About Amazon’s Dirty Kindle Books

Amazon’s Kindle books are dirty. All of them. Every single one.

I don’t mean dirty in the Fifty Shades of Grey sense. I mean coal-mine dirty.

Amazon buys the energy for its data centres from providers who burn coal to produce it. The company has no plans to change this.

Google and Apple, on the other hand, use almost entirely self-produced renewable energy to power their data centres.

In their 2015 Click Clean report, Greenpeace identifies Amazon as being “stuck in [a] dirty energy past”. Apple and Google are “green internet innovators”.

To buy a Kindle book from Amazon is to support an environmentally-catastrophic, coal-energy supported system.

Yet Amazon dominates the electronic book market. Forbes estimates that 65% of electronic books sales are Kindle. (About 30% of all book sales were electronic in 2014.)

The internet infrastructure is invisible. When we buy goods electronically, there are really only two things that govern our decision making process: the experience and the price. We want cheap, and we want easy.

The fact that we’re supporting the single biggest source of air pollution in North America doesn’t factor into our decision making.

But it should. We should refuse to purchase books, or any electronic product for that matter, that isn’t powered by clean energy. Consumers should recognize the impact that their electronic purchasing decisions have on our environment.