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There is a big debate about whether digital planning is better for the environment.
On one hand, going paperless can save trees and reduce the amount of waste produced each year.
But on the other hand, some people argue that manufacturing and using digital tools requires more energy and results in more pollution.
So which is it?
Is digital planning better for the environment, or is paper planning the greener option?
Is Digital Planning Better for the Environment?
The answer to this question may seem like a no-brainer at first. Paper planners obviously require chopping down trees which is terrible for the environment. So it would stand to reason that digital planning is better for the environment, right?
Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. While it is true that paper planners require a lot of trees to manufacture, digital planners require a lot of energy to create and use too. The manufacturing process for digital devices is actually very polluting, and when you factor in the electricity required to use them, and the consequences for the environment of disposing of the devices, they are not as green as you might think.
So is digital planning better for the environment? The answer is neither. Both paper and digital planners have their pros and cons when it comes to the environment. If you are looking to be as green as possible, your best bet is to use a paper planner that is made from recycled materials. Read on to find out why.
The Effects of Paper Planners on the Environment
In the age of digital technology, more and more people are relying on electronic devices to keep track of their schedules. However, there are still many people who prefer an old-fashioned paper planner for both practical and personal reasons. While paper planners are not as technologically advanced as their digital counterparts, they do have some advantages, such as being more affordable and easier to use. But is a paper planner really the best choice for the environment?
There are many factors to consider when it comes to the environmental impact of paper planners. For example, some planners are made of recycled paper, while others are not. Some planners are designed for one-time use and end up in the landfill, while others are designed for multiple uses and can be reused or recycled.
The manufacture of paper definitely has an impact on the environment. Trees have to be cut down in order to create paper. While it may seem like a small thing, the production and use of paper planners can have a significant impact on the environment.
The forestry industry is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for about 20% of global emissions. The main reason for this is deforestation – when forests are cleared to make way for plantations, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. It takes decades for trees to recapture that CO2, so reforestation is critical if we want to mitigate climate change. Buying a planner made from sustainable materials helps support the forestry industry and encourages reforestation.
Not surprisingly, how a paper planner is made can make a big difference.
Many paper planners are made from virgin wood pulp, which means that trees must be cut down in order to produce them. This deforestation can lead to habitat loss and decreased biodiversity. In addition, the manufacturing process for paper uses a lot of water and produces air pollution. And once the planner is finished, it typically only lasts for one year before it needs to be replaced. This is a lot of waste for something that is only used for a short period of time.
On the other hand, paper planners made from recycled materials have a much smaller impact on the environment. These planners are typically made from post-consumer waste, such as old newspapers or magazines. This means that they don’t require any new trees to be cut down. In addition, the manufacturing process is much less water-intensive and doesn’t produce as much air pollution. And because they are made from recycled materials, paper planners can be recycled or composted when you’re finished with them.
- Can be recycled
- Can be made from recycled materials
- No ongoing energy consumption
- Contributes to deforestation
- Short Lifespan
- Uses a lot of energy and water to manufacture
- Manufacturing process contributes to air pollution
Digital Planning and the Environment
The other option is to go paperless and use a digital planner. While this may seem like the more environmentally friendly choice, there are some drawbacks to consider. First of all, digital devices require energy to create and use. The manufacturing process for these devices is actually quite energy-intensive resulting in a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, digital planners need to be charged regularly, which uses even more energy.
Another thing to consider is the lifetime of a digital device. Most people upgrade their phones or tablets every two or three years, which means that there is a lot of electronic waste being produced. And because digital devices contain harmful materials like lead and mercury, they need to be disposed of properly. If not, these electronic devices may end up in landfills where they could sit for centuries, leaching toxins into the ground.
Many digital devices will contain a significant amount of plastic which is a non-renewable resource. Plastic is made from fossil fuels and is not biodegradable. Certain types of plastic can be recycled, but often times they end up in landfills or the ocean.
There is also an environmental impact from storing information digitally. Data centres use a lot of energy to keep servers running and cool. In fact, data centres account for about two percent of all electricity used in the world. And this number is only expected to grow as more and more information is stored online.
- Reusable and can be used for other tasks
- Longer lifespan
- No direct deforestation
- Manufacturing process is very energy intensive
- Can contain toxins
- Uses precious resources
- End up in landfill
- Ongoing energy usage to charge
So Is Digital Planning Really Better For The Environment?
It depends on how you look at it. Yes, digital planners don’t require any paper or trees to be used. But they do require a lot of energy to create and use, and they can add to the problem of electronic waste. However, if you are already using a digital device for other tasks then it makes sense to use it for your planning needs as well.
While there are some sustainability-minded companies that are working to offset their carbon footprints, if you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible your best bet is to use a paper planner made from recycled materials.
Not only will you be doing your part to protect the environment, but you’ll also be able to stay organised and on top of your schedule – without having to worry about your battery dying.
Plus, you can compost your paper planner at the end of its life cycle, making it a more eco-friendly choice. So next time you’re in the market for a new planner, consider going digital-free.
There are pros and cons to both digital and paper planners when it comes to organisation. Ultimately, the best planner for you depends on your personal preference and what works best for your lifestyle. If you are looking to be more environmentally friendly, using a paper planner is the better option. However, if you are looking for convenience and organisation, a digital planner is the way to go.
If you’re still undecided about whether a digital or paper planner would be best for you, check out our post looking at the differences between paper planning and digital to help you decide.