Ever wonder how the package knows exactly when your light bulb will burn out? Annoyed that yet another cellphone battery has gone dead and replacements are not available? Amazed at the precision with which manufacturers are able to make products that last exactly 2 weeks longer than their warranties?
Can we make planned obsolescence illegal? The theory is terrific, but is it possible to force companies by law to create better products? Manufacturers understandably need to keep some secrets in the interest of healthy competition, but when their designs are destined for a quick trip to a landfill, the government needs to step in. Its certainly not a new concept to hold manufacturers accountable for their actions while still respecting their privacy; we regulate their employment standards and their output of pollution- we should also regulate the quality of their goods.
Society needs this, the environment needs this.
Imagine every household has a conveyor belt flowing into it and a conveyor belt flowing out. This is basically what’s happening every day, we consume and we create. Light bulbs flow in, burnt light bulbs flow out. Electricity is flowing in, heat is flowing out. Celery is flowing in, waste water is flowing out (unless of course you run a greenhouse growing celery from wastewater- gross).
My hope is just to do something that slows these conveyor belts down so that our limited resources are not needlessly wasted. Fighting planned obsolescence achieves this. If light bulbs were designed according to their best scientific capabilities; they would only need to flow into the house once and stay there.
CAPO. Citizens Against Planned Obsolescence. You need a vague catchy name people can remember. “Citizens against” nicely doesn’t commit to anything since I’m not really sure how to go about solving the problem. Calling for a ban, or a new law is definitely the type of thing we should be interested in, we just need to ease people into the idea with a catchy name. Look at PETA, everyone knows this group and what they stand for, but the title is vague enough that they can explore many agendas pertaining to their overall concern.
So far the only groups claiming the name that i can find are the “Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology” and the “Canadian Association for Prosthetics and Orthotics“. I think we’d be safely distinguished from those who share the acronym.
Also see: How to raise and care for companies.
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