Do One Thing: Stop Buying Physical Media.


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In the last 6 months, I have given away or sold all the physical media I had been hauling around for years and years. CD’s, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, DVD’s – all gone and never to fill up my house again. I now buy all my music in MP3 format via digital downloads, rent DVD’s from Netflix, or stream them directly to my TV if they are available in that format. Physical media requires so much to make (and dispose of) – toxic inks, dioxins, solvents, PVC, toxic metals, plastic, shipping around the world, etc.. Digital media, on the other hand, lasts forever and creates no waste – and thus my decision to Do One Thing and stop buying physical media. If you can’t stop altogether, I suggest starting with DVD’s that you can always rent when you want to watch them again. That alone could really reduce the amount of physical media we all use and dispose of!

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  1. Technologically speaking, there is no reason for physical media anymore. Secondly, buying all digital is more convenient and less expensive.

  2. i’ve been buying digital music exclusively since i got my first ipod in 2004. i haven’t bought dvds in ages and i stick to renting movies since i rarely watch them twice.

    i love the idea of ebooks, especially the kindle for iphone app since it doesn’t require me to buy an additional device. my family has spent hours and hours discussing and researching and we haven’t figured out a good way to share books with each other so right now that’s only really working for books that i know i’ll be the only one interested in reading. if 4 or 5 of us are going to read the same book we still pick up a copy at the bookstore.

    1. The only thing I am not sold on is the e-book idea. It sounds amazing in principle, but worried about what will happen with the written word, historical references, and libraries. That’s my concern right now with them becoming popular.

  3. I agree and disagree. Although I do feel guilty for having so much physical media.. I have a huge DVD collection and a lot of old VHS tapes left from my Disney Collection of movies.

    I agree because physical media gets a bit expensive and if you happen to love a certain movie, you’d want to have a copy for yourself without having to pay for Netflix and such. In other cases, physical media, at least for me is cheaper because I do not buy DVDs. And having a CD is just not my thing, if I could find an mp3 to download now. Plus no one I really knows has a CD player.

    Anyway, it would be illegal for me to sell my DVDs because they aren’t original copies.. so if I had to throw them someone, I’d have to scratch them up and then recycle them.

    I disagree because I know for a fact that some media such as songs found online come and go, and not popular. If you happen to find rare songs or movies, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to leave it on a external hard drive, and when the ex.HD breaks or fails to work, you’d lose your media.

    Burning them on a disc and leaving it in a box saves the data, as long as the disc is not scratched.

    My sister recently purchased an anime DVD for $30 because she says it’s nowhere to be found.. now she has her own copy and she watches it all the time. If she couldn’t find it anywhere else, then it’s definitely worth a buy.


  4. It’s a great idea to turn off everything while on vacation.
    In our household we shut down the circuit breakers every night and every time we leave the house. It has cut our electric bill in half at least! We went from $120 – $150 a month down to $70 on a ‘high energy’ month and down to $30 a couple of times. Love the $$$ savings AND the energy saved!
    As far as ereaders go, we try to avoid unnecessary technology if possible. We are huge patrons of the library for everything from books to movies and use Netflix to stream movies and shows to our TV. It really helps to cut down on clutter around the house, and hopefully the need for continuous manufacturing of books/CDs/DVDs/DVRs/VCRs/whatever in a small degree.
    Every little bit helps!

  5. personally, i don’t see the point of not having blank cdr discs handy when i need to burn the occasional audio cd, or to back up data that i don’t want deleted if i have to re-install windows. of course i also have flash drives, but i’ve got WAY more data than what my flash drives can hold. i personally prefer to have physical copies of things rather than purely digital becaue the way i see it is, if i’ve got everything backed up that is important to me, then i won’t have to be concerned about losing it should my computer mess up to the point where i’d have to wipe my hard drive clean and start over. it’s just common sense.

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