Rethinking Netflix

December 20th, 2009

Last February at Tree Hugging Family, I wrote a post called Renting DVDs from Netflix: Is it green? Little have I grown if I’m stilling asking myself that same question almost a year later.

In my earlier post, I applauded the reuse of discs over buying your own. The mailing system which allows you to reuse most of the mailer as a return envelope is nice. I recycle the portion of the envelope that can’t be reused. I ended the previous post with a caution that Netflix users tend to watch more movies than they did before, which requires more electricity.

Why am I re-thinking Netflix now?

At first, I enjoyed Netflix because the service made it easy for me to rent movies like classics and independent films that usually weren’t available in video stores. However, now I find myself looking for things to add to the queue.

What’s the point of finding things to watch? Either there’s a film I want to see or there isn’t. That’s the problem with Netflix. It encourages too much viewing for the sake of getting a new movie in the mail.

Reuse is nice, but lately far too many discs I’ve received have skipped through scenes, even after cleaning the disc. Plus, their “very long wait” movies get on my nerves. If I can’t rent a certain classic movie (Holiday Affair, 1949) during the holidays because it’s had a “very long wait” for more than two weeks, then Netflix isn’t really making me happy.

If I pause my movie watching habit, I’ll not only save energy, but I’ll have more time to do things that matter.

Do you have a Netflix habit you need to break? Do you think Netflix is green?