Treehugger.com is making the case that the iPod nano is the "Green Product of the Year." Why? Because it's small (no doubt), because it's solid state, with fewer moving parts, so likely to last longs (remains to be seen) and because shifting to downloaded music eliminates the wasteful and space-taking CD and its attendant packaging. On the plus side I would also add that iPods have tremendous re-sale value, so that as iPod aficianados like me move from one to the next bigger and next cooler and next must-have, we can sell or give away our iPods no problem. But...I'm not quite ready to give them the Eco-friendly seal of approval yet. Don't get me wrong, I loves me my iPod(s). I just got a new iPod Video for Christmas, and I am one self-satisfied puppy.
But there are a couple of reasons I would hold off on crowning it a Green product:
1. The packaging is way cool, and has definitely gotten smaller as the iPod itself has shrunk, but it's not no impact.
2. Have you seen the rampant consumerism that immediately afflicts all iPod owners? We need lots of accessories and gew-gaws to go with our iPods. And as we graduate from iPod to iPod often those accessories can't graduate with us, being relegated to the dead accessory heap while we go buy a new, cooler accessory.
3. And we start buying music off of iTunes at a rate far greater than we would buy CDs. What's wrong with that, you might ask? Well, nothing if you don't mind spending the extra money. But then don't forget, now you're recommending more music, and encouraging the non-mp3 converted to go out and buy the CDs. Or, if you're forward-thinking and concerned that "owning" a downloaded mp3 isn't the same as really owning your music, if you really like something, you go out and buy the CD too! (Listen, it's not just me that thinks this way.)
My tongue may be slightly in-cheek, but while I do give props to Treehugger for the year's best rationalization, I'm not sure I'm ready to give the iPod props for being the year's greenest product.