Friday, January 18, 2008

Consumption

I suggest everyone visit http://www.storyofstuff.com/ and watch. This is the mess we have gotten ourselves in as a society and we need to come up with solutions for a more sustainable way of life for our financial well being, our health, and for our environment.

10 comments:

mohican said...

The mess in the financial markets the past 4 months has been because greedy corporations made stupid decisions to lend people money to buy overpriced homes with no ability to pay off the loan.

Clarke said...

Well, the quarterly earnings looked good for a while, and there is no correlation between CEO salaries and actual performance. Once you factor in the expectation of some sort of government bailout for the banking sector, you pretty much get a textbook case of moral hazard.

Craig said...

Stopped listening when she bemoaned that 99% of everything we buy is "trashed" within six months.

Considering food and energy are our biggest expenditures as consumers, that's hardly a surprise.

M- said...

That video was awesome!

...Though I have to agree with Craig-- the 99% stat was ridiculous. It doesn't even come close to passing the common-sense test-- if I had to replace any significant percentage of the consumer goods in my house on a 6-month basis, I'd be in the poor-house right now. I suppose that number includes packaging (fair enough), food (ugh), fuel (ugh). There are few "things" that I buy to toss in less than 6 months. Starbucks cups, light bulbs, printer paper, newspapers, mail...

If you were to go to a poorer country, say Nepal, their waste-within-6-months stat would probably also be 99-100%... But they "waste" virtually nothing.

patriotz said...

we need to come up with solutions for a more sustainable way of life for our financial well being, our health, and for our environment.

I came up with one a long time ago and it's worked really well for me. I think people should try it out.

It's called "spending less than you earn".

Gabriel said...

The computer statistic was also blatantly silly. If only computer design was so simple.

LCD screens are far easier on the eyes.

I like the message, I just don't like the execution.

M- said...

Gabriel: for the computer example, she also failed to mention that many parts CAN be re-used in a computer. Often you can get away with just upgrading the CPU and motherboard, and maybe the RAM. The expansion cards, DVD/CD drives, hard drive, and the case can often be re-used.

Not to mention that computers are good for quite a long time, as long as your needs/wishes don't grow for a faster machine. My parents, who surf the web, play MP3s, and do word documents, are still using their Celeron 1.1 computer that they bought sometime around 2000. I clean the spyware off it from time to time, and it works just fine (not even all that slow). I only replaced my last computer because it got toasted. Learn from my mistake: don't disconnect USB devices without ejecting or stopping them in Windows first!

freako said...

My parents, who surf the web, play MP3s, and do word documents, are still using their Celeron 1.1

Yeah, once in a while I'd help out friends/family with a basic machine. I'd install a tweaked version of 98lite and a set up very small and fast apps. Then I'd look up the OS partition so it couldn't be altered. This means no spyware etc. Of course, the user won't be able to install software. BUT the think is LIGHTNING fast even on an old Celeron. In all honesty, more responsive than my AMD 4.6 dual core loaded with ran and running vista. And it does exactly what it is designed to do, which is surf and Office. Of course, with all the Flash etc that websites now use, it will run into problems, so no longer a viable solution.

casual observer said...

I always try to find consumer items that are durable and going to last, but I've been having a harder time doing that lately. It used to be that you could always find better quality items to purchase that may be more expensive, but at least they would last longer than some of the "cheaper" stuff.

These days it seems that even the so called "higher quality" items have many parts and pieces that are easily broken. If one small part breaks, the whole thing must be thrown away because of the hassle and cost of finding and ordering replacement parts for most consumer goods.

If overall quality of goods is suspect, and the only difference in products is styling, it now makes sense to buy the cheapest product available, because you're going to end up having to replace it soon anyway.

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