The Pathological Consumption of Products

With Christmas just around the corner, I was asked by a loved one what would I like? A kind and thoughtful question which made me take a moment out to think. In the past I have received gifts as useless as an Elon musk car air freshener, light saber chop sticks and a homer simpson talking money box!

These gifts have an amusing aspect I suppose for about an hour and if you’re lucky a day! By the 3rd day they are not looked at again and by the 15th they are heading for landfill. Yes they are designed to be chucked away.

Now, all innocent gifts and I’m sure often give the person receiving a smile. However, when you think that forests are chopped down, rivers poisoned to create an epidemic of collective purchasing madness, killing the World by pointless consumption. Come on Matt, it’s a bit of fun I hear you say. It is but a forest so you can have your pink hearted, personalised chopping board – is it?

The pointless consumption is also reflected in the commercial world where now we have product designed to be used for months then thrown! Imported from the Far East, stocked in catering wholesale warehouse. Then sold, thrown and repeat and repeat and repeat!

As an example of this over 90000 imported zappers were sold in the UK this year. The catering company that brings them in like the fact they break. “Yes they break and the customer throws and just buys a new one” that is literally what I was told. I know more than anyone that they break because I have spent the last 12 months replacing them with a different more sustainable product. I also know there are thousands of other products other than imported zappers that follow this pattern. I’m sure you or your company can give me some more examples. It is lazy pathetic consumption.

My dad used to mend the kettle when I was younger. Yes, replacing an element and getting another 2 -10 years on top of the 10 years it had just been boiling away for. Can you imagine trying to mend a kettle now?

So, going into 2019 can we make an effort to buy better products that last? They may cost slightly more but if they work better and last longer is it not a benefit to be worthy of? This Christmas if you are asked what you would like, perhaps say what you wouldn’t like i.e. tons of s”@t that is heading for the landfill. The same when thinking of products for business – stop the s”@t!

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