Chrysler Replaces Dead Tree Owner Manuals with DVDs, Saves 20,000 Trees
Next Step: Online-Only Manuals?
The owner manuals of many vehicles are 500 pages long and can weight up to 4 pounds. Chrysler has decided to save some trees (and cash) by going all digital for 2010. DVDs will be provided will all the information expected from a paper manual, but video tutorials will also be included to make things extra clear (in case the vehicle is so badly designed that you can't figure out how to do something by yourself...). Chrysler predicts that this move will save about 20,000 trees per year.
It's not 100% digital yet, though. A "full-color printed user guide" will still come with the DVD (around 60-80 pages) with the most commonly used information.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, especially if all the big automakers follow Chrysler's lead, but it makes me wonder if it wouldn't have been better to just send the small user guide (on 100% recycled post-consumer materials, of course) and go straight to online-only for the rest of the manuals and instruction videos (with a version formatted to look good on cell phones...).
I suppose that DVD players still have a higher market penetration than the Internet, so it makes sense. But for how long?
Now if only we could do something about making phone books "opt-in"...
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