9 Ways To Make Your Music Collection More Eco Friendly

Did you know that over 5 millions CDs are thrown away each year and that each one can take over 200 years to decompose?

Music is truly one of life’s great pleasures; but clearly it can also represent an environmental catastrophe if we go about things in the wrong way.

Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to enjoy your passion for music in an environmentally-sound and guilt-free manner simply by following these simple tips for making your music collection more eco friendly…

Borrow CDs

As environmentalists we all understand that buying brand new products – with all the associated environmental costs of manufacturing, packing, transport and so on – should be minimized wherever possible. These days, however, it’s easier than ever to enjoy your favorite music while avoiding unnecessary resource use.

In 2011, 86.2 million music albums were sold around the world so before you go out and buy a new CD it’s worth asking around to see if any of your friends or family already have a copy of that “must have” CD that they can lend you. Let’s also not forget that a number of libraries also offer a CD rental service whereby you borrow music CDs just as you would books and not only save yourself money but also help the environment too.

Buy Second Hand CDs

If there’s a CD that you really must buy then consider looking for second hand discs. Online destinations like Ebay and Amazon have thousands of second-hand CDs on sale at any time and it’s often possible to buy them in mint condition at a fraction of their original cost.

Sell Your Unwanted CDs

Even better than recycling old CDs, you might want to consider if there are other music-lovers out there who want to buy your unwanted CDs. Sites like Amazon and Ebay will let you sell your old CDs to end users, or for an even easier solution sites like MusicMagpie.com will buy all your old CDs off you in one go – saving you time and effort.

Download MP3s

Thanks to sites like Spotify and iTunes, CDs are slowly falling from favor, as digital music takes over the market. Buying your music in MP3 format is not only cheaper but it’s also quicker as it’s normally possible to click a button and download your chosen album straight onto your phone or computer to listen to whenever you like.

It’s worth noting here that we strongly discourage the use of any “file sharing” sites in order to download MP3s illegally. Stick to the recognised brands and you’ll not only stay within the law, but you’ll also help to support the music industry and protect your computer from viruses.

Listen To The Radio

Summer Sound [Large View]  Perhaps listening to the radio can seem rather old-fashioned but DAB has really brought the radio up to date. Now, rather than simply picking a single station hoping that a song you like will come on, it’s possible to select a musical “genre” that far more accurately mimics your personal music tastes.

Store Your CDs Properly

While it may take generations for a CD to fully decompose, it’s “useful” life can be much shorter. Physical damage like scratches as well as environmental elements like light, moisture and heat can all cause CDs to stop working long before they need to.

If you have a CD collection at present, try to maximize their lifespan by caring for them properly. Keep them in their cases when you’re not listening to them and avoid leaving them in direct sunlight where the heat may cause your discs to warp and the the sunlight may denature the plastic unnecessarily.

Reycle Old CDs

It’s possible to recycle old CDs that you no longer want rather than throwing them away in landfill. While it takes energy to turn old CDs into their reusable components it’s still a lot better than leaving them to rot in the ground and companies like Green Disc are in business to do exactly this.

Donate Unwanted CDs To Charity

Another option for unwanted CDs is to donate them to charity who can then sell them on your behalf and keep the proceeds to fund their non-profit work.

Up-Cycle Old CDs

DoveeIf you have any old CDs that are so scratched as to be virtually useless for actually listening to music you might want to consider upcycling them and using them for funky coasters or hanging them on pieces of string about your vegetable plot to frighten away birds that might otherwise feed on your carefully-tended crops.

What do you do with your old CDs? Please leave me a comment below and let me know…

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