Many treehuggers are encouraging people to use techie devices like iPods, mp3 players, and other online downloads to save on plastics. If you download a song or cd, you don’t waste materials (and money) on the plastic packaging.
Check this out:
every month in the United States some 100,000 pounds of CDs become outdated, useless or unwanted. Every year, more than 5.5 million software packages go to landfills and incinerators. –earth2tech
Computer software is another element that is being moved to the web almost entirely. By the time a CD-based software program hits the shelves there may be updates, so you can save packaging, and maybe some money, by buying software online.
At my house, we have just moved from the VHS tapes to DVR and I’m excited about not having to buy tapes, and throw them away when they get overused. We record every episode of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, so we’ve gone through a lot of tapes in 3 years (when we got cable). With the DVR, we don’t produce excess waste, and it saves energy because the “box” and the VCR can be turned off, and still record our 2 favorite shows.
Other technology like the TiVo/Amazon Unbox is similar. You can rent movies that download directly to your TiVo. Slightly better than Netflix (although more expensive, I think), this saves on production and transportation entirely. Netflix is competing by offering “Watch it now,” where you can watch movies on your computer.
The wireless competition is good for us reducers. But I like to keep the end result in mind. The computer, tv, and mp3 player will eventually run its course. When that happens, be sure to recycle it – Earth 911, Dell, Techsoup, etc.