Why We Love Downloads
25 years ago, on August 17th, 1982, the first Compact Disk (ABBA's the Visitors) came off the assembly line; 200 billion followed it. James Brentano writes in earth2tech that every month in the United States some 100,000 pounds of CDs become outdated, useless or unwanted.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. He notes studies that calculate that a kilogram of greenhouse gases are generated for each CD produced, packaged and delivered. About half of this comes from the production of the CD and half from transportation.
In the software biz, every $100,000 spent on commercial software reproduction creates the global warming potential of approximately 29 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents as well as 38 kilograms of toxic waste. We would add that most of the software on CD's is obsolete and in need of updates as soon as it hits the shelves.
So happy birthday, compact disk; we hope you enjoy your retirement. ::Earth2Tech