“Designed for the dump”

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Electronics and Gadgets

Have you ever opened your electronics drawer or box and notice you have like hundreds of chargers and USB cables for every phone or for every MP3 you ever had? Nowadays every phone has a unique charger which can only be used for that particular model and when you decide it’s time for a change you end up with another charger that does the same exact job as the one before. Companies instruct their R&D departments to design different accessories for every model they produce. I personally see this almost every day when I have to search an entire box to find the chargers that fit all my electronics.

Products are especially designed and produced to last less and contain more and more toxic materials which leads us to the answer of why electronics get cheaper. They may have increases in performance but they last around for less time as they are easier to brake but harder to repair or upgrade. Ever wondered why sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a new DVD player rather than to repair the old one? It’s because of the “designed for the dump” concept on which firms build their products. They use this so that they continuously sell new units every time they break down. The parts the old DVD needs to be fixed are discontinued or are too expensive to be bought alone. For example if I want to upgrade my processor on my laptop I will most probably find out that the new processors built out there are not compatible with my old motherboard. If I decided to buy the new motherboard then I come across the conclusion that my audio unit and my 3D video unit are no longer suitable or compatible with the newly produced motherboards. After more compatibility issues you will probably end up buying a new laptop just because you wanted to change the processor which could of easily been solved if all the processors were compatible with the old motherboard. It’s obviously more profitable for a multinational corporate business to sell a new laptop altogether rather than just a small chip.

The major issue here is the extra consumption of natural resources these companies use to provide products. I mean, compare the amount of resources needed to build a chip and the amount needed for a whole new laptop. Think of all those resources that companies waste on a regular basis, which could be saved to preserve our ecosystem for a longer time.

For more information and a nice animated version visit http://storyofstuff.org/electronics/

More stuff here http://www.electronicstakeback.com/home/

  1. I completely agree with both your points! Chargers have proven to be a major nuisance for me as well. And I am happy that you were blighted with the vision of ”Designed for the dump” because that is completely true as well. Every day we have some beard boffins coming out of their crummy cowsheds telling us that machines are going to take over the world… Yeah right!

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