12 July 2010


My conversion to the digital world started about 4 years ago when I fully changed from film to digital photography. I then scanned all of my existing film onto hard drives. I had to wait to change to digital photography until the quality of digital was as good as film. It took me a little while to get used to digital, but I have never looked back in changing over. When I was using film, I would end up throwing away 90% of the film I shot, as you always edit your images and only keep the very best from each scene. That equated to a lot of film being thrown away. Now with digital, I just delete the images I don’t want and keep the rest. No film to clog up landfills.

Over the past couple of years, I have gradually changed over as much of my life as possible to the digital world. Music was next on the list. I had already converted some of my music to play on my MP3 players and iphones, but I still had all of my compact discs sitting on a bookcase. I ended up buying a DVD player for my vehicle a couple of years ago that plays SD cards, my wife’s new car we bought last year also plays SD cards. So about 12 months ago, I converted all of my music to a digital format and put all of my compact discs in storage in the garage.

Next on my list, I decided that I had too many DVD’s taking up too much room around my house, so I started converting all of them to a digital format. Now, with the exception of my blue-ray movies, the hundreds of DVD’s I had all over the house are now packed away in storage as well. I have a hard drive with all of the movies we own hooked up to the TV, and I can upload them to either my computer or my iphone to watch. So why keep all of these DVD’s laying around? The last part of my life to convert to digital was all the stacks of paper taking up my filing cabinets.

I spent the last few days going through and scanning everything that was in the filing cabinet, like bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, utility bills, etc. Just about all of my bank statements and bills can be downloaded off of the internet now, so I have opted to not receive paper bills or statements from most of my banks, credit card companies, phone company, etc. I ended up throwing around 5 full garbage bins of paper away that was taking up room in my filing cabinets. I worked out that by not receiving paper statements or bills anymore, I will be saving around 50 pieces of paper per month, plus the associated envelopes that all of these statements/bills come in. That is just for one household.

Imagine the amount of paper saved if 500 households elected to stop receiving paper bills, or a 1000 households, or 10,000 households? That starts to add up to a lot of paper, from a lot of trees. I don’t buy my music on compact discs anymore, I just buy them online and download them. Again, how much landfill do old compact discs that are thrown away take up? Or DVD’s for that matter?

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