By Tim Cooper
The current economic climate calls for us to devour and throw away increasingly more items. but usually it really is our hope, and the easiest pursuits of our surroundings, for those items to final. The participants to this ebook, who contain a few of the most vital overseas thinkers within the box, discover how longer lasting items might supply superior worth whereas lowering environmental affects. If we created fewer yet greater caliber items, taken care of them conscientiously and invested extra in fix, upkeep and upgrading, might this direct our financial system onto a extra sustainable direction? the answer sounds easy, but it calls for a seismic shift in how we expect, even if as manufacturers or shoppers, and our voracious urge for food for novelty.
The complicated variety of concerns linked to product life-spans calls for a multidisciplinary technique. The booklet covers old context, layout, engineering, advertising, legislations, govt coverage, patron behaviour and platforms of provision. It addresses the total variety of shopper durables — autos, kitchen home equipment, audio-visual gear and different household items, furnishings and ground coverings, undefined, backyard instruments, garments, loved ones textiles, leisure items and DIY items — in addition to the re-use of packaging.
Longer Lasting Products offers coverage makers, these serious about product layout, production and advertising and marketing, and we all as shoppers, with transparent and compelling suggestions as to how we will stream clear of a throwaway tradition in the direction of an economic system sustained via tougher items.
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Additional info for Longer lasting products: alternatives to the throwaway society
In such cases it is appropriate, therefore, to configure the debate around the potential for optimizing, rather than maximizing, product life-spans (Cooper, 1994b; Chalkley et al. 42 In the case of energy-using products, the potential for a trade-off between longevity and energy efficiency has led to a degree of controversy. Improvements in energy efficiency have been used to justify and, indeed, promote the replacement of functional items, despite the implied increase in waste. Supporting evidence has come from life cycle assessment (LCA) studies which indicate that, for many such products, more energy is consumed during the use phase than in their production, distribution and disposal.
The term reflects the idea of products as physical objects that provide a ‘service’ to the user. 13 Finally, the point at which maintaining a product becomes more expensive than replacing it is its ‘economic life’ (Heiskanen 1996; Kostecki 1998). g. duration, frequency and intensity). The norm is years, but other units may be equally (or more) relevant for certain types of product. Thus operational cycles may be used for items such as washing machines, dishwashers or toasters in order to take account of intensity of use.
Similarly, the purchase of new energy-efficient refrigeration equipment may not result in reduced energy consumption if its capacity is larger than the item replaced or the old equipment is retained and kept in operation (Strandbakken 2009). Academic evidence remains rather inconclusive. For example, research suggests that shorter replacement intervals 42 See Chapter 2 (Burns). 43 The analysis excluded the impact of raw materials extraction and assumed, rather optimistically, that a washing machine typically lasts for 14 years (Cooper 1994b).