Vinyl once held supreme for music lovers as a vanguard technology allowing for more people everywhere to spin their favourite sounds from their own home. Over time though, new innovations such as cassettes, CDs, mp3s and now smartphones saw the original vinyl record become not just out of date with technology, but out of touch with the times too. By the 1980s it was most definitely a social faux pas to be playing your record collection on vinyl.
Surprisingly however, nostalgia for the analog in a digital age seems to have pushed vinyl ahead of the competition once again. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released a report earlier this year that showed vinyl records as increasing to a staggering 29.2% of all music industry sales. This astounding number will not surprise many following the industry news though as it is simply part of a growing trend in vinyl collectors over the past decade or so. Vinyl now accounts for $619.6 million in sales, an awe-inspiring comparison to the 2019 figure of $479.5 million.
Vinyl is well known for providing a sound and texture incomparable to contemporary digital options, and some may consider it a greener option too. Digital downloads and streaming sites may seem at first harmless, but there is more for us to consider when using the internet; using the internet can have a high carbon footprint with the amount of energy it consumes to run. With that in mind, many have decided to choose vinyl for the ecological benefits associated with buying second hand and preserving a record collection.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. Vinyls were originally patented for the gramophone back in 1889 and development in the technology has been limited. Most vinyls are still made from polyvinyl chloride, a plastic compound and a big contributor to the environmental problem of microplastics filling up our oceans and entering our food chains.
With that in mind, what can you do to help ‘green’ your vinyl record collection?
Keep it clean!
Our number one recommendation would be to help preserve the life of your collection by keeping it in tip-top shape! Making sure your vinyls aren’t picking up unwanted dust or debris and are protected from getting scratched will extend the lifespan of your records.
Buy (and sell) second hand
Making sure you buy second hand, as well as encouraging others too also, will help reduce the need to reprint a record. Whatsmore, selling records you may feel finished with will aid a healthy and sustainable second hand market. Checking for a courier comparison quote will help keep your costs down and save on shipping.
Look for eco friendly innovation
Looking to the emerging future it’s important to seek out and support those working with new ‘greener’ materials. Initiatives such as Green Vinyl Records and Deep Grooves Vinyl Pressing Plant are both good examples of companies using much more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. In addition to using a plastic substitute, they also use renewable energy to power their manufacturing machines and reduce their carbon footprint even further.