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Proper Green: Is Downloading Greener?

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Proper Green is a blog about good manners in a green world. Today's topic: downloading movies vs. buying DVDs.
Many who would not take the last cookie would take the last lifeboat. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

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Dear Proper Green: My brother is a computer geek and likes to download movies from the internet. He likes to tell me that it's more "green" than buying DVDs. Lately, he's started giving my children DVDs of their favorite movies before they come out on DVD and I can have a chance to buy them first. My kids are thrilled, but I think my brother's "acts of green" are causing my children to receive stolen property. My husband says I should lighten up because that's what everyone does these days. Help!!!

Dear Friend: Downloading movies from internet websites may seem greener, but it isn’t. And it is absolutely illegal. Your brother is putting himself and your family at risk by downloading and sharing these movies. And considering the extra resources, such as electricity, used to power law enforcement as they try to interdict such crimes, your brother is not as green as he’d like to believe. But your brother is a grown man and can decide for himself if he wishes to put his future at risk over a bad, cam-copy of Mission Impossible. Your kids are another matter. It’s time to turn the lights out on this feature presentation...tell your brother and your hubby in no uncertain terms, no more illegal movies.

About Proper Green

The “green movement” is a relatively new one. And because it’s so new, ideas about what constitutes proper behavior within the movement are still evolving. But we think it’s important to establish some guidelines to help smooth the way.

Proper Green is (at least we hope) a blog about good manners in a green world. And while people often confuse “etiquette” with “manners” - the former deals with social custom, i.e., which fork to use or how to introduce your niece to your husband’s cousin at your step-sister’s second wedding––the latter is an expression of respect.And that’s what we’re going to focus on.

Good manners, like our planet, need care, attention and dedication. We hope you find inspiration and answers here.

Please send inquires to: Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more

  • Jaye W. 5 years ago
    As several have noted, the question is whether using streaming services, digital copies, digital lockers, etc is greener. I would certainly hope so. I stopped buying physical copies of movies/music/software several years ago and haven't looked back. If the content companies could pull their
    collective heads out of their mulch piles, they would embrace this and there would be no such thing
    as a disc anymore.

    Makes it easy to take your media with you as well!
  • Rebecca R. 5 years ago
    Obviously owning a digital copy of the movie is better than owning a DVD of it. Less waste, no production, etc. You can't actually explain this properly though because the person is asking about whether illegal activity is okay because it's "green." Come on now.
  • Dustin H. 5 years ago
    Go big red
  • Alan D. 5 years ago
  • Kelvin S. 5 years ago
    Whether or not downloading movies online is even "stealing" is an entire debate on its own. I have never heard of the movie police ever breaking down someone's door for a few unauthorized copies. This is a blog about Green Living, not Copyright Law. And in green terms, downloading is better, as that is one less DVD case and DVD that would probably have only been watched once. As for resources devoted to enforcement of this law, perhaps blame would better be placed on the corporations that control the government and force them to waste time chasing ThePirateBay instead of enforcing real laws.
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