Department - Author 1

Graphic Communication Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Graphic Communication



Primary Advisor

Kevin Cooper


The purpose of this study was to show how printed magazines affect the environment with their use of paper and how digital magazines affect their environment with their electricity use from servers hosting the digital magazines. It is also to find how the printed magazine industry is reducing their paper use and how digital magazines are reducing the amount of electricity used by servers hosting the digital magazines.

Results show that printed magazines use a massive amount of paper to produce millions of magazines and that the process of getting paper produces a large amount of carbon dioxide which is a green house gas that helps cause global warming. It also found that servers hosting digital magazines use a large amount of electricity, that the common source of energy to get electricity is coal, and how environmentally harmful coal is.

Although these products affect the environment negatively, this study also found how the industry is making these products green. Printed magazines not only can use recycled paper, but can also purchase paper from sustainably managed forests. Data centers hosting the digital magazines can find a renewable source of energy rather than use coal, or to strategically organize servers to reduce the amount of electricity to cool the servers.

While the answer to how digital and printed magazines affect the environment is unclear because of the infinite amount of ways they affect the environment, this study has found how they affect the environment specifically in paper use and electricity use by servers, and that manufacturers are taking steps to make them more sustainable.