¡Consume more sustainably!

New products do not last as long as they used to ... in order to avoid programmed obsolescence, you can repair, exchange or buy second hand. (Getty)

Find out more on how to avoid programmed obsolescence and contribute to a more sustainable consumption

Manufacturers of products and electronic devices make devices that are bound to fail after a while or simply just stop working. This is how they get people to keep buying and keep their business growing.

This behavior is known as programmed obsolescence: limiting the useful life of a product so that it continues to be consumed. However, there are several things we can do to reduce the effects of obsolescence: from repairing our belongings to promoting more sustainable consumption among our family and friends.

It is in your hands

Many objects that we use every day are programmed to last a limited amount of time: cell phones, computers, sneakers, clothes, textbooks, …

Some initiatives work to advertise companies or manufacturers that most apply programmed obsolescence in their products. This way, criticism and public opinion is expected to force them to rectify. The NGO Friends of the Earth has launched an initiative called alargaescencia: advocating the prolongation of the useful life of useless products.

Friends of the Earth also offer a directory of establishments that give a second life to products, be it repairing, exchanging or selling second-hand goods.
This is a collaborative initiative: everyone helps find, write and spread information on establishments or projects that are dedicated to extending the life of products.

The best solution: be creative!

Other organizations take the opportunity to develop social initiatives and extend the useful life of the products.

One example is the Deixalles Foundation, which works repairing computers or other technological devices. The foundation employs people at risk of social exclusion: vulnerable people, in poor conditions, and sometimes in more complicated situations such as drug addiction or family violence.

We live in a fast-consuming society: food, clothes, cell phones, shoes, furniture … Maybe the time has come to reconsider this model and bet on other more lasting alternatives, more environmentally and people friendly.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report | Castellano | Català | English


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