Authors: Becky P.Y. Loo (The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract: With the wide application of e-technologies in every sphere of people‟s everyday life, there are aspects of traditional societies which are getting less important. Some of these changes represent opportunities for the human race to rely less heavily on fossil fuels, to reduce carbon footprints, to abate climate change and to live in better harmony with nature. These opportunities include the use of fewer papers due to changes in people‟s habits and lifestyle. For instance, the availability of e-news, e-magazines, e-documents and e-books paves the way for a drastic reduction in the use of papers for the publication of newspapers, magazines, documents and books. Table 8.1 shows the annual estimates of book sales in the USA by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in 2009. The net sales of all American publishers reached $23.9 billion but it represented a drop of 1.8% compared to 2008 (Association of American Publishers, 2009). In contrast, the sales of e-books have increased continuously since 2002, reaching a volume of $313 million in 2009. In fact, Table 8.1 clearly shows that e-books and higher education were the only categories which had continuous growth from 2003 to 2009. For e-books, its compound growth rate for the entire period was as high as 71.0%.