Photo by tarotastic | flickr.com

Planned obsolescence. “ A policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period of time”. 

In other words:  Planning for failure.  

It is a plan to drive society into a phase of mindless consumption; a phase of buying the same products over and over and over again.  Why? Because they are made to last a short period of time.  And because we humans are such loving creatures that we get attached to our products in that short period of time that they’re functional.  In fact, we get so attached that we MUST go out and replace it when it becomes obsolete.   We must! 

Why?  Because now, we just can not live without it.  

I find it very interesting how planned obsolescence has managed to stick its dirty little head into just about every object on the market. 

It makes me wonder how much garbage we produce because of planned obsolescence.  How much gas we use to get to the store to buy something we’ve bought thirty times prior.  How much time we waste.  Just think about how many light bulbs you’ve purchased in the past year....How many electronics.. How many appliances……backpacks……cellphones……electric tools…….

Have you thought about all the packaging these products come in?  Have you considered how far they travel to get on our shelves?  How much pollution is produced in that trip? 

It affects the planet a lot more than you think it does.  Trust me.

And, all of this isn’t entirely our fault.  How can we blame ourselves for needing a functional computer?   How would we ever survive through school and work if we did not have an up-to-date computer?  It would be virtually impossible.   

I’m so tired of our products being made with planned obsolescence as its heart and soul.  We can’t run a circular system in a finite world!  It just doesn’t work.  And, frankly, that’s why we’re faced with all of these environmental issues.  It’s simply because we are trying to produce more than we need and/or can handle.           

Do we need a computer?  Yes. 

Do we need a cell phone?  Yes.

Do we need the new Macbook Air if our old Hewlett-Packard is still working? 

Do we need the iPhone 4 when we already have the iPhone 3? 

Maybe not.   

Even though products are made to fail, you certainly don’t have to.   

Posted
AuthorSujane Kandasamy