Network on the Life Span of Consumer Durables

Late last year saw the launch of this network. Although the name is far from sexy, hopefully their findings will make the earth move, so to speak. The average American throws away 1,606 lb (730kg) of household waste per year, while per capita Europeans discard about 430kg. Technological advances in product design and manufacture (and let's not forget cheaper ‘off-shore’ labour) have driven down the cost of what used to to be called ‘consumer durables’ to the point where they are now ‘consumer expendables.’ They are so cheap new, that the cost of any repairing has almost been negated. Just turf it and buy another one! To solve this dilemma a three year £65,000 ($124,000 USD) grant has been provided ... ... by Britain’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to figure out how we can increase the longetivity of housegold goods. The Network is being run our of the Centre for Sustainable Consumption at Sheffield Hallam University. It will gather together manufacturers, retailers, designers, marketing managers, researchers, sustainability experts, and public policy specialists to mull over the issue. ::Centre for Sustainable Consumption [by WM]

Image from The Toaster Museum (believe it or not!)