Tuesday, November 22, 2011

End of An Era

Do you remember the first CD you bought? Of course you do.

For me, it was Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life of. I got it at Osco Drugs. Don't remember it? It was the album upon which you could find the lovely "Tennessee" which has the chorus, "Take me to another place, take me to another land ..." Thus began my journey as a white girl who says things like "upon which" and "thus" and loves hip-hop.

But the CD era is coming to an end. At least, I think it is. Sure, CDs, like LPs, will probably have some place in our hearts for years to come.

But they don't need to take up a whole bookshelf in my house anymore.

Recently, I realized that my house is full and I need more space. I choose to live small, which means consumerism is not my friend. But I have a weakness for books, music and movies. Now, I can get those things on electronic devices. It's time to consolidate.

I decided to sift through all of my CDs and DVDs and put them into those binder-type cases, giving those I no longer wanted to Goodwill. I put them all over the floor, turned on the TV, and started opening those dastardly jewel cases.

Jewel cases. Remember when those 90's rockers protested the use of jewel cases for their CDs? And everyone was like: don't you have more important things to worry about? Like the fact that you're still wearing the flannel shirt you put on a week ago? Well, that protest, and the paper packaging it engendered, seem to have gone the way of Captain Planet, because CDs are still sold in jewel cases.

Which is a TERRIBLE idea it turns out. Jewel cases contain PVC, which is not recyclable in most places, including Houston where I live.

After I'd already thrown them out I found out that you can send them away to be recycled. However, this seems like an option more suited to large companies getting rid of a lot tech trash (and who have disposable cash - it costs for the service and the shipping). I'm not sure if the energy and packaging used in shipping would make it worth it - these equations are always hard to fathom.

DVD cases, on the other hand, are usually a Code 5 plastic, which we can recycle here. They were easy to disassemble - the inserts went into the paper recycling and the boxes went into the regular recycling.

So, my re-organization project was a half-green success. And I was able to free up a whole shelf's worth of space for my cookbooks, which were previously jammed into a much smaller shelf.

And it was a trip down memory lane. I saved the Arrested Development CD. Paula Cole ("Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"), however, went into the Goodwill box. Apparently, my hip-hop loving side has remained strong while my inner angsty girl who wore a periodic table T-shirt tucked into my jeans has really shrunk.

Do you remember your first CD? How many jewel cases do you have?

For old time's sake:

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