Years ago when my husband and I got rid of all of our music cassettes (we donated them), we made a list of all of the ones we wanted to replace on cd. From the hundreds of cassettes we got rid of, we came up with a long list that we wanted to replace. Of course, we couldn't run out and buy them all at once. We had discovered a marvelous used cd store in the same shopping center as our favorite movie theater and started replacing them with used cd's, one or two (okay sometimes more) at a time. It became a regular part of date night. Dinner, a trip to the used cd store, then a movie.
We started replacing the music this way because it cost us a lot less. Eventually, the store started selling used dvd's also. The prices there were so great that we even gave each other permission to buy used music and movies as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. My kids don't even realize most that the dvd's and cd's we've ever bought for them are used.
What we didn't realize at the time was that we had also started restocking our collection in an environmentally friendly way. Instead of buying new, we were buying used. You know the mantra - reduce, reuse, recycle. We were resuing someone else's old cd's and dvd's. When we feel the need to thin out the cd collection, we now recycle the ones we don't want by taking them to the used store.
Buying your music online in the form of mp3's is another way to make your music collection greener, also. There is no physical product, no production waste, no packaging waste, no trash created when your 3 year old cracks the cd trying to take it out of the package.
I will confess, though, that once in a while I do buy my cd's brand new. I have no idea if it makes a real difference or not, but I have it in my mind that buying a just released cd in the store counts more than purchasing it off of someplace like iTunes. When there is an artist that I really like who is putting out a new cd, and I want to show my support for tht artist, I buy the cd new. I think the last time I actually did it was with Edie Brickell and New Bohemians' last album Stranger Things put out last year. I felt like buying the physical cd on the first day it was released was a show of support for my favorite group. Did it really make a difference? I have no idea.
But I do know that buying the majority of my music and movies either used or through an mp3 format does make a difference.