[ <img src="http://blogactionday.org/images/action_250x250.jpg" align="right" alt="Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day" />](http://blogactionday.org)Today is [Blog Action Day](http://blogactionday.com). There are so many issues I wanted to talk about, but after last night’s all-nighter, my brain isn’t working quite well enough to form cohesive thoughts.
I wanted to write about how college students are killing the environment. We pull more all-nighters than any other demographic. All-nighters mean lights on, computers running at full-force, snacks consumed, and countless other things that would normally rest at night. It was to be an open letter to college administrations. You, sirs and madams, are responsible for our global energy issues. And a lot of disgruntled young adults.
I wanted to write about Apple and how their minimalist packaging methods make Mother Earth happy. Not to mention their computer recycling program. That’s great too.
I also wanted to do a rehash/summarization of a paper I wrote for my Environmental Interventions class about American Consumerism and Waste Production, but alas, summarizing 10 pages into a neat little blog post would have been one heck of a chore. I would have wasted a lot of energy. The planet would not have been happy. So, instead, I thought I’d summarize it into a paragraph or so and link to a PDF of the paper. Do I expect you to read it? No. It’s long and daunting and was the result of yet another all-nighter, but if you’re so inclined, [it’s here.](http://www.forever-digital.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/blogactionday.pdf “”). Enjoy.
Now for that summary:
Basically, in order to rebuild the economy back in the 1950s, corporations, marketers, advertisers, etc. devised a plan to make more profits by making things more “short-term”. Things like new car models, new colors on a toaster, and women’s dress-styles were all a result of a plan to make people buy more, more often. The other tactic was “planned obsolescence” – a.k.a. pre-programmed deaths. It’s why your camera shutter dies after a certain number of shots, or your laptop gets slower over time as things start to be less shiny and new. The thing is, it stuck. It became ingrained in our consumer mentality and now we buy things with the expectation that they’ll last us X number of years and then we’ll just get a new one. Like iPods, laptops, cameras, or clothes. Companies even still release things in new colors just to regenerate the buzz (Hello new iPod Shuffles in jewel tones?). How about the Apple iPod or iPhone irreplaceable batteries? Planned obsolescence.
So what does this have to do with the environment? Well, everything. Because once something becomes obsolete, we THROW IT AWAY! And sometimes without using the proper means. (remember: CRT monitors don’t belong in landfills). Technology is made up of all sorts of crazy chemicals and metals that can pollute the land if not properly disposed. Not cool.
There’s a lot to overcome socially – try telling the Apple Fanboys and gals that they can’t/shouldn’t order the a 20GB iPhone (hypothetically) when their current one is functioning perfectly well. Not so easy. But it’s time to address our consumer habits. Time to reevaluate the business models that center around planned obsolescence. Time to stop buying so much just for the sake of buying it. Mother Nature says thank you in advance.