It seems common sense that not printing papers saves paper and is a good thing for the environment. Things are never that simple. When we look at the production of the iPad we can see a lot of greenhouse gas emission. Also there are a lot more materials needed to make an iPad than to make a textbook.
Depending on how much information you need, and how long it would take you to read it, the iPad can be more eco-friendly than paper. It is an illusion, however, that we do not need paper anymore. We should find the right balance between iPad use, projector use, and the use of paper.
The most common problem with the iPad is that most people like to buy a new faster, shinier iPad when a new one comes out. This means that a lot of the ‘old’, still functional iPads are not being used anymore. That way the impact for the environment gets a lot bigger. An alternative to these older iPads that are not used anymore, is that a school could consider opening a thriving second hand market at school or on the Internet.