The Guardian on Greenest Music: CD or Download?


Lloyd once got all enthused about how the iPod Nano might be a contender for green product of the year. Personally I was a tad more skeptical, seeing as it required a computer to transfer the music to the player and we all know that computers are crammed with plenty of nasties. Was sure that some industrious soul must’ve done a life cycle assessment (LCA) on just how verdant iPod use might be. Almost a year later I’ve stumbled upon just such research, quoted by the British Guardian’s enviro blog. They found a 2003 study, by Digital Europe, which looked at the ecological rucksack for getting your ears onto an average album. Purchasing a CD at a shop came in at 1.6 kg, while ordering the same physical disk over the internet reduced this to 1.3 kg. Downloading the music dropped this even further, almost in half to 0.7 kg. Mind you, buying your new beats via the likes of iTunes is one thing, but if you then burn your own CD from that download, your ecological rucksack shoots way up to 5.5 kg. And buying a fresh iPod every time a shiny new model arrives on the scene doesn’t garner any brownie points either. Makes for an intriguing little read. ::The Guardian.