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More Music, Less Waste

September 25, 2008

Listening to my Pandora radio at work, it occurred to me how as a consumer, there are so many more green options for listening to music now than compared to when I was a child and teenager.

When I was a little girl, I had a portable record player that played my kiddy 45s. The one pictured is very close to the one I had.  It would be neat to see if it would still play records, if I still had it.  I’m sure mom tossed it years ago. 

When I hit 10 or 11, I got my first cassette tape player. As a college student, I listened to CD’s but if I wanted to give a friend a copy, we recorded it to a cassette. There were no cheap CD burning options. I don’t remember if there was even talk of a way to burn our own CD’s at that time.  I’m thinking not.

Now, I listen to my customized Pandora radio station. I plug up my ipod at home so I can hear my playlist while I cook supper. In the car, I can listen to XM radio, set to the stations I love the most. What all these options have in common is I am free from buying a whole album just to get the few songs I want. More, I am free from buying albums at all.

Technology has changed swiftly and one of the biggest changes is that my music collection grows everyday but I don’t have to have more storage space to accommodate it. I have never filled up a hard drive holding the music I listen too. I listen to new artists and old favorites but I cannot tell you the last time I bought a CD. Strictly from an environmental perspective, it seems to me this is an area where technology really serves people. There are many options to listen to, carry, and enjoy music without filling your home with records, tapes, or CD’s. Less stuff, less clutter, and less virgin plastic being created is a win in my book.

What’s your experience?

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One comment

  1. Personally, I agree with your analysis of technology in music making music “consumption” greener and more sustainable. We have tons, TONS, of music and still plenty of room on our hard drive for the rest of the junk we need. We have an mp3 player that uses rechargeable batteries and lasts a really long time between charges. I can’t think of the last time I bought a CD either, it must have been when I was still in high school. Just think of all the materials and energy that have been saved by the digital revolution in music. Gotta love it.



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