I bought a music CD for the first time in quite a long time. I average about one CD per year. There just aren’t that many groups out there that I would freely part with $11.99 of my hard earned money. Back in college, before the digital age, a good collection would easily top 100 CDs—at a minimum. Well, most of the jewel cases were empty either lost to the car CD player or to your sketchy friends who would love to “borrow” them.
Just about all of my friends joined the CD club where you taped a penny to an information card and in six to eight weeks, you would get a dozen or so of your favorite CDs. Some even sent them to the neighbors’ house with a fake name and somehow got away with it. I was always afraid of getting caught for some sort of mail fraud. I even felt bad about borrowing the CD. I did though look for the double albums that counted as one selection. I felt as though I was getting away with something.
After many years, I broke down and bought a first generation 30 gig video iPod. It literally took me a few weeks to get all of my discs to my iTunes library. It turns out that I had more music that I thought. Most of it is junk that I skip (like some old rave stuff, movie soundtracks and I have no idea how I got the best of John Denver), but sometimes I will hear something in my library that is a hidden gem in a sea of over 2,500 songs.
As I sit here listening to my new CD, I got to thinking of the ecological footprint of my music. Where did this CD come from? How much energy was used in producing it and shipping it to my local big box store? How much energy am I spending on charging up my iPod and computer to play this music? Would it have been better to download it (legally)? What if I downloaded it then made a CD copy of it?
These are all real sticky questions, but there are some common sense answers in how to green your music. Although buying a few CDs per year will not necessarily wipe out the remaining polar bears, it is better to download your music only if you are going to keep it digital and not burn a copy. It is better to buy the copy from the store, or get it mailed to you, because you can then sell it to your music store giving it a new life when you are done with your hair band stage.
Keeping your player in top shape and not buying a new one every time the next big thing comes out is another way to green up your music. It was such a pain for me to move into the digital age, I would hate to see what I would need to do when I get a new player. I also charge mine in the car on the way to and from work.
I am interested in hearing about your thoughts and tips. Have you ever thought of how to green your music? If so, how have you done it.