The Earth Says ‘Thank You’ for Ditching the Disk!

Earth and buildings

Indeed, the creation of CDs changed our lives. When they entered consumer homes in the 1980’s, they quickly became a revelation in information sharing. For music, CDs were arguably a life-altering invention. Half the size of vinyl records, we could now easily rewind or skip forward to our favorite tracks at the press of a button. And thanks to Sony’s invention of the portable CD player, CDs became more common than ever, with over 900 million sold by the year 2000.     

A groundbreaking way to distribute large amounts of machine-readable data, CDs were easy to manufacture and cheap to produce. This helped them rise to fame as one of the fastest-growing consumer digital technologies ever developed. But they also suffered a proportional fall from grace. Just when they were enjoying their day in the sun with music lovers, Apple released the first iPod – a thunderbolt invention that gave users access to 1000 CD-quality songs in a six-ounce device! Alas, the glory days of CDs began their downward spiral from covetable technology to clunky alternative, instantly becoming yesterday’s news as we came to behold the convenience of having music at our fingertips and in our pocket. 

The Hard Truth

Because CDs require special disposal and have a specific recycling process, they have become a growing component of landfill waste. Consider the following:

  • It is estimated that a CD takes over a million years to decompose
  • Over time, CDs release Bisphenol A (BPA), which can cause health implications in humans
  • Incinerating CDs as a means of disposal releases toxic fumes into the air
  • Every month approximately 100,000 pounds of CDs become obsolete, useless or unwanted

We Need To Do Better 

We have achieved freedom from CDs and eliminated this eco-unfriendly means from our everyday lives as digital consumers. But today, a patient somewhere will be handed a CD as a means of transferring their diagnostic medical imaging records. Despite the innovation in imaging technology, such as 3D visualization, hybrid imaging, artificial intelligence (AI) and more, we are still using the archaic practice of CD burning to share images. As healthcare consumers, why are we accepting this inconvenient and unhealthy practice? Patients need to demand better and healthcare providers need to do more.

It’s Time To Take Action

If you are a patient, healthcare organization or care professional and have moved to digital technology, the Earth thanks you. We all thank you. For those of you who haven’t – what are you waiting for? It’s time to help save our planet. It’s time to adopt eco-friendly technology that doesn’t disrupt our environment. It’s time to join the movement, and go zero-CD. Let’s all do our part.

Planet Earth will thank you for it.

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