Brice Bunner

Consumers are key to stopping the addiction that's killing our planet


Consumers are key to stopping the addiction thats killing our planet_Finance_Sage Sustainable ElectronicsWith the re-release of the Galaxy Fold, I’ve been thinking about the literal race that has projected our industrialized civilization into complete denial of its self-destruction. Of course, I’m talking about how companies worldwide are continuing to release new products, add to the waste streams, and belch even more carbon into the atmosphere while kids everywhere are begging them to stop. It’s like when I tell my own kids to stop eating sweets so they cram five more pieces into their mouths.

Upgrading is an addiction

It’s not our fault, to some degree, that we continue to consume like there is an infinite planet to support our habits. We have slick marketing that sings its Siren song, convenience that even kings of the past had no access to, and the whiz-bang surprise of what innovators "will think of next." And all of this is seducing us to consume more, more, MORE!

Plus, those marketers are working for companies who are convinced that pleasing their customers with the latest tech or the spiffiest solution to a problem we were completely unaware of (10x optical zoom on a phone? Where have you been all my life?) is really the only way to survive in today’s marketplace. Gone is the innovation of “quality” or “customer service,” now it’s all just “bells and whistles.”

Between the two forces of manufacturers and consumers, the planet is being stripped of beauty and then unceremoniously re-clad in waste--over and over again.This horror is finally reaching our scientists (the third side of this tech love-triangle) who then become some of the first converts from Consumer Sales to Climate Solutions.

In the time it will take this all-too urgent message to go from the planet, through the scientists, into the consumer, and back to the marketer, we might not have a home left to save.

But there is a ray of hope—a kind of super-loop that consumers uniquely have. It’s the power of choice. When consumers turn their backs on this addiction and choose to delay a purchase, reuse a current product, and responsibly recycle what can no longer service them, two things happen: the manufacturers pause and the planet breathes.

And it’s in that space where real change occurs. Real, significant, environmental change that costs next to nothing.   

Are you using your super power to help the situation? If not, we’ve got a multi-step process that can help you on at least the last two actions of reuse or responsible recycling of your electronic devices.

You can learn more about our process here

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Want more on this topic? We've got a similar post here: Waste doesn't have to be the end of our stuff

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