Saving The Planet, One Download At A Time

downloadchart"The Energy and Climate Change Impacts of Different Music Delivery Methods," a study funded by Microsoft and Intel, has determined that downloading an album represents a 40%-80% savings in carbon emissions over purchasing the same music as a packaged CD. The savings are obvious: It takes a lot less energy to transmit bits than to manufacture, transport, and retail atoms – even when the consumer burns the music to a blank disk. "Based on our assumptions," states the study, "online delivery is clearly superior from an energy and CO2 perspective when compared to traditional CD distribution." Walk rather than drive to the store, however, and the CO2 savings are reduced significantly. The same goes for downloading and burning larger (i.e., show-sized) files.