Have you ever wondered why your appliances break down after a couple of years even when you take good care of them or why your smartphone becomes slower after a while?
Even though not all manufacturers follow this shady practice, programmed malfunction is real. Many companies purposefully reduce product durability to instigate a new purchase quicker; they want you to buy their stuff, but they want you to return faster.
This is another reason why many companies suggest using more products than what is needed, like laundry detergent or body wash, but that's a discussion for a different topic.
You may be wondering, can I still find products that will last a lifetime? The answer is yes! Luckily for us, there are still some items that we can buy once and forget about them, reducing potential waste and making our lives simpler.
We all have heard our parents or grandparents complain about how things would last more in the past, and they are correct. There are plenty of studies that prove of companies manufacture stuff to make them last less.
Among the strategies to make products last less, we see incompatibility where items, especially technological ones, stop being compatible with previous versions.
Technological obsolescence where a product stops working after some time and indirect obsolescence is the most common one, where accessories like chargers stop being available.
This wasteful practice is most reported in the electronics category, where the items that fail the most are smartphones, computer parts, and home appliances.
Even if people are conscious of the damaging impact waste has on the environment, companies still try to push this terrible use and discard lifestyle.
Why is programmed obsolescence an issue?
Not only it damages your finances, as you will need to buy replacements more frequently. This practice negatively impacts the environment. To give you an idea, in 2010, in the US alone, 141 million smartphones were discarded, 89% of them ended up in landfills; yes, that was 11 years ago. Can you imagine how many millions more have been tossed into landfills since then?
The issue doesn't only happen when people throw away stuff; creating new products consumes resources, many of which are unrenewable; for example, the average smartphone uses an average of 12 different metals, besides all the plastic parts.
The resources gathered damage vegetation, destroys potential fertile land, and exhausts resources. The amount of electronic trash is growing so much that it's about to overtake the volume of plastic trash; the main issue is recycling electronics is more complicated and time-consuming.
Long-lasting products still exist
Before you feel hopeless, there's some good news; long-lasting products still exist, they will either last for decades or even a lifetime. They aren't electronics or appliances but still a way to reduce waste.
Note: Only buy what you need when it's time to get it. If you own disposable products, use them to recycle or repurpose them before contemplating purchasing a new one.
Drinking bottles and mugs
If you are looking for product durability, search for stainless steel drinking bottles and mugs, they are the best alternative to single-use plastic water bottles; they will pay themself after a while.
The best stainless steel water bottle I found is by the brand IronFlask as it features double-insulated walls that prevent sweat, it comes with three lids to cover all needs, and the design is minimalistic and straightforward.
Glass food container
Forget plastic containers because, over time, they stain and develop a foul odor. On the other hand, glass Tupperware won't stain or smell; some can be used in the freezer and the oven.
I recommend the ones made with stainless steel and built as a single piece; this way, they won't break either rust.
Another area of your home where you can find some great products to buy once in a lifetime, including; a manicure set, menstrual cup, washable cotton facial pads, tweezers, reusable razor, tongue scraper, and a quality hair comb.
These are some ideas to get you started; I'm sure there are plenty of long-lasting options. Do you have any other ideas? Please share it in the comment section below.
This post contains an affiliate link(s). As an affiliate, I may earn a small advertising /referral fee if you purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you, and it helps keep this little blog afloat. Thanks so much for your support!