record store day

According to the Washington Post, CDs and vinyl are outselling digital downloads for the first time since 2011. And this year, Record Store Day and Earth Day land on the same glorious weekend April 21st and 22nd. But, can we ethically support both?

Some quick background on the days, Earth Day has been around since 1970, which means their big 50th-anniversary celebration is coming up in 2020 (mark your calendars now). Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Record Store Day, for its part, has only been around since 2007, celebrated on one Saturday in April, to support vinyl recording and the local businesses that sell it. But despite its recent inception, it feels like it’s getting bigger every year.

The problem is for records though is the fact that vinyl plants haven’t been known to be the most “green” groups out there, vinyl itself is made from the petroleum-derived PVC and there are several toxic chemicals used during production.

That may be changing heading into the future. New vinyl plants like Furnace MFG, outside of DC, are embracing the green movement. Their website states, “Our vinyl is lead, cadmium, and toluene-free: three toxic ingredients found in virtually all other vinyl formulations. We can honestly say we offer the ‘greenest’ vinyl records you’ll find on the planet!”

There are also other record companies who are working on all-new ways of creating records without the use of PVC, as you can see in the video below from Omroep Brabant in the Netherlands.

So can we celebrate Earth Day and Record Store Day together? Of course! As advancements are made to make vinyl records more sustainable, you can begin to more safely support them both together.

And Earth Day and Record Store Day are incredible. The fact that they come in on a weekend gives you twice the reasons to take part and celebrate. We’ve got a few ways to help you celebrate them both, simultaneously.

Ways to embrace both holidays

  • Make a day of it and walk from store to store on foot. No emissions, no waste, just enjoying the outside and, of course, the vinyl we all love.
  • Buy records and throw nothing away from the packaging. With a knife, cut open the side that the record comes out and it’ll create no waste and protect the cover.
  • Keep your records forever. My parents still have a massive cabinet of records. Pass them on to your kids (Mom & Dad, if you’re reading this, I want your records).
  • After you get new vinyl on the 21st, have a vinyl party where everyone brings their favorite vinyl and make a donation pool to support 
  • Grab a turntable that will digitize your record collection! Keep both and take your favorites with you without creating any additional waste.
  • Reduce, reuse, and repurpose your old records into DIY crafts and art.
  • Set up a record swap! Bring friends over who want to trade out their old records. Everyone wins.
  • Carpool to a live show with friends and hit up that merch table for the freshest of fresh vinyl!

How will you celebrate? Tell us on Twitter!