Monday, June 1, 2015

Sustainability–Answers to Planned Obsolescence

by Laura Matthews


Planned obsolescence is a real part of consumerism and is also a real problem for the ecology 
of the world. Planning for things to break creates more waste which is dangerous and harmful for organisms worldwide. Waste created here in America from broken electronics doesn’t just stay 
in America. It is shipped to dumps in Africa and Asia creating harmful effects and risks to the inhabitants of those areas our country sends the waste to.

I recently attended a sustainability event put on by Portland State University. It was an incredible experience meeting and learning about various ways my community members are reaching out 
to help protect the earth. I would like to share with you resources and ideas that I learned 
at this conference that directly help reduce the impact planned obsolescence has on our 
ecological world.

Container Gardening The PSU Sustainability Volunteers suggest recycling old containers to start a home garden. The containers could be berry containers, potato sacks or old yogurt containers with holes punched in the bottom. It is possible using these recyclables to make a garden anywhere, even a dorm room. 
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The Reuse Room is a room at Portland State University where students can go and find or donate electronics, school supplies and other equipment such as drinking containers. You can check them out at www.reuse@pdx.edu Post below if there is a reuse room in your area!
Chinook Book is a coupon service you can purchase in select cities that contains discounts at  businesses that meets sustainability criteria. It is also a great resource for sustainable living including: farmers markets, recycling, local biking & transit, clean energy and green home. It is available in the following cities:  Denver and Boulder, CO, Minneapolis and St Paul, MN, Portland,OR, Sacramento, San Francisco,CA, Seattle, WA. http://chinookbook.com/mobile/
Chinook Book Denver
A focus of the Student Volunteer Program at Portland State is waste reduction. The volunteer programs provide awareness, development and growth of volunteer programs in the Portland community focused on reducing waste and increasing recycling. If you would like to volunteer contact SVPcoord@pdx.edu.
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Lastly, Balance = Sustainability. The multimedia production team capstone is a class like this geared towards creating websites and blogs to increase the awareness of sustainability and the need for change in the way we treat our world. 
In addition to this blog, www.ecomerge.blogspot.com is a great resource of ways to take the concept of planned obsolescence and balance the fact of consumerism with treating our earth with care and concern.
Post below any sustainability resources you know about in your community!

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