Uh Oh…. it’s started already

I turned on my computer this morning and had an ad from Amazon telling me that I could get a jump on “Black Friday” ( the day after Thanksgiving that is supposed to signal the start of the Christmas shopping frenzy) and start TODAY. YAY!??? I keep telling myself, “RESIST” and try to remember a book I read when my boys were young called Unplug the Christmas Machine. I remember as a kid that there was NONE of this hype until around 2 weeks before Christmas, and amazingly, everything got done… and we had fun and were happy campers.

We are so manipulated, in so many ways….

You’ve all heard of “planned obsolescence”, right? A good definition is found in Wikipedia, part of which is:

[Origins of planned obsolescence go back at least as far as 1932 with Bernard London’s pamphlet Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence.[2] However, the phrase was first popularized in 1954 by Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer. Stevens was due to give a talk at an advertising conference in Minneapolis in 1954. Without giving it much thought, he used the term as the title of his talk.[3]

From that point on, “planned obsolescence” became Stevens’ catchphrase. By his definition, planned obsolescence was “Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary.”[3]

In 1960, cultural critic Vance Packard published The Waste Makers, promoted as an exposé of “the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals.”][5]

So the “Crank Up” is on full blast to buy, buy, buy…. and particularly, buy electronics that are going to break or be out of date within 2 years. Here’s another great video from Free Range Studios, this time on “The Story of Electronics” with Annie Leonard…just in the nick of time….

And for all of your old cell phones and that big tangled mess of “things” ( I have a whole basket full of  gidgets, gadgets, chargers…. I don’t even know what they are or what they “belong” to), call the Metro Recycling Information hotline at (503) 234-3000, where a real person will answer the phone and give you resources for getting rid of all of this stuff safely and responsibly.

I spoke to someone there and asked about where we ship our recyclables. It sounds like Oregon does a pretty good job in general. Google Oregon E-cycles,  RBRC (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp) and the DEQ.

I was told that the components in electronics have to be broken down and then sold to facilities that are approved by the DEQ. Actually, maybe I’ll go deeper into this on another post sometime, but basically, it sounds like the biggest problem we have in Oregon is with the disposal of plastics…. those are sold to Asia, like the above video said. As for other states…. I haven’t a clue.

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