Study: Buying at retail more eco-friendly than online

So finds the the Journal of Industrial Ecology

A new study finds buying a game at retail may have a less significant impact on the environment than downloading the same title.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology recently published a report dubbed “The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution,” which accessed the ecological impact of purchasing a 8.8 GB game from a local shop as opposed to picking it up from the PlayStation Store.

The findings indicate getting in your car and driving down to your neighborhood retailer is greener on average than acquiring a game digitally, unless the file size is 1.3 GB or less. Of course, digital titles will never end up in a landfill somewhere. So that’s something else to consider.

The study adds consumer behavior can have a significant impact, and practices like using public transport or purchasing games while shopping for other items would fare even better compared to leaving a system running idle for long periods of time. It also notes gameplay accounts for the bulk of gaming-related carbon emissions, and environmentally conscious individuals would be advised to consider options like utilizing autopower down settings.

The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution [Journal of Industrial Ecology via IGN]

Kyle MacGregor Burleson