Manufactured to break

It is called ‘planned obsolescence’ to the determination of the end of life of a product, so that, after a certain period of time determined by the manufacturer, the product becomes obsolete, useless.

The aim of this practice is the economic profit: at some point the product will fail, and force —although this is always relative— the consumer to buy another. And so on. This production system generates a huge amount of waste, causing an environmental problem, due in large part to the lack of proper management of these wastes.

Any product is susceptible to planned obsolescence: from a mobile to the clothes ‘gets old’. Although it all began with a light bulb.

This Californian light bulb is on since 1901 —Imagen Unknown Author

Before manufacturers adopted obsolescence as a rule, in the 1920s, a light bulb was made in June 1901 … which is still operating today, over 100 years later. It is located in a fire station in Livermore, California, in the United States. It’s so unusual that they have installed a webcam to see how this ‘anomaly’ still works. And it’s not the only one! There are more centenarians bulbs working, although not as long-lived.

This eternal bulb inspired spanish Benito Muros, president of OEP Electrics, to create a LED bulb that is never spent. Muros also began a fight against this practice of the current economy. He created No Planned Obsolescence movement as ‘a new way of thinking and doing things and creating a new system in which products are designed and made to last forever and they do not make us spend unnecessarily, and be more respectful of our planet’, as related by himself in an interview in La Vanguardia Journal in 2012.

As you can imagine, this new bulb has difficulty entering the market. In the same interview, Muros told that ‘the distributors tell us that it’s their way of living, and department stores offer us increase the price, to which we have refused. We have been offered a lot of money to not remove the market and death threats, which are in the hands of the police’.

The idea is simple: if the product does not have an expiration date, do not generate waste. The voices that support the obsolescence argue that their disappearance would collapse the system, as thousands of people will lose their job. The truth is that we are more than 7 billion people living on this planet. The average amount of garbage we generate each of us is more than 1 kilo per day, according to the statistical office Eurostat. That is, in one day we produce more than 7 billion kilos of garbage. Many of these wastes are not biodegradable, and many are also contaminants. The situation is unsustainable.

The documentary ‘Buy, throw away, buy‘, by Cosima Dannoritzer, discusses the issue in depth, and provides a unique solution: fix instead of buying. An interesting reflection.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1726 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2715) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-25 00:04:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-24 22:04:56" ["post_content"]=> string(2119) "La Felicidad Nacional Bruta (FNB) o Felicidad Interior Bruta (FIB) es un indicador que mide la calidad de vida de las personas en términos más holísticos y psicológicos que el tradicional Producto Interior Bruto (PIB). El término fue propuesto en 1972 por Jigme Singye Wangchuck, rey de Bután, como respuesta a las constantes críticas sobre la mala marcha de la economía del país. Las medidas derivadas de este concepto se aplican en la vida cotidiana de los butaneses teniendo en cuenta las peculiaridades de su cultura, basada principalmente en el budismo. Mientras los modelos convencionales observan el crecimiento económico como objetivo principal, el concepto de FNB se basa en la premisa de que el verdadero desarrollo de la sociedad humana se encuentra en la complementación y refuerzo mutuo de los desarrollos material y espiritual. Sus cuatro pilares son la promoción del desarrollo socioeconómico sostenible e igualitario, la preservación y promoción de valores culturales, la conservación del Medio Ambiente y el establecimiento de un buen gobierno.Gross National Happiness (GNH) or Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) its an indicator that measures people's life quality in more holistic and psychological terms than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The term was proposed in 1972 by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Buthan, as an answer to the constant criticism to the bad economy of the country. The measures resulting from this concept are applied in everyday life of the Bhutanese taking into account the peculiarities of their culture, based mainly in Buddhism. While conventional models observed economic growth as its main objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society is in the complementarity and mutual reinforcement of material and spiritual developments. Its four pillars are: the promotion of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the environment and the establishment of good governance." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "El índice de Felicidad Nacional BrutaThe assessment of Gross National Happiness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "the-assessment-of-gross-national-happiness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 03:16:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 02:16:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2715" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1721 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5865) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-05-12 00:01:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-05-11 22:01:52" ["post_content"]=> string(3297) "'Sé por experiencia que cuanto más das, más recibes'. Albañil y militante anarquista nacido en Navarra, huyó a Francia en 1954 después de desertar del servicio militar. Debido a su actividad clandestina en pro de grupos de extrema izquierda internacionales es considerado como una especie de Robin Hood, aunque en palabras de Albert Boadella 'Lucio es un Quijote que no luchó contra molinos de viento, sino contra gigantes de verdad'. Amigo de André Breton y Albert Camus, a lo largo de su vida ha participado en un gran número de actos contra el sistema capitalista que supusieron que se dictaran en su contra cinco órdenes internacionales de busca y captura, incluida una de la CIA. Destacan la proposición al Che Guevara para falsificar masivamente dólares americanos —finalmente rechazada—, la participación en la preparación del secuestro del nazi Klaus Barbie en Bolivia, la colaboración en la fuga del líder de los Panteras Negras, la intercesión en el secuestro de Javier Rupérez o su colaboración en la fuga de prisión de Albert Boadella, que se encontraba en espera de un juicio por un delito de injurias al ejército. Además simpatizó con los Grupos Autónomos de Combate-Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación y con los posteriores Grupos de Acción Revolucionaria Internacionalista —GARI—, manteniendo una especial relación con uno de los miembros más destacados de estos últimos, el francés Jean-Marc Rouillan. Siempre ha defendido el trabajo: 'Somos albañiles, pintores, electricistas, no necesitamos el Estado para nada'. Actualmente sigue participando en la difusión de las ideas anarquistas y continúa viviendo en París de su trabajo de albañil, en una casa con las puertas abiertas.'I know from experience that the more you give, the more you receive'. Mason and militant anarchist born in Navarra, he fled to France in 1954 after defecting from military service. Due to its clandestine activities towards international left-wing groups is considered as a kind of Robin Hood, but in the words of Albert Boadella 'Lucio is a Quijote that did not fight windmills, but against real giants'. Friend of André Breton and Albert Camus, throughout his life has been involved in numerous acts against the Capitalist system which supposed five international search orders, including one of the CIA. Highlights include the proposal to Che Guevara to fake massively American dollars —finally rejected—, the participation in the preparation of the kidnapping of nazi Klaus Barbie in Bolivia, the collaboration in the escape of the leader of the Black Panthers, the intercession on the kidnapping of Javier Rupérez or his help in Albert Boadella's jailbreak, who was awaiting trial for a crime of insulting the Army. He also sympathized with the Autonomous Combat Groups Iberian Liberation Movement and post-Revolutionary Internationalist Action Groups —GARI—, maintaining a special relationship with one of the most prominent members of the latter, the French Jean-Marc Rouillan. He has always defended work: 'We are masons, painters, electricians, we need the state for nothing'. Currently he is still involved in spreading anarchist ideas and continues living in Paris in a house with open doors." ["post_title"]=> string(114) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Lucio UrtubiaWHAT ABOUT: The future by Lucio Urtubia" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "what-about-the-future-by-lucio-urtubia" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 14:58:06" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 12:58:06" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5865" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1727 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2599) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-18 00:01:41" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-17 22:01:41" ["post_content"]=> string(1040) "'Para que el futuro no sea desolador tenemos que actuar ahora'. Ingeniero agrónomo de formación, ha desarrollado su carrera en el mundo de la consultoría en Andersen Consulting, siendo socia de Accenture del 2001 al 2005. Posteriormente ejerció como directora general de Operaciones en Aon, líder en España en consultoría de riesgos y broker de seguros. Desde el 2010 forma parte de Zurich Financial Services, donde actualmente es CEO del centro de excelencia desde el que la compañía desarrolla su plataforma de sistemas para Europa.'For avoid a gloomy future we must act now'. Agronomist of training, has developed her career in the world of consulting at Andersen Consulting, being Accenture partner from 2001 to 2005. Later she worked as Chief Operating Officer at Aon, Spain's leading risk advisor and insurance broker. Since 2010 is part of Zurich Financial Services, where she is currently CEO of the center of excellence from which the company develops its systems platform for Europe." ["post_title"]=> string(110) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Ana BarandaWHAT ABOUT: The future by Ana Baranda" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "what-about-the-future-by-ana-baranda" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 18:00:07" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 16:00:07" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2599" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1872 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4595) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-08 00:01:17" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-07 22:01:17" ["post_content"]=> string(5889) "Desde su nacimiento con la comida rápida en la década de los 30 en Estados Unidos, la polémica sobre la nueva industria alimentaria no ha dejado de suscitarse. ¿Constituye realmente esta industria la solución a todos los problemas de subsistencia y abastecimiento? ¿Debemos pensar que sólo gracias a ella podríamos alimentar saludablemente a todos los ciudadanos de occidente, e incluso acabar con el hambre en países no desarrollados? O, por el contrario, ¿la industria de la alimentación no sólo no ha ayudado a erradicar el hambre sino que es responsable de generar nuevas enfermedades ligadas a este sistema de producción de alimentos a gran escala? Las denuncias y las críticas proceden de diferentes frentes: ecologistas, grupos de granjeros y ciudadanos reclaman legislaciones que velen por los intereses de todos y no sólo por los de las grandes multinacionales de la alimentación. En lugar de ello, las leyes actuales de la principal potencia mundial (Estados Unidos) protegen al pequeño grupo de empresas que controla todo el proceso alimentario, desde el patentado de semillas resistentes a las diversas plagas y enfermedades —semillas que al convertirse en cereales servirán para alimentar al ganado— hasta el momento en que los productos se ponen a la venta en el supermercado. Los argumentos críticos se articulan desde diversos flancos: como demuestran los datos del Banco Mundial, casi 2.800 millones de personas viven por debajo de la línea de pobreza y el hambre en el mundo sigue siendo el mayor problema social y político. El desarrollo de la industria alimentaria no ha beneficiado al 46% de la humanidad y la obesidad, la diabetes, el colesterol o las enfermedades ligadas a la nutrición han aumentado exponencialmente con la expansión de la industria de la alimentación. Las grandes multinacionales alimentarias, con el apoyo de gobiernos y leyes, impiden el desarrollo de las formas de explotación agrícola tradicional, hasta el punto de que éstas claudican ante sus presiones y manipulaciones. Los ciudadanos se sienten engañados cuando se les oculta cómo se manipulan genéticamente ciertos alimentos, su procedencia, los procesos de maduración que siguen frutas y verduras, etc. La aparición constante de enfermedades causadas por los alimentos que consumimos —por ejemplo, la encefalopatía espongiforme o los brotes de la enfermedad producida por la bacteria E. Coli 0157:H7— induce a pensar que estamos ante un problema muy serio cuyo responsable último es nuestro sistema económico y de producción, y este sistema afecta en último término a nuestra salud y bienestar físico e intelectual. Y la responsabilidad no reside sólo en el ciudadano que se alimenta, sino en una industria que modifica los alimentos y oculta la manipulación. Parece que en gran parte somos lo que comemos. Y también que gran parte de lo que comemos está contaminado, adulterado y su proceso de producción ocurre tras misteriosas naves diseñadas para ocultar cómo se manipula lo que después nos llevaremos a la boca. © Texto basado en un artículo de Iván Teimil y Asunción Herrera, de la Universidad de Oviedo (España)From birth to fast food in the 30s in the United States, the controversy over the new food industry has constantly arise. Constitutes the industry really the solution to all problems of subsistence and supplies? Are we to think that just because she could feed healthy to all citizens of the West, and even end hunger in underdeveloped countries? Or, conversely, does the food industry has not only helped eradicate hunger but is liable to generate new illnesses linked to this system of food production on a large scale? The complaints and criticisms from different fronts: environmentalists, farmers and citizens groups demanding legislation to ensure the interests of all and not just those of large multinational food. Instead, the current laws of the major world power (the United States) protect the small group of companies controls the entire food process, from the patented seeds resistant to various pests and diseases, seed grain that will become for cattle feed, so far as the products offered for sale at the supermarket. The critical arguments are articulated from various sides: as the data of the World Bank, nearly 2,800 million people live below the poverty and hunger in the world is still the greatest social and political problem. The development of the food industry has not benefited the 46% of humanity and obesity, diabetes, cholesterol or nutrition-related diseases have increased exponentially with the expansion of the food industry. The large food multinationals, with the support of governments and laws, prevent the development of traditional farming ways, to the point that they claudican to their pressures and manipulations. Citizens feel cheated when they are hidden how certain foods are genetically engineered, their origin, maturation processes following fruits and vegetables, etc. The continuing emergence of diseases caused by the food we eat –for example, spongiform encephalopathy outbreaks or disease caused by the bacterium E. Coli 0157: H7– suggests that this is a very serious problem which is ultimately responsible for our economic and production system, and this system will ultimately affect our health and physical and intellectual. And the responsibility lies not only in the city that eats, but in an industry that hides modified food and handling. It seems that much of what we are is what we eat. And much of what we eat is contaminated, adulterated and its production process occurs after mysterious spacecraft designed to conceal how it is handled before we put into our mouths. : Based on an article by Iván Teimil and Asunción Herrera, from the University of Oviedo (Spain)" ["post_title"]=> string(74) "Somos lo que comemosWe are what we eat" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(20) "somos-lo-que-comemos" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-17 00:08:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 23:08:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4595" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }