free; and it uses no PVC. Will it save trees? I guess, if you’re the kind of person who will replace the stacks of books you normally buy with a downloadable copy.
Now the cons: does everyone recycle? Fact: no. Is this a device built to last longer than your paperbook novels, which can be donated after being used and then picked up for a grateful dollar further down the line? Fact: no. Most of these iPads will become e-waste at some point.
It uses less energy, yes, but it still uses energy–not just energy to turn on and off, but energy for cloud computing, energy that comes from far far away that we never really have to see or think about. Cloud computing is what connects you to the network, and Apple’s electric grid gets 50% of its energy from coal.
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