Unsustainable Business Buy More The Cost Of Consumption
Did you know that a five year old computer is considered “vintage”? A computer older than six years is considered obsolete. That means parts will no longer be made available should you try to simply have your machine repaired rather than buy a brand new one.
How often do you think you should need to replace your computer?
I’m from the generation that believes big purchase items such as a computer should last around ten years. In the past a fridge could last twenty five years, now you are expected to replace your fridge after ten years. All appliances are now made to only last around ten years and apparently computers are only meant to last five years.
I had no idea that my computer would already be considered obsolete at the tender age of six. My old computer had special upgrades and one of them was the graphics card which they no longer make.
Do you ever think about the sustainability of our world?
For every computer that must be replaced one more ends up in the garbage heap.
This animated clip says it all…
Not only is it a way for large corporations to keep lining their pockets over consumption is systematically destroying the earth.
How do I segway from this important topic into photos of me wearing a pretty reclaimed secondhand dress?
I rescued this perfectly good dress from winding up in the garbage.
I like to believe that is a small step in the right direction.
This dress will soon be available in my Etsy store. Size small/medium.
I was very disappointed to learn that computers are meant to be replaced so quickly.
I know that people often replace their phones every year which is also ridiculous to me.
I’m hoping to have my new computer early next week. I couldn’t even walk out of the store with one because I require more storage and their new systems are “closed” which means once you buy the computer it’ll never be opened again, they have to add the extra storage when the computer is made. Closed systems (aka never-to-be-repaired) ensure that Apple will be getting more cash in the future.
What are your feelings about a society fuelled by consumption?
Does it ever weigh on your conscience?
Linking up with Hat Attack
Planned obsolescence, I think they call it. Being a bit of a geek i watched a fascinating BBC documentary about it a few years ago. It all started with light bulbs, they used to last for years but when the manufacturers decided that they weren’t selling enough they changed the manufacturing process so they’d deliberately fail and consumers would have to buy more on a regular basis,
I’ve been told that the production of Crimplene stopped not because it became unfashionable but women weren’t buying enough new clothes as those made of Crimplene never wore out.
I’m sorry about your computer, that’s an expense nobody needs. I bought mine from Aldi in the early noughties and luckily for us there’s a PC repair shop in town and the owner tweaks it every now and than. I steadfastly refuse to use a laptop or own a Smartphone so i dread to think what i’ll do when it finally gives up the ghost.
Great dress, accessorised perfectly! xxx
suzanne carillo says
Greed shall destroy us all.
I went to an Apple 6 years ago because I needed better and faster graphics when I was working on my designs. I have my husband’s old Mac laptop (where I’ve bee working from this week),an iPhone and an Apple TV. The one good thing about it is that everything syncs and works together. I was very grateful that this old laptop still works this past week.
Those old PCs just keep running and often they can be fixed for little cost.
I’m typing this on my obsolete computer, which has been going for six years going on seven, and which I’ll keep using until its demise. It does what it has to do, so why should I buy a new one? It’s an utter disgrace that expensive items like computers have such a short lease of life. After almost twenty faithful years, we had to replace our washing machine last year. When we told the shop assistent, he said straight out that the new one wouldn’t last that long. OK, we now have one which costs less to run, but what’s the use if it’s got to be replaced after 10 years, I wonder. Good luck with your new computer, I am dreading the day I have to buy a new one. xxx
suzanne carillo says
I’m with you. I never would have replaced my computer if my other one didn’t totally fail.
I’ve been migrating my old computer to my new one all. day. long. Finally it looks like it might all be there and working. At least that part seemed to have gone smoothly. I’m glad I had a complete backup to work from.
My mind boggles at how short the life spans of modern appliances are. When shopping for a new washing machine most had just 1 year’s warranty. We paid more to get a better model with 5 years, still seems short. My parents had theirs for 25 years!! We try to keep stuff going and repair things, my husband’s quite handy.
Good luck with your new computer x
suzanne carillo says
I think it is such a scam that they make you pay for anything over a year’s warranty. No company seems to stand behind their quality anymore.
That’s crazy. I believe it but it’s still crazy. My work computer isn’t connected to the Internet (to protect it from viruses) and operates perfectly well even though it’s over ten years old. I plan to ride that baby into the sunset.
suzanne carillo says
It seems like you are living back in the 80’s! How do you connect to Westlaw and all those online legal resources?
I think it is amazing that you manage to have a computer not connected to the internet.
Rachel G says
I love the colors of that dress! It’s too sad that so many things aren’t made to last anymore. I can kind of understand laptops not lasting more than five years, they tend to take a little bit of a beating, being carried around in backpacks all the time and exposed to the elements a bit more often. My last two laptops lasted about 5 years each, and I was content with that because they were quite budget-laptops to begin with. But a desktop should surely have more life expectancy in it!
suzanne carillo says
Funny enough the laptop I’m using now is older than my desktop. It used to be my husbands. I was able to have the OS upgraded and since then it seems to run fine…as long as I don’t try to add any programs to it.
I agree with Vix… Gorgeous dress!
Tiina L says
Just thinking about all the old computer carcasses hiding in my closet… I understand that technology evolves, and sometimes we need to upgrade. But every few years, that’s crazy! Good laptops are expensive, and what are you supposed to do with the ‘obsolete’ old one? Sure, they can be recycled… I sometimes think of getting a wheelbarrow to take all the obsolete electronic carbage cluttering my home to the recycling centre a couple of kilometres away (I don’t have a car), but somehow that doesn’t seem to happen…
suzanne carillo says
I’m actually going to be sending my old iMac into a company that *may* be giving me some money for it, so at least this huge screen hopefully won’t wind up in a landfill. It is a 27″ mother of a computer.
Beautiful dress! You look pretty!
I remember the first time I saw that cartoon, and it made me feel sick watching it (except for the last few seconds, which I love).
Planned Obsolescence makes me so angry! I had my first Mac computer for 7 years, and it still worked fine but I couldn’t upgrade the operating system anymore which meant some applications couldn’t be used. I think my current one is going on 4 years old. I only replace my electronics when they die. I had a sony trinitron television that I bought from a friend who had owned it for about 15 years. It lasted for another 10 with me. They definitely don’t make ’em like that any more.
That dress looks so good on you – the colours and the shape – are you sure you want to sell it??
suzanne carillo says
That is very interesting. This laptop I’m using now is old (maybe 8 years?), it used to be my husband’s ages ago. I took it into the Apple thinking I needed to upgrade it because the OS was so old and didn’t work with anything but then they just went ahead and installed a new OS for free and the computer works great now. Granted I have no real programs on here and I don’t like to store anything because there is no RAM or storage but otherwise for WordPress or just emails it works fine. It’s too bad they weren’t able to do the same for you.
Yes, gone are the days of electronics lasting 25 years. Such a shame.
I do pick up pieces I love : ) but my closet says pass it on to someone else that will love it. It is a fab dress though.
I hate that technology is made to be replaced so often. I find it very frustrating and such a waste. On a positive note, that dress is stunning. And your butterfly wall makes me so happy every time I see it!
I’m writing this on a desktop PC which is probably 6 years old now but lightning fast still, because we bought the most advanced PC at the time and plenty of storage. Having worked for Intel, I should be telling you that PCs get tired after about 4 years but it’s not always true. Buy one that has the capability to be upgraded.
Regarding clothes and sustainability – I try not to go in the fashion shops that offer latest looks at very low prices. We hear over and over again that the clothes are made in 3rd world countries and the workers are exploited. And I’m trying to buy more vintage and thrifted clothes.
suzanne carillo says
This new iMac has additional storage from the exterior that can be upgraded easily but as I mentioned these Apple systems are closed so any additional RAM had to be purchased in advance. The computer cannot be opened up or updated in the future.
Since I’m no longer working as a designer creating massive Photoshop files my huge need for RAM has diminished.
My old computer was also the top of the line and had loads of upgrades, in fact that is why I can’t repair it. The upgrade of the specialty high performance graphics card was from another company that no longer makes them.
I do miss my PC sometimes. Since I now own all Apple products aside from one super awful PC I use only for accounting I’m kind of buried with Apple.
I believe PCs are much more repairable and way less expensive than these Macs.
Love the dress and the background you chose for the photos. Vibrant and perfect!
I grew up around computers. My father is an electrical engineer. We always had spare computer parts lying around and I learned how to upgrade the hardware in my computer from an early age. Usually, I’d just go through the stuff in the garage and, if it looked better than what I had, I’d use it. Heh. So, I learned how to make do with what we had and also I understood that you can increase performance without having to start from scratch (i.e. buy a completely new unit).
Of course, things have changed drastically, since then. We have laptops, now. Can’t exactly take those apart and put new hardware inside. Heh. So, yeah. It’s tough to keep up with the way things are going and with how increasingly expensive it has gotten, but desktop computers have become incredibly affordable (coming from a 90’s perspective) and you get so much bang for your buck, these days. Laptops, aside, I think people can use a desktop machine for a crazy long time. The biggest issue for me, right now, is waste. More people need to take proper care in recycling their computer parts!
Wow. I am. Nerding out, here. Yep. Leaving now. Haha.
Good point about desktops and a very interesting response.
Loved this post and reading these to!
The computer that I had to replace is a desktop. They are considered obsolete after 5 years which to me isn’t a crazy long time at all.
Since I have Apple they aren’t easy to repair nor are they cheap (at least not by my standards) I dropped over three G on this computer when all was said and done.
As I mentioned the newest computer from Apple are all closed system. They can’t be opened again after they are sold, or so I was told by one of the Geniuses at the Genius bar which doesn’t surprise me. Apple has always been about not allowing people into their computers.
I did notice that the computers in the US are much less expensive. I could have gone to the States to buy one but then once you pay the difference in the dollar, taxes and duty at the boarder they wind up costing the same.
I *wish* I had the knowledge and ability to repair my own. I’d have preferred doing that.
As far as recycling goes Apple deals with a company that sends out a box to your house and then you send them your old machine and they try to reuse them or recycle them. If I’m lucky I might get $200 back and at least the computer doesn’t wind up in the garbage.
Hollie Ramsey says
Me likey your outfit…. and computers that last more than 3 years
First off, this is one fabulous dress Suzanne ! You are rocking it.
I do hear you about over consumption, and we as a nation are leading the way…
Fast fashion is guilty of this, as is advertising… and we should all be conscientious about how we pollute the earth when toxic dyes or battery acids leach into our soil.
It can be challenging with technology, but I love my 3 year old Samsung galaxy note… it takes great photos, most of my blog photos are from it, better than apple, and there is not a single feature that I feel like I am missing..
We keep our car as well for many years .
Veronica Cooke says
We do consume too much. Some people are simply profligate and do not think about the consequences of their actions.
I had to buy a new laptop earlier this year. My original one was donated to me by grandson; it had a cracked screen. I paid 90.00 to have the screen repaired and it lasted another three years.
Our oven broke a couple of weeks ago. I had just stopped the insurance on it as I thought it was a waste of money! Sod’s law. Instead of buying a brand new one I bought a second hand one for a fraction of the cost of my original one. I just have to hope I get some good use out of it.
I always try to shop second hand when I can but sometimes you have to buy new…
No Fear of Fashion says
I will do my utmost to make this world a good place, a better place, but not to an extend of great discomfort. Within reason. I will never start a war, I will take care of the people around me, I will not dispose my garbage other than in places where they are meant to be disposed, I will not buy at cheap stores of which I know they have child slaves working in factories in the third world. etc etc. But I do not make myself crazy about things which are out of my circle of influence. I couldn’t live then anymore.
Marilee Gramith says
Greetje makes some excellent points.
The pitfalls and frustrations of capitalism have always been there. Unfortunately the principles of supply and demand have always been impacted by greed, over consumption and limited resources.
As a teacher I was able to address these issues and teach conservation for many years. I try to modify my behavior and live sustainably but it is a challenge.
Revolutionary behavior change is unlikely without catastrophic motivation I fear…
I have really come to dislike the cheap and abundant clothing that is ‘Fast Fashion’. I thrift and pass on all my clothing, and my friends and I regularly tell one another what we paid retail for in the outfits we wear. My husband is right on board with this, and buys from clothing and shoe stores only when he has to.
I have seen some truly beautiful things on your page, and was rather hoping you might keep that gorgeous black skirt with the side pleat detail you had on the other day.
Yep- planned obsolescence strikes again. Man, how I hate it so much! I watched a documentary a few years ago called “The Lightbulb Consipiracy” and found it simultaneously depressing, but also inspiring to see just how bad our consumerist culture is, but also what to do about it.
I like to think that I am doing my own little part by thrift shopping and making slow fashion choices. Saving this dress from the landfill is definitely “fighting back” against the consumerist culture- all while looking stylish at the same time! 🙂
Señora Allnut says
I’m also an old fashioned lady, so my computers are supposed to be in use until they fall apart or burnt in flames. My computer is twelve years old, and I hope it would last some years more. Really hope it.
I hate being obligued to change a device wich is actually working by a new one, only because of new programmes, new operating systems or whatever the reason. I feel cheated!
Anyway, you look fabulous, I love your dress, love that floral print, and love your accesorizing!, and You Rock!.