What can we do with used CDs and DVDs?

It's a modern world. We use technologies to make our lives better, work completed faster, etc. We all use computers, laptops, PDAs, and mobile phones to write documents and to send emails; we back-up our data on CDs, DVDs and USB drives. I am glad they invented USB drives so that we can avoid using CDs or DVDs to transfer files, especially the non-rewritable ones. I have worked in the advertising industry for years, and have seen tens of CDs being disposed of everyday, after being used only once. In colleges that I lectured in, boxes of CDs that the students handed in as assignments, are disposed of at the end of term if the lecturers can't find the students to return them to. These do not even include those being thrown away due to damage caused by disc-writing errors.

I always make a point to buy rewritable CDs so that I can reduce the unnecessary disposal. However, I can't stop others from handing me non-rewritable discs. So I still find myself collecting unwanted, damaged, or outdated discs over the years. I refuse to throw them into the bin because they take years to decompose in landfill, not to mention the amount of toxin released during the process. So I kept holding on to them and have no idea what to do with them.

We decided to use them as coasters and then found out that the shiny layer started peeling after a while. So I peeled the layer off and completely and cleaned them up. Now they are all transparent, and the problem is, sometimes we just can't see them! Then I thought it would be better to give them some colours to make them more visible. We have some CD labelling pens that are only being used occasionally, so I did some graphic drawings on one side of each of the discs. We just need to turn the painted side downward so that the ink won't get scratched off.


And I've also made some for Christmas.


These turned out quite well as they look really nice on the table, and all our guests love them. Whenever we get this clear disc protector that comes with a packet of 10 or 20 discs, we'll also do the same to it. But of course, only if we already have some labelling pens available at home.

Some discs may not be peeled and cleaned up properly, but we use them anyhow. We'll just save the pretty ones for our guests.

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