By Tim Cooper
The current economic climate calls for us to devour and throw away progressively more items. but frequently it truly is our hope, and the simplest pursuits of our surroundings, for those items to final. The members to this booklet, who include a number of the most vital foreign thinkers within the box, discover how longer lasting items may possibly supply greater worth whereas lowering environmental affects. If we created fewer yet greater caliber items, sorted them conscientiously and invested extra in fix, protection and upgrading, could this direct our economic system onto a extra sustainable path? the answer sounds uncomplicated, but it calls for a seismic shift in how we predict, even if as manufacturers or shoppers, and our voracious urge for food for novelty.
The complicated variety of matters linked to product life-spans calls for a multidisciplinary method. The publication covers historic context, layout, engineering, advertising, legislation, govt coverage, purchaser behaviour and platforms of provision. It addresses the full variety of purchaser durables — cars, kitchen home equipment, audio-visual gear and different household items, furnishings and ground coverings, undefined, backyard instruments, garments, loved ones textiles, leisure items and DIY items — in addition to the re-use of packaging.
Longer Lasting Products offers coverage makers, these interested in product layout, production and advertising, and we all as shoppers, with transparent and compelling advice as to how we will circulation clear of a throwaway tradition in the direction of an economic system sustained by means of tougher items.
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Additional info for Longer lasting products: alternatives to the throwaway society
For example, companies may seek to reduce prices by cutting production costs even though they are aware that this will require compromises in quality (as in the case of budget range household goods and goods sold by discount retailers). Such products, in particular, may lack the potential for repair. Producers use changes in fashion to encourage consumers to replace functional items (for example, watches, spectacles and clothing accessories) and, in the market for consumer electronics, in particular, exploit technological developments to the same end.
25 The language of ‘slow consumption’ may be problematic for politicians and economists used to portraying increased consumption as a sign of success. Even ‘sustainable consumption’ is subject to different interpretations: some United Nations representatives have proposed that it means consuming differently but not less, whereas critics have argued that ‘green consumerism’ is inadequate and radical lifestyle changes are required. In other words, sustainable development demands both efficiency and sufficiency (Fuchs and Lorek 2005).
6mt of cars and car parts, 2mt of furniture and carpets, 1mt of clothing and footwear and 1mt of electrical items (Biffa 1997); current figures will almost certainly be higher. The total throughput of materials arising from such consumption is even greater, as a tonne of waste at the consumer end of the waste stream typically requires the production of 5 tonnes at the manufacturing stage and 20 tonnes at the site of initial resource extraction (Meadows et al. 1992). The potential of increased product longevity to enable a reduction in the throughput of materials (and, by implication, energy40) requires further research.