Ban printed books, CDs and DVDs now!

Posted on January 28, 2010

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Is it not time we pass a law that bans creating physical copies of content? With all the devices like iPads, iPods, iPhones and Kindles as well as services like Hulu, iTunes, Spotify and Pandora why do we continue wasting natural resources on printing books, CDs and DVDs?

Not only do we waste resources creating these unnecessary physical objects, we waste additional resources transporting them around, building warehouses to store and shops to sell them, buying shelves to hold them, libraries to lend them from…and just imagine how many CD and DVD players we could avoid manufacturing!

Where to start

I suggest we start with what I currently call ‘at home’: Business Schools. Nobody would raise an eyelid if our tuition was increased by $600 and everyone was furnished with an iPad and told that only digital course readers and text books were to be used.

Even at a small school like MIT Sloan, that would probably save around 8,000 books and 800,000 photocopies per year. Admittedly a lot of books and course readers are reused, but then I am one of those who like to keep my books for future reference.

Please Apple, start focusing on education again and make sure that all business text books become available in iBookstore!

Free me!

For the nostalgic amongst you, don’t worry, you get to keep what you already have.

Personally, I would pay good money for a service that would collect all my books, CDs and DVDs and swap them for digital copies in iTunes and iBooks. My apartment would be less cluttered and next time I have to move my 1000 kg worth of books would fit in my back pocket.

So to some entrepreneur out there, start writing that business plan!

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Posted in: sustainability