Hasn't anybody noticed? The world is shrinking. It began subtly enough of course; big glossy vinyl records, the highlight spend of a week's pocket money, slowly evolved into smaller CDs and then into invisible MP3s and 4s. A musical purchase that once took a week to plan and a trip to the town centre is now over in an unsatisfying click of a mouse.

The Hi Fi that once took pride of place in the corner of the lounge replete with graphic equalisers and a huge array of flashing buttons has now diminished to a small pocket sized player, even the headphones are hard to spot.

Photos that once took pride of place in family albums now languish unprinted in their thousands waiting for a hard drive corruption that will steal them from the world forever.

Smaller is better we are told and with each passing year we are persuaded to invest in newer, flatter, smaller, lighter models. So we part with perfectly good technology in favour of something slightly thinner. But the environmental costs of our actions are devastating.

According to a recent UN report, around 70% of the world's e-waste is sent to China and this waste is having a calamitous effect on the environment. The large-scale burning of circuit boards releases dangerous and toxic hydrocarbon ashes into the atmosphere and washing the boards in hydrochloric acid - a process common in stripping the boards of precious metals - has had a deeply negative impact on the local environment.

As we charge forwards towards the purchase of next season's even skinnier model perhaps we should take a moment to pause. Is that next purchase really worth the horrendous environmental costs?

For me, it's not really a difficult question. The convenience of pressing a button and listening to any one of a thousand songs effortlessly stored in the palm of my hand will never compare to the joy I feel when I carefully place a needle on vinyl and hear that little scratch and bump just before the song kicks in. Some things are just worth the inconvenience.