WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: What Netflix Tells Us About a Bright Green Future
"Netflix is a product-service system for DVDs. By signing up for the service, you are able to rent movies you want to see, without having to own them. So far, so good, and much like a traditional video store. However, Netflix goes one better on sustainability terms, by letting users order movies online and delivering the DVDs via the regular postal mail. Now I'm sure they made the decision to do this based entirely on cost savings, but as it turns out, there are real sustainability savings involved as well: by not having a store to which I drive to get the videos, the planet is spared the impacts of a retail outlet, as well as all those trips back and forth, each of which uses (though I haven't run the numbers, I'm sure this is true) far more fuel and generates far more pollution than do the daily rounds of the local mail carrier (who is, after all, making the trip anyway)."