Upgrades vs Downgrades
It’s always tempting to upgrade, to be seduced by the promise of “better.” The latest smart-phones are better than old ones. The latest cars are faster, more efficient, smarter. The latest whatever is usually promoted as better that the old stuff we already have. It’s a cornerstone of marketing consumerism. But visit your nearest land fill and you’ll see the down side to upgrades.
Upgrading consumer goods means downgrading our ecosphere. The math is simple. If we’re getting new stuff, the old stuff has to go somewhere, and nowadays, with things being made to be discarded, repairs are difficult, if not impossible. Not only that, but many products are still not 100% recyclable. Nor does it help that “built in obsolescence” is the usual economic strategy used by today’s manufacturers. So how do we resist the temptation of “new” and keep our eco-footprint small?
Step 1: visit the local landfill and take a look at all the “new stuff” that was shiny a few years ago and now rests in pieces amid piles of garbage. Everything turns to rubbish sooner or later. Step 2: look after things and make them last. Step 3: ask ourselves whether the new stuff on the shelf is really needed, or is it just another techno-fetish. Most of what we purchase isn’t necessary, it’s just the latest junk. So if it isn’t really needed, leave it in the store. Step 4: buy the best. When we buy cheap, we’re throwing away more that just money–we’re throwing away our environment.