Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your CDs

It is pretty rare these days to see a student walking on campus without one and maybe even rarer to see people working out at the gym without one. It is hard to believe that it was only nine short years ago that Apple launched their version. And yet today MP3 players have had such huge popularity that most people have given up on every other form of music data storage, including the ever popular compact disk.

Around 8.6 billion songs have been downloaded off of Apple’s iTunes store, which is roughly 86 million CDs. Most people download music simply for their own convenience, but the truth is they are actually doing the environment a huge favor. Plastic, metal, and ink containing petroleum are all used in producing a CD, not to mention lacquer that is used to protect the disk, the paper liner insert, and the plastic case it came in. Before being commissioned to make a CD though, each of these components went through different processes on their own in which energy was used and waste was created. So the next time you debate whether or not to run to the store to buy that new CD that was just released, just remember not only will you be saving time and gas, but also the environment.

So now it’s time to dust off all of those old CDs that you haven’t so much as looked at since you uploaded them to your computer to later put on your handy MP3 player. With these new technologies and the ever-changing music industry it’s no wonder millions of CDs end up in landfills and incinerators each year.

Here are some ways in which you can help prevent the pile of CDs from growing in our landfills:

If possible, recycle the plastic case that the CD came in- you know that it’s probably cracked or broken anyway. You can also store your CDs in a large organizer and recycle all of the cases they came in, broken or not. Make sure to check with your local waste management facility to see if they accept this type of plastic.

Go through your music library and choose CDs that you know are just taking up space on your shelves. Bring these CDs to a local media store that take them off of your hands for free, sometimes even for cash!

Get creative. There are endless ways in which you can take your old CDs and make them into new, interesting pieces. Try searching for these CD projects online and see what catches your eye. The easiest idea? Simply place a CD face down and stack a pillar candle on top of it. Not only does it look stylish while reflecting the light of the candle’s flame throughout the room but it also keeps mess to a minimum by catching the dripping wax.

Check out local places, such as your nearest library, to see if they have CDs you can rent. You get to listen to the music you want for free, it doesn’t take up much space in your life for too long, and it is constantly being reused.

And don’t forget, once that oh-so-convenient MP3 player’s battery has decided to call it quits or if you just need an upgrade you can always recycle the device too and reduce waste in our landfills!

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