We have a choice. We can create a photo book or we can transfer our photos to a digital frame and not print them. Which option benefits the environment? Surprisingly, work by Tom Ethridge and Tim Strecker of Hewlett Packard shows that the environmental cost of the photo book is less than the environmental cost of a digital frame. The reason is that once a photo book is printed, it uses no energy, while a digital frame continues to consume energy throughout its life. In addition, the environmental cost of producing digital frames exceeds the cost of producing photo books.
Eye fatigue is also less with paper. Satoshi Mori and Makoto Omodani of Tokai University in Japan compared conventional books with various electronic displays. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs), which are commonly used in photo frames, had the highest level of fatigue and contributed to a reduction in the ability of the eye to focus.
Photo books also offer an ability to preserve photos for the future that is unmatched by electronic displays. Peter Mason and Adam Bush of Torrey Pines Research, highlighted the need for clear communication that relates product lifetime to how people use their photos. Photos that are printed in photo books are preserved “due to the low levels of exposure to light and environmental gases, the major cause of image stability.”