I hate planned obsolescence.
I hate cheap shit.
I hate the “everything disposable” mindset.
I hate WalMart and the Dollar Store.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to pay tons of money for everything, necessarily, but we need to find a way back to well-made things that can be kept for a long time, repaired, upgraded, etc.
It’s better to pay more for a thing up front that you can keep for a long time than to pay half as much that you’re going to need four of in the same time frame.
(And in the case of handheld technology, it’s neither cheap nor long-lasting.)
In order to do this, we need to
1- Buy less stuff. Especially with average incomes as they are and cost of living expenses continuously on the rise, buying higher-quality but more expensive stuff isn’t going to work at the same volume.
2- Be OK with stuff not being the newest. This example pops into mind. When I was a kid, we had an Atari. It was awesome. And then Nintendo came out, and we wanted one of those. We didn’t get one, because we already had a gaming system. So sometimes friends came over and we played Atari, and sometimes we went to their house and played Nintendo.
3- Share. People seem to do this more out of economic necessity, but there are lots of things that we don’t all need to own our own. We bought a giant umbrella thinger when The Kid was doing track last year. A friend’s daughter was doing swim over the summer. Instead of buying an umbrella, they borrowed ours. It worked perfectly. Unless we needed it at the same time, there’s no reason for us both to own one. Less money outgoing. Less storage space. Less trash later. True for many occasional-use things.
Can we stop going to the Dollar Store and buying lots of junk because we can and it’s cheap? Can we stop buying clothes that we’ll only wear for one season? (Kids excepted, because they grow…)
It’s a big shift. But it will help us mentally (less stuff = less stress about stuff—spoken from a place of privilege), it will help us economically, it will help us environmentally. It will help built community (for sharing, and for playing each other’s games). And maybe it’ll bring work back here from overseas.