The more I learn…
// Posted by Shirley on 06/11/2015 (1:40 PM)
I always wondered why, with the technology available today, we do not have tires made out of material that last more than a few thousand miles or that were puncture proof. Now I know – deliberate and planned obsolescence in the forms of psychological (fashion or convenience driven) and technological (must have the latest and the greatest). I return to the “being dragged around like drunken soldiers” analogy for effect. Why can’t bankers, advertisers, business analyst, communication theorists, economist, etc. use their powers for good?
Customer demand is the driver and wherever we spend our money is what the new focus becomes. Like in the story “The Death of Ivan Ilych” by Leo Tolstoy our priorities are focused in the wrong place and it is slowing killing us. I always understood that we are a wasteful country, especially when it comes to food and I am guilty of that myself. I drive past a country store that closed months ago. It has a huge fence around it, with big locks to keep people out. When you look in the window, the shelves are still full of food! With all the starving people in Richmond, this should not be happening.
We are being controlled by companies with elaborate marketing organizations who build products that are not intended to last and these products have a ‘single use’ purpose. The packaging is changed to entice children and adults to buy specific products but originally they focused on specific segments of the population. As I move through the article which does a great job describing the issues, I can visualize how American’s got into this mess.
Facts documented in the article that is very eye opening is that the amount of waste we produce. The fact that consumers buy the next best thing even though what they have is still working. Seems only a small amount of the electronic waste in the form of computers, TV’s, or cell phones is being recycled. Also, the biological toxicity mentioned of the above the ground waste is very disturbing, and for some of the items listed I have no idea what it is doing to our culture. The more advanced Silicon Valley becomes, the more e-waste is produced. They need to come up with a solution and quickly. It is interesting that the preventative measures taken by European Union have been more successful than those taken by United States NEPSI. The really sad thing is that we are really leaving a ginormous mess for future generations to have to deal with.
The few ‘go green’ steps that we as consumers take like bringing reusable totes to stores instead of using paper or plastic bags being offered, or shopping at big box stores who do not offer bags or refilling water bottles versus buying bottled water is just a drop in the bucket. I can only hope that the fact that this article is dated back in 2006 that we have made great advancements since its creation. And that we, as a country, have come up with a more long lasting solution than shipping this waste to countries like “China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other economically desperate countries or reducing the toxicity of the waste” which is probably much more dangerous than being reported (P. 3). Our inefficiencies are spilling over into other cultures and this makes the problem global.
We need to stop ‘wasting’ time blaming each other and get on with a real solution.